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Maureen R. Weiss and Susan C. Duncan

Youth sport literature contends that the development of self-esteem is influenced by social interactions in the physical domain. However, little research has investigated the role of the peer group in developing perceptions of physical competence and social acceptance. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship, between competence in physical skills and interpersonal competence with peers in a sport setting. Children (N=126) completed measures assessing perceptions of physical competence and peer acceptance» perceptions of success for athletic performance and interpersonal skills, causal attributions for physical performance and interpersonal success» and expectations for future success in these two areas. Teachers' ratings of children's actual physical ability and social skills with peers were also obtained. Canonical correlation analyses indicated a strong relationship (r c = .75) between indices of physical competence and peer acceptance. Children who scored high in actual and perceived physical competence and who made stable and personally controllable attributions for sport performance also scored high in actual and perceived peer acceptance and made stable attributions for successful peer interactions.

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Terry E. Duncan, Susan C. Duncan and Edward McAuley

The present study investigated the role of domain-specific combinations of social support provisions in adherence to a prescribed exercise regimen. Research participants were middle-aged, sedentary, males and females (N = 85). Separate discriminant function analyses for males and females revealed that among females, the social provisions of guidance and reassurance of worth significantly discriminated adherers and nonadherers. The two provisions of social integration and guidance significantly discriminated adherers and nonadherers among males. Results are discussed with reference to the importance of social provisions in exercise settings, male and female differences, and the implications of social support interventions for enhancing exercise compliance.

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Terry E. Duncan, Roy Oman and Susan C. Duncan

Exercise behavior research typically suffers from attrition and other forms of missing data. In studies that suffer from this common malady, several researchers have demonstrated that correct maximum likelihood estimation with missing data can be obtained under mild assumptions concerning the missing data mechanism. Model estimation with distinct missing data patterns can, in many cases, be carried out utilizing existing structural equation modeling software that allow for the simultaneous analysis of mean and covariance structures for multiple groups. Findings are discussed in relation to the utility of latent variable structural equation modeling techniques for analysis with incomplete data in the study of social-psychological determinants of exercise behavior.

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Susan C. Duncan, Terry E. Duncan, Lisa A. Strycker and Nigel R. Chaumeton

Typical studies of youth physical activity ignore the dependence among family members, examining only individual levels of data rather than individual and family levels. The current study examined physical activity among siblings (mean age = 12.2 years), using hierarchical linear modeling. Individual-and family-level covariates of physical activity were included in the model. Data from 930 siblings nested within 371 families were analyzed in a four-level multilevel design. Results indicated that siblings were similar in their levels of physical activity, and that levels of physical activity varied across families. At the individual level, age was a significant predictor of physical activity. At the family level, higher levels of family support were related to higher levels of sibling physical activity, as were single-parent status and higher income. Perceptions of neighborhood opportunities and observed neighborhood physical activity facilities were negatively related to family levels of physical activity.

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Susan C. Duncan, Lisa A. Strycker, Terry E. Duncan and Nigel R. Chaumeton

It is important that studies on youth health behavior obtain sufficiently large representative samples so that power is adequate and results are generalizable. However, few researchers have documented procedures and methods for recruitment of a random stratified youth sample for studies on health-related behavior, specifically physical activity. This study describes the recruitment methods used to attain a stratified sample of 360 target youth (boys and girls from 10-, 12-, and 14-year-old cohorts), and a parent of each child, representing families in 58 neighborhoods. A peer of each target youth was also invited to participate. Recruitment was conducted primarily by telephone, using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) software. Approximately 38% of calls resulted in person contact, of which about 98% of families did not qualify. Of those qualified, about 68% agreed to participate. The telephone recruitment was supplemented by door-to-door recruitment in selected neighborhoods. The average cost of recruitment was approximately $99 per family by telephone and $64 door to door. Advantages and limitations of the recruitment method are discussed.