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Vicki Ebbeck

This study examined the sources of information used by adult exercisers to judge performance. Of particular interest was the investigation of gender differences. Subjects, 271 adults (174 males, 97 females) who were enrolled in a university weight training program, completed a questionnaire designed to evaluate the importance of 12 information sources in judging weight training performance: instructor feedback, student feedback, student comparison, changes noticed outside the gym, personal attraction toward the activity, degree of perceived effort exerted in the workout, performance in workout, feedback from others not in the class, goal setting, muscle development, workout improvement over time, and ease in learning new skills. Results revealed a significant discriminant function analysis for gender, with six information sources entering the stepwise procedure: goal setting, student feedback, learning, effort, improvement, and changes noticed outside the gym differentiated the gender groups. Males relied more than females on student feedback as an information source to judge performance. Alternatively, females used effort, goal setting, improvement, and learning as information sources more than males.

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Diane E. Whaley and Vicki Ebbeck

This study used a qualitative, feminist perspective to examine issues pertaining to exercise constraints among older adults. Participants were 8 male and 9 female older adults (mean age = 76.7) who chose not to engage in structured exercise classes. Twenty-six self-identified constraints were elicited (mean = four per person). Additionally, four constraints per person from previous research were selected. The most frequently cited self-reported constraints were “get enough exercise elsewhere,” health-related items, and issues related to time. From the constraints most frequently cited in past studies, inconvenience, time, and type of activity were selected most often. Gender differences were apparent in the constraints chosen as well as reasons why a particular constraint inhibited or prohibited activity. Specific suggestions for strategies included having programs with a purpose, building in flexibility, and encouraging men to participate. The influence of gender is explored, especially how expanding our understanding of gender issues might improve program planning.

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Diane E. Whaley and Vicki Ebbeck

One's sense of self over time, or identity, is an important component of well-being. Schemata formed from components of identity, such as an exerciser schema, have been associated with behaviors that promote physical activity. This study explored the process of exercise-identity formation in active older adults, questioned whether or not the term exerciser was a meaningful descriptor for their behavior, and examined whether self-views were mediated by perceptions of aging. Thirteen older adults (66–90 years) were interviewed. Results supported the contention that identity formation is a purposeful activity. Participants were more likely to ascribe alternative labels to their exercise behavior, and what it meant to be “old” mediated their perceptions of exercise. Results are discussed with regard to implications for interventions.

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Rebecca Y. Concepcion and Vicki Ebbeck

The purpose of this study was to examine the physical activity experiences of survivors of domestic violence in relation to how they view themselves and their circumstances. The participants were 7 women who had been in abusive relationships. They were given access to an exercise facility and participated in 1 to 4 interviews regarding abuse history, physical activity levels, self-view, and emotional status. Qualitative analysis revealed that physical activity gave women a sense of accomplishment and improved their mental and emotional status, gave them hope and healing, a sense of being “normal,” of working toward a future self, and freedom. These findings support the consideration of physical activity participation for survivors of domestic abuse.

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Vicki Ebbeck and Maureen R. Weiss

Two issues regarding the arousal-performance relationship in sport were addressed in this study: the relationship between task complexity, optimal arousal, and maximal performance, and the appropriateness of using various measures of performance. Data were collected from high school athletes (n=51) across four track and field meets. State anxiety was obtained prior to each performance and three performance measures were obtained (event results, and quality of performance evaluated by the athlete and by the coach). Results indicated that the three performance measures were not equally related to A-state, suggesting that the relationship between arousal and performance results in a different description depending upon the performance measure that is used. Furthermore, degree of task complexity could not be distinguished across various track and field events. When individual events were used to examine the arousal-performance/task complexity relationship, results revealed that level of A-state needed for maximal performance could not be differentiated for specific events, nor could it be determined for above average, average, or below average performances on any one event.

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Vicki Ebbeck and Moira E. Stuart

The present study examined perceived competence, individual importance (what is important to the individual), and group importance (what is perceived to be important to the group) as determinants of self-esteem. The sample consisted of 100 male football players ranging in age from 11 to 14 years. A questionnaire containing items that assessed the central constructs was administered to the players during a team practice near the end of a 7-week competitive season. Self-esteem was the dependent variable, with perceived competence, individual importance, and group importance entered as the set of predictor variables in a non-stepwise multiple regression analysis. Results revealed that the set of predictor variables accounted for 47% of the variance in self-esteem. Both perceived competence and individual importance contributed significantly to explaining self-esteem, although perceived competence was the strongest predictor. The findings of this study are discussed in terms of how the values of significant others might influence the development of self-esteem.

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Moira E. Stuart and Vicki Ebbeck

The present study examined the influence of perceived social approval on moral development in youth sport. The sample consisted of 249 youth basketball players ranging in age from 9 to 15 years. A questionnaire was administered to the players during a team practice session near the end of a 10-week competitive season. Perceptions of significant other (mother, father, coach, teammates) approval of antisocial behavior served as the predictor variables; moral development components (judgment, reason, intent, behavior) served as the criterion variables. Canonical correlation analyses revealed significant overall relationships for both younger children (Grades 4 and 5) and adolescents (Grades 7 and 8). For younger children, lower perceptions of social approval were associated with a higher ability to judge a situation as a moral problem and the intent to exhibit moral behavior. For adolescents, perceived social approval was inversely related to reason, prosocial behavior, and particularly the judgment of a moral problem and the intent to exhibit moral behavior. These findings are discussed in terms of the importance of continuing to understand the influence of significant others on moral development in youth sport.

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Vicki Ebbeck and Moira E. Stuart

This investigation examined the extent to which perceptions of competence and importance predicted self-esteem. Players (N = 214) from three grade levels (3–4, 5–6, 7–8) completed questionnaires that assessed perceived basketball competence, as well as each player’s perception of how important it was to himself, his parents, his coach, and his team to be good at basketball. Three nonstepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that the set of predictor variables accounted for 20–28% of the variance in self-esteem across grade levels. The individual predictor variables significantly related to self-esteem were perceived competence and perceived parent importance for Grades 3–4, perceived competence for Grades 5–6, and perceived competence and perceived team importance for Grades 7–8. Perceived competence, however, consistently contributed most substantively to the prediction of self-esteem. These findings are discussed in relation to earlier studies and existing conceptual frameworks.

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Sandra L. Gibbons and Vicki Ebbeck

This study examined the effectiveness of social learning (SL) or structural developmental (SD) teaching strategies on the moral development of elementary-age students. Participants were 204 physical education students in Grades 4,5, and 6; three classrooms in each grade were randomly assigned to control, SL, or SD groups. Self-report measures assessed moral judgment, reason, and intention; teachers rated prosocial behavior. By mid- and postintervention class-level analyses, the SL and SD groups scored significantly higher than the control on moral judgment and/or intention; by postintervention, the SD group was significantly higher on moral reason. Mid- and postintervention student-level analyses showed that the SL and SD groups scored significantly higher on moral judgment, intention, and behavior; the SD group was significantly higher on moral reason. These results provide support for the effectiveness of both social learning and structural-developmental teaching strategies on the moral development of children in physical education.

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Vicki Ebbeck and Maureen R. Weiss

The present study examined perceived sport competence and affect experienced in sport as possible determinants of children’s levels of self-esteem. The sample consisted of 183 summer sport program participants ranging in age from 8 to 13 years. The children completed self-report questionnaires that assessed the constructs of interest. Hypothesized relationships among the constructs were then examined using structural equation modeling techniques. The results revealed that both structural models tested provided an adequate fit with the sample data. For the affect mediator model, perceived competence significantly influenced positive affect and to a lesser degree negative affect, while only positive affect influenced self-esteem. For the perceived competence mediator model, only positive affect significantly influenced perceived competence, which in turn significantly influenced self-esteem. Thus, higher scores on perceived competence and positive affect were associated with higher scores in children’s self-esteem.