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  • Author: Taru Lintunen x
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Taru Lintunen

Participation in sport is an important correlate of perceptions of physical competence, with physically active adolescents having more favorable perceptions than sedentary adolescents. Exercise activity has not, however, been standardized in earlier studies in which girls have consistently scored lower than boys in measures of perceived physical competence. The purpose of this study is to examine gender differences in perceived fitness among adolescents in relation to exercise activity during a four-year follow-up. The participants (n=88) were divided into sedentary (20 girls, 15 boys), physically active (10 girls, 20 boys), and highly active (8 girls, 15 boys) groups. Perceived physical competence was measured by Lintunen’s Perceived Fitness Scale. Data were analyzed using one-and twoway analyses of variance and the least significant difference test. No differences were found in perceived fitness between the girls and boys in any activity group at any age. More physically active groups showed higher perceived fitness among both sexes than the sedentary group when measured at the ages 11,12,13,14, and 15. I concluded that physical activity level is more important than gender as a determinant of perceived physical competence. Boys are, on the average, more actively involved in exercise than girls. This may be the reason that they have consistently scored higher in measures of perceived physical competence.

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Minna Rasinaho, Mirja Hirvensalo, Raija Leinonen, Taru Lintunen and Taina Rantanen

The purpose of this study was to investigate what older adults with severe, moderate, or no mobility limitation consider motives for and barriers to engaging in physical exercise. Community-dwelling adults (N = 645) age 75–81 years completed a questionnaire about their motives for and barriers to physical exercise and answered interview questions on mobility limitation. Those with severely limited mobility more often reported poor health, fear and negative experiences, lack of company, and an unsuitable environment as barriers to exercise than did those with no mobility limitation. They also accentuated disease management as a motive for exercise, whereas those with no or moderate mobility limitation emphasized health promotion and positive experiences related to exercise. Information about differences in motives for and barriers to exercise among people with and without mobility limitation helps tailor support systems that support engagement in physical activity among older adults.

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Esa Rovio, Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Daniel A. Weigand, Jari Eskola and Taru Lintunen

Research investigating the use of several team building (TB) interventions collectively in one case study is sparse. The purpose of this study was to evaluate, via action research, the process of implementation of a season-long (12 months) multifaceted TB program with a junior league ice hockey team in Finland. The team consisted of 22 players, aged 15–16 years, and three coaches. Inductive content analyses revealed that performance profiling, individual and group goal setting, and role clarification produced additional value to the TB program. Group norms became a vital part of group goal setting. The results are discussed in relation to existing definitions of TB and the importance of using a multifaceted approach to TB.

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Jean Côté, Marit Sørensen, Taru Lintunen, Daniel A. Weigand, Anne Haase, Kathleen A. Martin and James Dimmock

Edited by J. Robert Grove

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Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Damien Clement, Jennifer Jordan Hamson-Utley, Cindra Kamphoff, Rebecca Zakrajsek, Sae-Mi Lee, Brian Hemmings, Taru Lintunen and Scott B. Martin

Context:

Athletes enter injury rehabilitation with certain expectations about the recovery process, outcomes, and the professional providing treatment. Their expectations influence the effectiveness of the assistance received and affect the overall rehabilitation process. Expectations may vary depending on numerous factors such as sport experience, gender, sport type, and cultural background. Unfortunately, limited information is available on athletes’ expectations about sport-injury rehabilitation.

Objective:

To examine possible differences in athletes’ expectations about sport-injury rehabilitation based on their country of residence and type of sport (contact vs noncontact).

Design:

Cross-sectional.

Setting:

Recreational, college, and professional athletes from the US, UK, and Finland were surveyed.

Participants:

Of the 1209 athletes ranging from 12 to 80 y of age (mean 23.46 ± 7.91), 529 US [80%], 253 UK [86%], and 199 Finnish [82%] athletes provided details of their geographical location and were included in the final analyses.

Main Outcome Measures:

The Expectations About Athletic Training (EAAT) questionnaire was used to determine athletes’ expectations about personal commitment, facilitative conditions, and the expertise of the sports-medicine professional (SMP).

Results:

A 3 × 2 MANCOVA revealed significant main effects for country (P = .0001, ηp 2 = .055) and sport type (P = .0001, ηp 2 = .023). Specifically, US athletes were found to have higher expectations of personal commitment and facilitative conditions than their UK and Finnish counterparts. Athletes participating in contact sports had higher expectations of facilitative conditions and the expertise of the SMP than did athletes participating in noncontact sports.

Conclusions:

SMPs, especially those in the US, should consider the sport and environment when providing services. In addition, SMPs need to highlight and demonstrate their expertise during the rehabilitation process, especially for those who compete in contact sports.

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Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Damien Clement, Jennifer J. Hamson-Utley, Rebecca A. Zakrajsek, Sae-Mi Lee, Cindra Kamphoff, Taru Lintunen, Brian Hemmings and Scott B. Martin

Context:

Existing theoretical frameworks and empirical research support the applicability and usefulness of integrating mental skills throughout sport injury rehabilitation.

Objective:

To determine what, if any, mental skills athletes use during injury rehabilitation, and by who these skills were taught. Cross-cultural differences were also examined.

Design:

Cross-sectional design.

Setting:

College athletes from 5 universities in the United States and a mixture of collegiate, professional, and recreational club athletes from the United Kingdom and Finland were recruited for this study.

Participants:

A total of 1283 athletes from the United States, United Kingdom, and Finland, who participated in diverse sports at varying competitive levels took part in this study.

Main Outcome Measures:

As part of a larger study on athletes’ expectations of injury rehabilitation, participants were asked a series of open-ended and closed-ended questions concerning their use of mental skills during injury rehabilitation.

Results:

Over half (64.0%) of the sample reported previous experience with athletic training, while 27.0% indicated that they used mental skills during injury rehabilitation. The top 3 mental skills reported were goal setting, positive self-talk/positive thoughts, and imagery. Of those athletes that used mental skills, 71.6% indicated that they felt mental skills helped them to rehabilitate faster. A greater proportion of athletes from the United States (33.4%) reported that they used mental skills during rehabilitation compared with athletes from the United Kingdom (23.4%) and Finland (20.3%). A small portion (27.6%) of the participants indicated that their sports medicine professional had taught them how to use mental skills; only 3% were taught mental skills by a sport psychologist.

Conclusions:

The low number of athletes who reported using mental skills during rehabilitation is discouraging, but not surprising given research findings that mental skills are underutilized by injured athletes in the 3 countries examined. More effort should be focused on educating and training athletes, coaches, and sports medicine professionals on the effectiveness of mental training in the injury rehabilitation context.