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Larry Lauer, Daniel Gould, Nathan Roman and Marguerite Pierce

Junior tennis coaches commonly argue that parents must push their children and be very involved to develop their talent, despite the strain on the parent-child relationship that may occur from these tactics. To examine parental influence on talent development and the parent-child relationship, nine professional tennis players, eight parents, and eight coaches were retrospectively interviewed about each player’s junior development based Bloom’s three stages of talent development (1985). Results are presented through aggregated, nonfiction stories of three tennis development pathways: smooth, difficult, and turbulent. Smooth pathways were typical of parents who were supportive and maintained a healthy parent-child relationship while facilitating talent development. Difficult and turbulent pathways involved parents who stressed the importance of tennis and created pressure by pushing their child toward winning and talent development. For difficult pathways, parent-child relationships were negatively affected but conflicts were mostly resolved, whereas for turbulent pathways, many conflicts remained unresolved.

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Walter Gantz, Lawrence A. Wenner, Christina Carrico and Matthew Knorr

This paper describes the role of televised sports in married life. It documents how adults integrate televised sports into their relationship with their spouse and evaluate its impact on that relationship. Telephone interviews were conducted with 399 married adults residing in San Francisco and Indianapolis. Respondents were asked about their own TV sports viewing behaviors as well as those of their spouse. Televised sports appears to play a generally positive albeit small role in marital life. TV sports viewing often is a shared activity and does not appear to trigger many scheduling or TV viewing conflicts. And, when such conflicts occur, they appear to be resolved amicably and easily. It may be that accommodations for differing interests in TV sports are resolved early in a marital relationship, along with other accommodations that marriage often dictates.

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Daniel Balderson and Tom Sharpe

This study examined the effects of personal accountability and personal responsibility instructional treatments on elementary-age, urban, at-risk physical education students. A multiple treatment ABAD, ACAD, ADA, control behavior analysis design was implemented across four distinct matched class settings to determine the separate and combined treatment effects of each instructional treatment on the number of occurrences and percentage of class time for the following: teacher management, student leadership, passive and disruptive student off-task, positive social behavior, and student conflict and conflict resolution behaviors. Study participants included fourth- and fifth-grade students from four elementary classes in an inner-city charter-school setting. Results indicated that both personal accountability and personal responsibility treatments were effective in the primary treatment setting for changing all managerial, off-task, and positive social measures in desirable directions. Recommendations include analysis of the potential long-range and generalized effects of social-skill instruction for underserved children and youth conducted in the context of physical education classes.

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Jeroen B.J. Smeets, Leonie Oostwoud Wijdenes and Eli Brenner

We begin our response by clarifying the concept of detection, and explaining why this is needed for initiating, but not for adjusting a movement. We present a simulation to illustrate this difference. Several commentators referred to studies with results that might seem in conflict with our proposal that movement adjustments have short latencies because there is no need to detect anything. In the last part of our response, we discuss how we interpret these studies as being in line with our proposal.

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Jon C. Hellstedt

Coaches often have difficulty working with the parents of their athletes. Communication problems, conflict, and sometimes power struggles over who has control over the child’s training occasionally develop. Based on an integration of sport psychology and family systems theory, a model for understanding the coach / parent / athlete triangle is developed. Three types of parents are described: overinvolved, underinvolved, and moderately involved, as well as goals and strategies for working with each type of parent.

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Zoe Rebecca Knowles, Daniel Parnell, Gareth Stratton and Nicola Diane Ridgers

Background:

Qualitative research into the effect of school recess on children’s physical activity is currently limited. This study used a write and draw technique to explore children’s perceptions of physical activity opportunities during recess.

Methods:

299 children age 7−11 years from 3 primary schools were enlisted. Children were grouped into Years 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6 and completed a write and draw task focusing on likes and dislikes. Pen profiles were used to analyze the data.

Results:

Results indicated ‘likes’ focused on play, positive social interaction, and games across both age groups but showed an increasing dominance of games with an appreciation for being outdoors with age. ‘Dislikes’ focused on dysfunctional interactions linked with bullying, membership, equipment, and conflict for playground space. Football was a dominant feature across both age groups and ‘likes/dislikes’ that caused conflict and dominated the physically active games undertaken.

Conclusion:

Recess was important for the development of conflict management and social skills and contributed to physical activity engagement. The findings contradict suggestions that time spent in recess should be reduced because of behavioral issues.

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Damon Burton and Rainer Martens

Previous research concludes that athletes drop out of sport because of conflicts of interest, but these findings cannot clarify whether dropouts find other activities more appealing or turn to new activities because sport fails to meet their achievement needs. This investigation assessed dropout motives by testing explanations derived from Nicholls' (1984) motivational model and comparing them with traditional dropout questionnaire responses. Wrestling coaches, participants, participants' parents, dropouts, and dropouts' parents completed a 23-item dropout inventory; and participants and dropouts responded to questionnaire items testing Nicholls' task choice predictions. Dropout inventory responses confirmed previous conflict-of-interest findings. In data testing Nicholls' model, participants demonstrated significantly higher perceived ability, better won-loss records, more functional attributions, and more positive expectancies, and valued wrestling success more than dropouts did. These findings supported predictions that wrestlers change activities when continued participation threatens their perceived ability. Disagreement between the conclusions concerning why young athletes drop out of wrestling drawn from the conflict-of-interest explanation and from Nicholls' perceived ability model are discussed, and suggestions for reducing dropout rates are offered.

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Susan A. Jackson and Herbert W. Marsh

The purpose of this study was to examine relations between women's involvment in sports and three psychological constructs: role conflict, sex-role identification, and multidimensional self-concepts. The three groups comprised female powerlifters competing in a national championship (n = 30), high school female athletes (n = 46), and high school female nonathletes (n = 46). Role conflict was not substantial except for a few specific areas related to conflicting expectations of appropriate female and athlete behavior. Both athletic groups scored substantially higher on masculinity (M) and on self-concept of physical ability than the nonathletic group, but there were no group differences on femininity (F) and few substantial differences in other areas of self-concept. Hence the results provide further support for the construct validity of androgyny and for the multidimensionality of self-concept. The major findings, that female athletes can be more M without being less F, and that female athletic involvement has positive benefits without producing any loss in F or in self-concept, dispels a popular myth about women's involvement in sports.

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Maureen R. Weiss and Alan L. Smith

The purpose of this study was to examine age and gender differences in the quality of sport friendship, assess the relationship between friendship quality and motivation related variables, and obtain additional support for the validity of the Sport Friendship Quality Scale (SFQS; Weiss & Smith, 1999). Tennis players (N = 191, ages 10–18 years) completed the SFQS and other measures salient to the questions of the study. A MANOVA revealed that adolescent athletes ages 14–18 years rated loyalty and intimacy, things in common, and conflict higher than did younger players, ages 10–13 years, who in turn rated companionship and pleasant play higher. Girls rated self-esteem enhancement and supportiveness, loyalty and intimacy, and things in common higher than did boys, who rated conflict higher. Regression analysis indicated that companionship and pleasant play, conflict resolution, and things in common predicted higher tennis enjoyment and commitment. The collective findings—confirmation of the SFQS six-factor structure, relationships between sport friendship quality dimensions and peer acceptance, and relationships of sport friendship quality dimensions with Harter’s (1988) close friendship measure—support the validity of the SFQS.

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Galya Bigman, Vandita Rajesh, Laura M. Koehly, Larkin L. Strong, Abiodun O. Oluyomi, Sara S. Strom and Anna V. Wilkinson

Background:

Existing racial/ethnic disparities in physical activity during childhood increase Hispanics’ risk of developing chronic diseases, which serves to increase health disparities. This study examined associations of family cohesion and conflict with self-reported moderate-tovigorous physical activity (MVPA), controlling for psychosocial covariates such as subjective social status, anxiety, and sensation-seeking.

Methods:

1000 Mexican origin adolescents reported their MVPA levels approximately 2 years apart. Psychosocial covariates, family cohesion and conflict were measured at the first assessment. Generalized Linear Models were used to prospectively examine the relationship between family cohesion and conflict and subsequent MVPA based on 711 participants who had low levels of baseline MVPA.

Results:

35% of boys and 24% of girls reported adequate MVPA levels at follow-up; girls were less likely to report adequate MVPA (RR = 0.76; 95% CI: 0.61–0.93) than boys. Overall, family cohesion was associated with MVPA (P = .01), but family cohesion was not (P = .41). Gender-based analyses revealed that adequate MVPA was associated with family cohesion (RR = 1.40; 95% CI: 1.03–1.88), sensation seeking (RR = 1.05; 95% CI: 1.00–1.10), and age (RR = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.74–0.98) among girls and with subjective social status (RR = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.08–1.33) among boys.

Conclusions:

The family social environment and gender differences should be addressed in health promotion programs targeting MVPA.