Mary A. McElroy
This study examined the role of athletic participation in affecting educational aspirations of disadvantaged youth, namely, those students for whom traditional opportunities for developing educational motivations have been restrictive. Using Coleman's leading crowd theory, it was hypothesized that disadvantaged students who were members of the interscholastic sports program would be exposed to a positive peer-group influence unavailable to their nonathletic counterparts. A national representative sample of 1,799 male high school seniors from the Youth in Transition project were used. Disadvantaged youth were defined in terms of social background and school attitudinal/behavioral factors. An interaction-regression modeling strategy for educational aspirations indicated that the interaction models did not significantly contribute to the explanation of educational aspirations. These findings resulted in the conclusion that sport participation's impact on educational aspirations was not greater for disadvantaged youth. It was suggested that the incorporation of social and psychological factors of socialization into more complex sport models is necessary in order to assess the true impact of sport participation on educational concerns.
Mary A. McElroy
Sport and nonsport career choices among economically disadvantaged adolescents enrolled in a summer sports program were explored. It was hypothesized that youngsters with sport career aspirations would demonstrate differences in sport-related attitudes and experiences when compared to youngsters with nonsport career aspirations. Nonsport career aspirations were categorized into two groups: one representing “high prestige” occupations and one representing “low prestige” occupations. Discriminant analysis revealed that disadvantaged youths' career aspirations were differentially related to the sport-related factors. Contrary to warnings of the potential dysfunctional consequences for those who aspire to sport careers, adolescents with sport career aspirations consistently scored higher on achievement-related socialization factors than those aspiring for traditional low-prestige occupations. Sex differences were noted and discussed in light of the role of sport in the lower class social environment.
Mary A. McElroy and Joe D. Willis
Mary A. McElroy and Don R. Kirkendall
Jeff M. Shaw, David A. Dzewaltowski, and Mary McElroy
Self-efficacy and causal attributions were examined as mediators of perceived psychological momentum. Participants were randomly assigned to either a repeated success or a repeated failure group in which success or failure was manipulated by having participants compete against a highly skilled confederate. Each participant and confederate performed three sets of 10 basketball free throws. Free throw self-efficacy, perceived psychological momentum, and causal dimensions were assessed after each set. Results indicated that the success and failure manipulations were effective in that the responses changed differently over time for both groups. Experiencing competitive success increased perceptions of momentum; experiencing competitive failure decreased perceptions of momentum. In contrast, self-efficacy only changed in response to competitive success as the participants became more confident. Both groups attributed the competitive outcome to internal, personally controllable, and unstable causes.
Danielle R. Brittain, Nancy C. Gyurcsik, and Mary McElroy
Despite the health benefits derived from regular participation in moderate physical activity, the majority of adult lesbians are not physically active. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between moderate physical activity and the perceived presence and extent of limitation of 30 general and 10 lesbian-specific barriers. The participants were 516 self-identified adult lesbians who completed a web-based survey. Compared to physically active participants, participants who were insufficiently active reported more general barriers and a significantly higher extent of limitation of general and lesbian-specific barriers overall. Insufficiently active participants also differed in the perceived presence of one of the five most frequently experienced barriers and in the extent of limitation of three of those five barriers. The study’s findings suggest that the impact of barriers may be alleviated through the use of appropriately tailored strategies to help lesbians cope with them. Future research should further examine whether lesbians experience additional population-specific barriers.
Christina M. Caruso, Diane L. Gill, David A. Dzewaltowski, and Mary A. McElroy
In this study we examined relationships among components of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (cognitive worry, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence) to each other, to physiological measures, and to performance prior to, during, and after a bicycle competition. Undergraduate male students (N=24) participated in three counterbalanced conditions: (a) noncompetition, (b) success, and (c) failure. Participants completed the CSAI-2 at pre-, mid-, and postcompetition in each condition and frontalis muscle activity was recorded at those times. Results revealed that the cognitive and somatic components of state anxiety are moderately related to one another and change differently over time. Intraindividual regression analyses conducted to test relationships between anxiety and performance revealed no linear or curvilinear relationships between any of the CSAI-2 components and performance. The frontalis iEMG/performance relationship was best explained by a linear trend. The findings support the prediction that competitive state anxiety is a multidimensional construct with related components that are influenced differently by competitive conditions and task demands.
David A. Dzewaltowski, Mary McElroy, Timothy I. Musch, David C. Poole, and Craig A. Harms
Kinesiology is an academic discipline with a body of content that can be drawn on to support professions and to solve important public health problems. The Kansas State Physical Activity Systems Framework defines a new approach to structure the discipline. Central to the framework is the rejection of a kinesiology subdisciplinary approach and the adoption of an integrated “cell-to-society” systems approach. Each level of physical activity systems is addressed in undergraduate and graduate education and research. Supporting the framework are two research and education teams: exercise physiology and exercise behavioral science. These teams provide core integrated academic discipline content expertise and expertise for integrating professional application areas, such as public health. The framework has evolved over 20 years at Kansas State University, where today the Department of Kinesiology delivers high-quality extramurally-funded research; BS, MS, MPH, and PhD programs; and outreach in a cost-effective manner.