Throughout sport management’s history, scholars have wrestled with the discipline’s appropriate home within the academy. Sport management programs are often placed within other departments or schools, with one potential home being established parks and recreation management departments. However, one of the most prevalent issues within the parks and recreation academic field is the perceived invasion of sport management into its “nest.” In a recent article in the field’s leading education journal, a prominent scholar suggests that parks and recreation programs housing sport management run the risk of undermining their mission and may ultimately face extinction. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to offer a response to this article, and examine the position of sport management within traditional parks and recreation departments. We argue that because of the interrelatedness of the disciplines and shared ontological and epistemological roots, fostering collaboration rather than divisiveness would enhance the scholarship, academic integrity and student learning outcomes of both fields.
Irreconcilable Differences or Vibrant Habitat? An Examination of Sport Management’s Perceived Invasion of Recreation’s Nest
Michael B. Edwards and Jon Welty Peachey
Examining the Associations of Perceived Community Racism With Self-Reported Physical Activity Levels and Health Among Older Racial Minority Adults
Michael B. Edwards and George Cunningham
Racial health disparities are more pronounced among older adults. Few studies have examined how racism influences health behaviors. This study’s purpose was to examine how opportunities for physical activity (PA) and community racism are associated with older racial minorities’ reported engagement in PA. We also investigated how PA levels influenced health.
We analyzed survey data obtained from a health assessment conducted in 3360 households in Texas, USA, which included items pertaining to PA, community characteristics, and health.
Our sample contained 195 women and 85 men (mean age 70.16), most of whom were African American. We found no direct relationship between opportunities and PA. Results suggested that perceived community racism moderated this association. When community racism was low, respondents found ways to be active whether they perceived opportunities or not. When community racism was high, perceived lack of opportunities significantly impeded PA engagement. We found the expected association between PA and health.
Results suggested that negative effects of community racism were counteracted through increased opportunities for PA.
Opportunities for Extracurricular Physical Activity in North Carolina Middle Schools
Michael B. Edwards, Michael A. Kanters, and Jason N. Bocarro
This study’s purpose was to assess the opportunities for North Carolina adolescents to be physically active in extracurricular middle school environments and to compare opportunities across community types.
Data were analyzed based on the results of an electronic questionnaire distributed to a sample of 431 schools with a response rate of 75.4% (N = 325).
Nearly all schools offered interscholastic sports while fewer than half offered intramurals or noncompetitive activities to students. “Open gym” was offered at only 35% of schools, while 24% of schools offered extracurricular activities to students with disabilities. Overall, 43.4% of schools offered special transportation to students who participated in some extracurricular physical activities. Schools in rural areas generally offered fewer programs and had fewer supports than schools located in more urbanized areas. Over two-thirds of rural schools offered no extracurricular programs other than interscholastic sports.
Schools can be important settings for physical activity. North Carolina’s middle schools and its rural schools in particular, are falling short in efforts to provide extracurricular physical activity programming recommended by researchers and policy groups.1−6 Lower accessibility to extracurricular physical activities may partially contribute to higher levels of physical inactivity found in the state.
Service Learning For Social Change: Raising Social Consciousness Among Sport Management Students
Kimberly A. Bush, Michael B. Edwards, Gareth J. Jones, Jessica L. Hook, and Michael L. Armstrong
Recently, scholars of sport management have called for more research aimed at understanding how sport can be leveraged for social change. This interest has contributed to a burgeoning paradigm of sport management research and practice developed around using sport as a catalyst for broader human and community development. In order for sport practitioners to successfully develop, implement, and sustain these programs, integration of development-based theory and concepts are needed in sport management curricula. Service learning is one pedagogical approach for achieving this objective, and is well suited for promoting social change practices among students. This study assesses how participation in a sport-for-development (SFD) service learning project impacted the social consciousness and critical perspectives of sport management students. Results suggest the experience raised student’s awareness of community issues, developed a more holistic perspective on the role of service, and influenced their future careers.
Examining the Environmental Characteristics of Shared Leadership in a Sport-for-Development Organization
Gareth J. Jones, Christine E. Wegner, Kyle S. Bunds, Michael B. Edwards, and Jason N. Bocarro
To promote community development, sport-for-development (SFD) organizations strive to build local leadership that fosters long-term sustainability. Although shared leadership (SL) structures are particularly effective in these settings, there has been limited attention to SL within the SFD context, especially from a multilevel perspective. While previous studies of leadership in sport have primarily focused on the individual traits of leaders, multilevel analysis is required to understand how environmental characteristics relate to leadership development. This qualitative case study analyzes the development and deployment of SL in an American SFD organization. Interviews, observations, and document analysis are used to generate data, and theoretical thematic analysis is used to identify key themes related to the environmental characteristics of SL. Results highlight how environmental characteristics are related to SL, as well as group and task characteristics. The discussion integrates these findings with SL theory to discuss implications for the management of SFD projects in this context, and recommends integrated forms of leadership that combine shared and servant leadership approaches.
Obesity Is Inversely Associated With Natural Amenities and Recreation Facilities Per Capita
Stephanie B. Jilcott Pitts, Michael B. Edwards, Justin B. Moore, Kindal A. Shores, Katrina Drowatzky DuBose, and David McGranahan
Little is known about the associations between natural amenities, recreation facility density, and obesity, at a national level. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to examine associations between county-level natural amenities, density of recreation facilities, and obesity prevalence among United States counties.
Data were obtained from a compilation of sources within the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service Food Environment Atlas. Independent variables of interest were the natural amenities scale and recreation facilities per capita. The dependent variable was county-level obesity prevalence. Potential covariates included a measure of county-level percent Black residents, percent Hispanic residents, median age, and median household income. All models were stratified by population loss, persistent poverty, and metro status. Multilevel linear regression models were used to examine the association between obesity and natural amenities and recreation facilities, with “state” as a random effects second level variable.
There were statistically significant negative associations between percent obesity and 1) natural amenities and 2) recreation facilities per capita.
Future research should examine environmental and policy changes to increase recreation facilities and enhance accessible natural amenities to decrease obesity rates.