This article looks at the Hollywood “blockbuster” movie The Blind Side (2009) to explore intersections of race, class, and gender in a significant neoliberal, cultural commodity. Animating the production and, apparently, the consumption of the film is the “inspiring” story of Michael Oher, an impoverished young African American man who was adopted by a wealthy white family and rose to success in the National Football League in the United States. The film mobilizes postracial and postfeminist discourses to tell a story of redemption and how private charity can overcome social problems that the state cannot. Ultimately, charity operates as a signifying act of whiteness that obscures the social relations of domination that not only make charity possible but also creates an urban underclass in need of charity.
Russell R. Pate, Stewart G. Trost, Marsha Dowda, Alise E. Ott, Dianne S. Ward, Ruth Saunders and Gwen Felton
This study examined the tracking of selected measures of physical activity, inactivity, and fitness in a cohort of rural youth. Students (N = 181, 54.7% female, 63.5% African American) completed test batteries during their fifth- (age = 10.7 ± 0.7 years), sixth-, and seventh-grade years. The Previous Day Physical Activity Recall (PDPAR) was used to assess 30-min blocks of vigorous physical activity (VPA), moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), TV watching and other sedentary activities, and estimated energy expenditure (EE). Fitness measures included the PWC 170 cycle ergometer test, strength tests, tnceps skinfold thickness, and BMI. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for VPA, MVPA, and after-school EE ranged from 0.63 to 0.78. ICCs ranged from 0.49 to 0.71 for measures of inactivity and from 0.78 to 0.82 for the fitness measures. These results indicate that measures of physical activity, inactivity, and physical fitness tend to track during the transition from elementary to middle school.
Candi D. Ashley, Joe F. Smith, James B. Robinson and Mark T. Richardson
The purpose of this study was to use the Eating Disorders Inventory-2 (EDI-2) to compare disordered eating pathology between female intercollegiate athletes and a control group of nonathletic subjects enrolled in an advanced program of study. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures revealed no significant difference (NSD) (p > .05) between any of the athletic groups or the control group on any EDI-2 subscale, and there was no significant difference between “lean” sports, other sports, and the control group. There was also NSD on EDI-2 subscale scores on the basis of age. African Americans had significantly lower scores on the Body Dissatisfaction and Impulse Regulation subscales than white Americans. Chi-square analysis revealed NSD between any groups in percentage of respondents scoring above anorexic norms. The results did not indicate a greater amount of disordered eating in female athletes compared to nonathlete controls.
Matthew P. Martens, Joanna Buscemi, Ashley E. Smith and James G. Murphy
Research has shown that many college students do not meet recommended national guidelines for physical activity. The objective of this pilot study was to examine the short-term efficacy of a brief motivational intervention (BMI) designed to increase physical activity.
Participants were 70 college students who reported low physical activity (83% women, 60% African American). Participants were randomly assigned to either the BMI condition or to an education-only (EO) condition. They completed measures of physical activity at baseline and 1-month follow-up.
Those in the BMI condition reported more vigorous-intensity physical activity at a 1-month follow-up than those in the EO condition.
The findings from this study provide preliminary support for the efficacy of a BMI designed to increase physical activity among college students. Future studies should continue to examine and refine the intervention in an effort to improve health-related behaviors among this group.
Paul M. Wright and Suzanne Burton
Underserved youth are at risk for numerous threats to their physical and psychological well-being. To navigate the challenges they face, they need a variety of positive life skills. This study systematically explored the implementation and short-term outcomes of a responsibility-based physical activity program that was integrated into an intact high school physical education class. Qualitative methods, drawing on multiple data sources, were used to evaluate a 20-lesson teaching personal and social responsibility (TPSR) program. Participants were 23 African American students in an urban high school. Five themes characterized the program: (a) establishing a relevant curriculum, (b) navigating barriers, (c) practicing life skills, (d) seeing the potential for transfer, and (e) creating a valued program. Findings extend the empirical literature related to TPSR and, more generally, physical activity programs designed to promote life skills. Implications for practitioners are discussed.
Anna E. Mathews, Sarah B. Laditka, James N. Laditka, Sara Wilcox, Sara J. Corwin, Rui Liu, Daniela B. Friedman, Rebecca Hunter, Winston Tseng and Rebecca G. Logsdon
This study identified perceived physical activity (PA) enablers and barriers among a racially/ethnically and geographically diverse group of older adults. Data were from 42 focus groups conducted with African Americans, American Indians, Latinos, Chinese, Vietnamese, and non-Hispanic Whites (hereafter Whites). Constant-comparison methods were used to analyze the data. Common barriers were health problems, fear of falling, and inconvenience. Common enablers were positive outcome expectations, social support, and PA program access. American Indians mentioned the built environment and lack of knowledge about PA as barriers and health benefits as an enabler more than participants in other groups. Whites and American Indians emphasized the importance of PA programs specifically designed for older adults. Findings suggest several ways to promote PA among older people, including developing exercise programs designed for older adults and health messages promoting existing places and programs older adults can use to engage in PA.
John B. Bartholomew, Alexandra Loukas, Esbelle M. Jowers and Shane Allua
Design and evaluation of physical activity interventions depends upon valid instruments to assess mediating processes. The Physical Activity Self-Efficacy Scale (PASES) has been used in a variety of forms within samples of African American and Caucasian children.
This study was designed to extend the statistical validity of the scores from the PASES by comparing 1 and 3-factor models and testing measurement invariance between Hispanic and Caucasian children. 883 fourth and fifth graders were recruited (mean age, 9.71 y; 48% female, 52% male; 67% Hispanic, 33% Caucasian). The factor structure was tested with confirmatory factor analysis, using two-group analyses to model ethnic differences.
The 17-item, 3-factor version of the PASES evidenced poor fit with the data. In contrast, an 8-item, 1-factor solution provided adequate fit for both samples.
The 8-item, 1-factor version of the PASES provides statistically valid scores for Hispanic and Caucasian children.
Pat António Goldsmith
This paper examines why African Americans and Whites participate in different high school sports at different rates. Considered are explanations based on family, neighborhood, and school inequality as well as explanations stemming from two race-relations theories (competition theory and the cultural division of labor perspective) that see racial differences in culture as a product of racialized norms that vary in strength across settings. Data from the NELS and the 1990 Census are analyzed by mixing multinomial logistic regression with multilevel models. Results indicate that racial differences in sports that Whites play more are largely the result of SES and neighborhood inequality. Differences in sports Blacks play more have strong race effects. Moreover, racial differences are larger in schools with proportionately more Blacks and in schools with more racial hierarchy, providing partial support for both race-relations theories.
Leslie A. Pruitt, Abby C. King, Eva Obarzanek, Michael Miller, Mary O’Toole, William L. Haskell, Laura Fast, Sheila Reynolds and for the Activity Counseling Trial Research Group
Physical activity recall (PAR) reliability was estimated in a three-site sample of African American and white adults. The sample was sedentary at baseline and more varied in physical activity 24 months later. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to estimate the number of PAR assessments necessary to obtain a reliability of 0.70 at both timepoints.
The PAR was administered ≤ 30 d apart at baseline (n = 547) and 24 months (n = 648). Energy expenditure ICC was calculated by race, gender, and age.
Baseline reliability was low for all groups with 4–16 PARs estimated to attain reliable data. ICCs at 24 months were similar (ICC = 0.54–0.55) for race and age group, with 2–3 PARs estimated to reach acceptable reliability. At 24 months, women were more reliable reporters than men.
Low sample variability in activity reduced reliability, highlighting the importance of evaluating diverse groups. Despite evaluating a sample with greater physical activity variability, an estimated 2–3 PARs were necessary to obtain acceptable reliability.
Karin Pfeiffer, Natalie Colabianchi, Marsha Dowda, Dwayne Porter, James Hibbert and Russell R. Pate
In adults, associations between church attendance and positive health behaviors exist; however, similar evidence among children and youth is lacking. The purposes of this investigation were to examine the associations between physical activity (PA) and church attendance, PA and use of church as a PA facility, and PA and proximity to churches among those who use church as a PA facility (while addressing racial and geographical differences).
High school girls (N = 915, age = 17.7 ± 0.6 years, 56% African American) completed the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall and surveys including demographics and use of PA facilities. Geographic Information Systems data were used to spatially examine the number of churches within a 0.75-mile street network buffer around girls’ homes. Associations were examined using mixed model analyses controlling for demographic factors.
For the overall sample, total METs (56 versus 52) and proportion of girls meeting PA guidelines (62% vs. 52%) were significantly higher in church attendees versus nonattendees. Among participants who used facilities, having more churches close to home was associated with more PA.
Church attendance and use are correlates of physical activity that should be further explored and addressed in future intervention research with adolescent girls.