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Associative/Dissociative Cognitive Strategies in Sustained Physical Activity: Literature Review and Proposal for a Mindfulness-Based Conceptual Model

Paul Salmon, Scott Hanneman, and Brandon Harwood

We reviewed and summarize the extant literature on associative/dissociative cognitive strategies used by athletes and others in circumstances necessitating periods of sustained attention. This review covers studies published since a prior publication by Masters and Ogles (1998), and, in keeping with their approach, offers a methodological critique of the literature. We conclude that the distinction between associative and dissociative strategies has outlived its usefulness since initially proposed in an earlier era of ground-breaking research by Morgan and Pollock (1977) that was influenced to some extent by psychodynamic thinking. In recent years there has been an evolutionary shift in concepts of sustained attention toward mindfulness—moment-by-moment attention—that has had a significant impact on conceptual models and clinical practice in diverse areas including stress management, psychotherapy, and athletic performance. We propose that future research on cognitive activity in sustained performance settings be embedded in a mindfulness-based conceptual model.

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A Systems Analysis Critique of Sport-Science Research

Scott McLean, Hugo A. Kerhervé, Nicholas Stevens, and Paul M. Salmon

Purpose: The broad aim of sport-science research is to enhance the performance of coaches and athletes. Despite decades of such research, it is well documented that sport-science research lacks empirical evidence, and critics have questioned its scientific methods. Moreover, many have pointed to a research–practice gap, whereby the work undertaken by researchers is not readily applied by practitioners. The aim of this study was to use a systems thinking analysis method, causal loop diagrams, to understand the systemic issues that interact to influence the quality of sport-science research. Methods: A group model-building process was utilized to develop the causal loop diagram based on data obtained from relevant peer-reviewed literature and subject-matter experts. Results: The findings demonstrate the panoply of systemic influences associated with sport-science research, including the existence of silos, a focus on quantitative research, archaic practices, and an academic system that is incongruous with what it actually purports to achieve. Conclusions: The emergent outcome of the interacting components is the creation of an underperforming sport-science research system, as indicated by a lack of ecological validity, translation to practice, and, ultimately, a research–practice gap.

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Socio-Demographic Correlates of Prolonged Television Viewing Time in Australian Men and Women: The AusDiab Study

Bronwyn Kay Clark, Takemi Sugiyama, Genevieve N. Healy, Jo Salmon, David W. Dunstan, Jonathan E. Shaw, Paul Z. Zimmet, and Neville Owen

Background:

Sedentary behaviors, particularly television viewing (TV) time, are associated with adverse health outcomes in adults, independent of physical activity levels. These associations are stronger and more consistent for women than for men.

Methods:

Multivariate regression models examined the sociodemographic correlates of 2 categories of TV time (≥2 hours/day and ≥4 hours/day); in a large, population-based sample of Australian adults (4950 men, 6001 women; mean age 48.1 years, range 25–91) who participated in the 1999/2000 Australian Diabetes, Obesity, and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study.

Results:

Some 46% of men and 40% of women watched ≥ 2 hours TV/day; 9% and 6% respectively watched ≥ 4 hours/day. For both men and women, ≥2 hours TV/day was associated with less than tertiary education, living outside of state capital cities, and having no paid employment. For women, mid and older age (45−64 and 65+) were also significant correlates of ≥2 hours TV/day. Similar patterns of association were observed in those viewing ≥4 hours/day.

Conclusions:

Prolonged TV time is associated with indices of social disadvantage and older age. These findings can inform the understanding of potential contextual influences and guide preventive initiatives.