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R. Elueze and R.L. Jones

The purpose of the study was to compare the televised depictions and portrayals of male and female athletes who partook in the so-called ‘masculine’ events of the marathon, shot-put and discus at the 5th World Athletics Championships in 1995. Both commentary and modes of production were analyzed in order to ascertain if women were treated equally in terms of the above modes of presentation when participating in physically challenging events that defy traditional and stereotypical notions of femininity.

Based upon the results, not only were the men’s events given greater air time, but the quality of the commentary and modes of production also favored the men’s events when compared with their female counterparts. Thus, commentators frequently framed the female athletes’ accomplishments in terms of traditional notions of femininity, through the use of negative, condescending and ambivalent descriptors and a gendered hierarchy of naming.

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Adam R. Nicholls, John L. Perry, Leigh Jones, Dave Morley and Fraser Carson

It is accepted among scholars that coping changes as people mature during adolescence, but little is known about the relationship between maturity and coping. The purpose of this paper was to assess a model, which included dispositional coping, coping effectiveness, and cognitive social maturity. We predicted that cognitive social maturity would have a direct effect on coping effectiveness, and also an indirect impact via dispositional coping. Two hundred forty-five adolescent athletes completed measures of dispositional coping, coping effectiveness, and cognitive social maturity, which has three dimensions: conscientiousness, peer influence on behavior, and rule following. Using structural equation modeling, we found support for our model, suggesting that coping is related to cognitive social maturity. This information can be used to influence the content of coping interventions for adolescents of different maturational levels.

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Emily M. Jones, Andrea R. Taliaferro, Eloise M. Elliott, Sean M. Bulger, Alfgeir L. Kristjansson, William Neal and Ishonté Allar

Increasing rates of childhood obesity has prompted calls for comprehensive approaches to school-based physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) development and related contextual issues within a rural Appalachian county using a Systems Approach. A multicomponent needs assessment was conducted, including 11 school site visits with interviews with school personnel, physical space audits, and self-reported professional development, curricular, and equipment/resource needs. Data were summarized into case narratives describing context, space/facilities, and school assets/needs. Member checks verified the accuracy of narratives and inductive cross-case analysis was used to explore emergent themes. Six themes emerged: Leadership/Capacity Building, PA Access and Opportunities, Physical Education/PA Equipment and Resources, Physical Fitness Data Management and Reporting, Equity and Access to Safe and Usable Play Spaces, and Community Connections. Results support the feasibility of CSPAPs in rural communities and provide insight to factors influencing CSPAP. This study provides a framework for schools considering the development of CSPAP.

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Basia Belza, Christina E. Miyawaki, Peg Allen, Diane K. King, David X. Marquez, Dina L. Jones, Sarah Janicek, Dori Rosenberg and David R. Brown

Mall walking has been a popular physical activity for decades. However, little is known about why mall managers support these programs or why adults choose to walk. Our study aim was to describe mall walking programs from the perspectives of walkers, managers, and leaders. Twenty-eight walkers, 16 walking program managers, and six walking program leaders from five states participated in a telephone or in-person semi-structured interview (N = 50). Interview guides were developed using a social-ecological model. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically. All informants indicated satisfaction with their program and environmental features. Differences in expectations were noted in that walkers wanted a safe, clean, and social place whereas managers and leaders felt a need to provide programmatic features. Given the favorable walking environments in malls, there is an opportunity for public health professionals, health care organizations, and providers of aging services to partner with malls to promote walking.

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Diane K. King, Peg Allen, Dina L. Jones, David X. Marquez, David R. Brown, Dori Rosenberg, Sarah Janicek, Laila Allen and Basia Belza

Background:

Midlife and older adults use shopping malls for walking, but little research has examined mall characteristics that contribute to their walkability.

Methods:

We used modified versions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Healthy Aging Research Network (HAN) Environmental Audit and the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) tool to systematically observe 443 walkers in 10 shopping malls. We also observed 87 walkers in 6 community-based nonmall/nongym venues where older adults routinely walked for physical activity.

Results:

All venues had public transit stops and accessible parking. All malls and 67% of nonmalls had wayfinding aids, and most venues (81%) had an established circuitous walking route and clean, well-maintained public restrooms (94%). All venues had level floor surfaces, and one-half had benches along the walking route. Venues varied in hours of access, programming, tripping hazards, traffic control near entrances, and lighting.

Conclusions:

Despite diversity in location, size, and purpose, the mall and nonmall venues audited shared numerous environmental features known to promote walking in older adults and few barriers to walking. Future research should consider programmatic features and outreach strategies to expand the use of malls and other suitable public spaces for walking.