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Edward McAuley and Terry E. Duncan

This investigation examined the roles of intuitive (subjective performance perceptions) and reflective (causal attributions) appraisals in the generation of affective reactions to gymnastic performance. Both intuitive and cognitive appraisal were significant predictors of general affect, whereas self-related affects were predominantly influenced by intuitive appraisal and other-related affect by causal dimensions. The stability dimension evidenced the strongest relationship with both general and other-related affective reactions. Commonality analyses determined both types of appraisal to account for up to 14.7% of the cojoint variance in emotional reactions, suggesting that intuitive appraisal may well be perceived as causal attributions under certain circumstances. The findings are discussed in terms of the conditions under which attributions augment the emotion process and the importance of assessing perceptions of performance.

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Edward McAuley and Terry E. Duncan

Research suggests that attributional search is a consequence of disconfirming outcomes and that causal dimensions influence affective reactions to achievement outcomes. The present study manipulated future expectancies for performance and actual outcome in a competitive motor task. Following competitive outcome, causal attributions for and affective reactions to the outcome were assessed. Discriminant analysis indicated that winners experienced significantly more positive affect than did losers, who reported more intense negative affects. Regression analyses examined the relationship between causal dimensions and affective reactions. The locus of causality and stability dimensions significantly influenced a number of negative affects in losers, whereas all three dimensions in combination significantly influenced confidence in winners. The findings are discussed in relation to previous attribution-affect research in achievement settings and the role of disconfirm-ing experiences in the attribution process.

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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.

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Fuzhong Li, Edward McAuley, Peter Harmer, Terry E. Duncan and Nigel R. Chaumeton

The article describes a randomized, controlled trial conducted to examine the effects of a Tai Chi intervention program on perceptions of personal efficacy and exercise behavior in older adults. The sample comprised 94 low-active, healthy participants (mean age = 72.8 years. SD = 5.1) randomly assigned to either an experimental (Tai Chi) group or a wait-list control group. The study length was 6 months, with self-efficacy responses (barrier, performance efficacies) assessed at baseline, at Week 12, and at termination (Week 24) of the study. Exercise attendance was recorded as an outcome measure of exercise behavior. Random-effects models revealed that participants in the experimental group experienced significant improvements in self-efficacy over the course of the intervention. Subsequent repeated-measures ANOVA revealed that participants’ changes in efficacy were associated with higher levels of program attendance. The findings suggest that self-efficacy can be enhanced through Tai Chi and that the changes in self-efficacy are likely to improve exercise adherence.