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Leanne C. Findlay and Diane M. Ste-Marie

The current study examined whether expectations, assumed to be created by the positive reputation of an athlete, produced a bias in judging at either the encoding or evaluation phase of sport performance appraisal. The short programs of 14 female figure skaters were evaluated by judges to whom the athletes were either known or unknown. Ordinal rankings were found to be higher when skaters were known by the judges as compared to when they were unknown. Furthermore, skaters received significantly higher technical merit marks when known, although artistic marks did not differ. No significant differences were found for the identification of elements or associated deductions, measures which were assumed to be indicative of the encoding phase of judging. These findings suggest that a reputation bias does exist when judging figure skating, and that it is present during the evaluation phase of sport performance appraisal, as reflected by the ordinal and technical merit marks.

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Leanne C. Findlay, Rochelle E. Garner and Dafna E. Kohen

Background:

Few longitudinal studies of physical activity have included young children or used nationally representative datasets. The purpose of the current study was to explore patterns of organized physical activity for Canadian children aged 4 through 17 years.

Methods:

Data from 5 cycles of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth were analyzed separately for boys (n = 4463) and girls (n = 4354) using multiple trajectory modeling.

Results:

Boys' and girls' organized physical activity was best represented by 3 trajectory groups. For boys, these groups were labeled: high stable, high decreasing, and low decreasing participation. For girls, these groups were labeled: high decreasing, moderate stable, and low decreasing participation. Risk factors (parental education, household income, urban/rural dwelling, and single/dual parent) were explored. For boys and girls, having a parent with postsecondary education and living in a higher income household were associated with a greater likelihood of weekly participation in organized physical activity. Living in an urban area was also significantly associated with a greater likelihood of weekly participation for girls.

Conclusions:

Results suggest that Canadian children's organized physical activity is best represented by multiple patterns of participation that tend to peak in middle childhood and decline into adolescence.

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Shannon Gadbois, Anne Bowker, Linda Rose-Krasnor and Leanne Findlay

Research on extracurricular activities emphasizes developmental opportunities for youth. This literature has infrequently considered youth’s psychological engagement or the specific content associated with these opportunities and has primarily been focused on structured rather than unstructured activities. In this qualitative study, 51 youth (age 12–18 years) who were psychologically engaged in structured sport (n = 19), structured nonsport (n = 17), or unstructured (n = 15) activities discussed developmental opportunities and the experiences they associated with them. Youth in all groups reported having developmental opportunities and described experiences emphasizing social interaction, skill-related, emotional impact, and positive outcome themes and an awareness of the positive and negative aspects of some experiences. Each group also reported unique experiences associated with its activities (e.g., structured-sport youth were least likely to indicate they did not like something about their activities). The similarities and differences across groups are discussed, considering factors that might contribute to and promote psychological engagement in extracurricular activities.