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  • Author: Nancy C. Gyurcsik x
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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.

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Steven R. Bray, Nancy C. Gyurcsik, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis and S. Nicole Culos-Reed

The purpose of this study was to develop a measure of proxy efficacy for use in group exercise contexts (e.g., aerobics classes) where participants engage in exercise under the direction of a group exercise leader (e.g., aerobics instructor). Three phases of research are reported. Phase 1 involved group exercisers as active agents in the generating of questionnaire items. In Phase 2, novice exercisers assisted in an item-trimming process and the questionnaire was further refined into a 17-item two-dimensional scale based on preliminary psychometric testing. In the third phase, proxy efficacy beliefs of novice female exercisers (N = 70, average age = 21.09 years, SD = 5.11) were experimentally manipulated through exposure to different exercise group leadership and choreography styles. Results provide preliminary support for the Proxy Efficacy Exercise Questionnaire (PEEQ) as a measure that can provide valid and reliable scores representing women’s proxy efficacy beliefs in group exercise settings. Implications for future research in terms of furthering the construct validation process and potential contributions to understanding exercise adherence among novice exercisers are discussed.

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Paul A. Estabrooks, Krista J. Munroe, Elizabeth H. Fox, Nancy C. Gyurcsik, Jennie L. Hill, Robert Lyon, Sara Rosenkranz and Vanessa R. Shannon

The purpose of this study was to determine whether a theory-based framework could be used to deductively identify and understand the characteristics of motivational leaders of physical activity groups for older adults. Participants were 23 older adults (mean age = 78.5 ± 8.0 years, 65% women). An interview-guide approach was employed to elicit older adults’ thoughts on important characteristics of physical activity group leaders. The data suggested that effective leaders are those whom the participants feel are properly qualified, are able to develop a personal bond with participants, and can use their knowledge and the group to demonstrate collective accomplishments. It was concluded that the findings could be used to extend the leadership activities beyond the traditional technical performance and individual feedback to include activities of social integration. Furthermore, the conceptual framework identified can serve as a valuable tool in guiding future researchers in their examination of leadership in physical activity groups for older adults.