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Harry J. Meeuwsen, Sinah L. Goode and Noreen L. Goggin

The purpose of this experiment was to replicate and extend earlier experiments used to investigate the effect of the motor response, experience with open skills, and gender on coincidence-anticipation timing accuracy. Fifteen males and fifteen females, who were all right-eye and right-hand dominant, performed a switch-press and a hitting coincident-anticipation timing task on a Bassin Anticipation Timing apparatus with stimulus speeds of 4 mph, 8 mph, and 12 mph. Level of experience with open skills was determined by a self-report questionnaire and vision was screened using the Biopter Vision Test. Experience with open skills explained some of the variable error data, possibly supporting a socio-cultural explanation of gender differences. Males performed with less variable and absolute error than females, while performance bias was different for the genders on the two tasks. All participants performed with less absolute error on the 8 mph stimulus speed. The type of task and stimulus speed affected performance variability differently. Based on the task characteristics and these data, it was concluded that optimal effector anticipation is more strongly linked to stimulus speed than receptor anticipation. Future studies will have to confirm this conclusion.

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Vicki Ebbeck, Patti Lou Watkins and Susan S. Levy

This study examined possible determinants of some of the health behaviors of larger women. Specifically, it was of interest to discern if affect (depression, social physique anxiety) mediated the relationship between self-conceptions (global self-worth, perceived physical appearance) and behavior (disordered eating, physical activity). The investigation was grounded in the model of self-worth forwarded by Harter (1987). A total of 71 overweight or obese women agreed to participate in the study. Data collection involved a researcher meeting individually with each of the participants to record physical assessments as well as responses to a packet of self-report questionnaires. A series of canonical correlation analyses were then conducted to test each of the three conditions for mediation effects outlined by Baron and Kenny (1986). Results suggested that indeed the set of self-conceptions indirectly influenced the set of behaviors via the set of affect variables. Surprisingly, however, involvement in physical activity failed to contribute to the multivariate relationships. The findings further our understanding of how self-conceptions are related to behavior and highlight the value of examining multiple health behaviors in parallel.

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James E. Curtis and Barry D. McPherson

This paper presents the results of a multivariate analysis of the relationship between region and the extent of participation in sport and physical activities, employing data from a large (N=20,000+) survey of a national sample of Canadian adults. The region-activity relationship is one that has been suggested also by some U.S. studies; that is, the farther west the respondent’s place of residence, the more likely he or she is to report high rates of physical activity. For the U.S. results, a convenient and common interpretation has been that the more favorable climate for outdoor activities in the westerly states leads to higher activity. This interpretation is not adequate for the Canadian findings, however, because of the harsher winter climate in the western provinces. Therefore, we explore some alternative theoretical interpretations of the Canadian results. These involve the effects of regional differences in three types of factors: sociodemographic composition, socioeconomic profiles, and opportunity structures. Because these factors are shown in our analyses to have only small effects upon the region-activity relationship, we also include some proposals for still further avenues of analysis and interpretation of the regional differences.

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Katherine M. Jamieson, Kaori Araki, Yong Chul Chung, Sun Yong Kwon, Lisa Riggioni and Victoria Acosta Musalem

Recently, a significant growth in immigrant populations has influenced the social, cultural, and political landscape of many local communities. Understanding such changes in U.S. and local demography are central to effective efforts toward reducing physical inactivity, and associated health risks and diseases. In part to document the ways that physical activity currently fits into particular women’s lives, and as critique of the essentialized notions of immigrant communities as deficient in their health standards, we set out to investigate just how physically active Latinas in local communities were. The research was guided by the following two questions: 1) What are the social conditions under which adolescent Latinas make choices about physical activity? 2) To what extent are adolescent Latinas involved in physical activity? Centering on these two questions we administered questionnaires that measured current physical activity involvement, and individual and family background factors. Survey data indicate that Latina physical activity scores increase when home and work related physical activity is included in a self-report measure.

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Ruth Ference and K. Denise Muth

The purpose of the study was to investigate how involvement in exercise and participation in team sports were related to the multidimension self-perceptions of middle school females. The study was conducted in 2 middle schools with 181 8th-grade females. Instruments used were the Physical Activity Survey and Harter’s Self-Perception Profile for Children. Results show that participation in team sports was related to four domains of self-perception: social acceptance, athletic competence, scholastic competence, and global self-worth. Informal exercise was related to social acceptance and global self-worth of middle school females. Therefore, it appears that both team sports and exercise may be important in enhancing self-concept in middle school females. Results also show that over half of middle school females in this study participated in three or more team sports during middle school. However, almost half of these students report exercising informally less than three times a week. These results support the increased opportunities of team sports for middle school females.

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Frank M. Howell, Andrew W. Miracle and C. Roger Rees

It has been reported that participation in high school athletics has a positive effect on education, occupational status attainment, and earnings. (Otto and Alwin, 1977; Howell and Picou, 1983). The findings regarding the economical benefits of sport participation have emerged from two regional panel studies and need to be examined for generalizability beyond local labor markets. We test this hypothesis using the five-wave Youth in Transition panel based on a national sample of 1,628 males. The respondents were surveyed repeatedly during their high school years (1966-69). They were followed-up 1 year posthigh school (1970) and again 5 years (1974) after graduation. Our results do not support the hypothesis. However, we suggest that the lack of supportive findings may be explained by the stage in the life cycle at which the follow-up was completed. That is, any economical payoff owing to participation in high school athletics is not an immediate return but may begin to accrue 10 or more years after graduation when career lines have begun to unfold. Another possibility is that the effect of high school sports participation on earnings may only occur for those also subsequently attending college. The implications of specific explanations of sport participation outcomes for the life course interpretation are discussed.

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Lynda B. Ransdell, Mary K. Dinger, Stacy Beske and Colleen Cooke

The purpose of this paper is to examine factors related to success in academic publishing for women in exercise science. Two trained investigators conducted hand searches of 7 prominent exercise science journals to ascertain the names of the most prolific women authors between 1991 and 1996. Seventeen (17) women, whose names will not be revealed (due to confidentiality), were identified. Following their identification, women were asked to submit a copy of their vita and complete a questionnaire related to scholarly productivity. Thirteen out of seventeen women agreed to participate in the study, yielding a response rate of 76%. Personal attributes that contributed most to their success in publishing were self-motivation, discipline, and perseverance. Situational or sociological factors mentioned were the availability of mentors, talented collaborators, and institutional or personal support. Some tips for maximizing productivity include having proper preparation and a narrow focus, and developing skills in writing, research design, and analysis. Women reported many gender-related barriers early in their careers, but these barriers faded with experience and reputation establishment. The two most frequent recommendations for ensuring successful collaborations with others were completing work in a timely fashion and being a team player. Sacrifices made for publishing included fewer social interactions and less time for leisure activities and vacations. With the exception of some barriers related to gender, our findings are in agreement with others who have examined correlates of productivity in mixed samples of men and women from a variety of fields.

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Cheryl Govero and Barbara A. Bushman

Athletes are at a high risk for eating disorders due to the pressures placed on them by themselves as well as coaches. The purposes of this study were (1) to determine the knowledge level of eating disorders among cross country coaches, (2) to determine their level of confidence in this knowledge, and (3) to determine reported sources of educational resources. Four schools were randomly selected from each NCAA Division I conference (return rate: 48%). A two-part questionnaire assessed sources of information and knowledge of eating disorders. Literature and sponsored programs were the two most common sources of information. For the 30 knowledge questions, coaches indicated their confidence level on a 4-item Likert-type scale. The knowledge of the majority of coaches was relatively high, and those with higher accuracy also had higher confidence. The confidence level and the percent of coaches answering each question correctly were significantly correlated, r=0.56 (p<0.01) but the confidence level and the percent answering incorrectly were not significantly correlated, r=0.24 (p=0.24). There were no significant differences in knowledge scores considering years of coaching (p=0.67) nor were there any significant differences in the scores between males and females (p=0.17). Although the cross country coaches were quite knowledgeable, additional ways to increase knowledge of eating disorders are needed.

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Monica A. Kunesh, Cynthia A. Hasbrook and Rebecca Lewthwaite

Premised on an interactive socialization as construction and internalization approach, physical activity socialization experiences related to peer interactions and associated affective responses in physical activity settings were explored among eight 11- to 12-year-old girls. Three possible physical activity choices (formal sport, informal physical activity, and exercise) were considered. Three methods of data collection were employed: observation, sociometric evaluation, and interview. Physical activity socialization experiences were found to be context specific both in terms of activity type (formal sport, informal physical activity, and exercise) and social situation (home and school). Boys in physical education classes appeared to be the major source of negative peer treatment, primarily by criticizing girls’ physical skill performances and constructing them as subordinate to those of the boys. Positive or negative affective responses to peer treatment were reported to lead to the seeking or avoidance of future physical activity involvement. The type of attributions participants made for the negative treatment they received was related to their affective responses and subsequent desire to seek or avoid future activity.

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Molly Burger and Dennis Dolny

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among body mass index (BMI), body image perception, physical activity habits, and exercise stage of change in college-aged females. Volunteers (N = 134) completed a survey of demographics, Stage of Exercise Scale (SOES; Cardinal, 1995a; Cardinal, 1995b), Physical Activity History questionnaire (PAH; Jacobs, Hahn, Haskell, Pirie, & Sidney, 1989), and Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ; Cooper, Taylor, Cooper, & Fairburn, 1987). Participants were categorized into five exercise stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Relationships between the variables were analyzed with Pearson r correlations. Kruskal-Wallis independence tests were also used for analyses. Approximately 60% of the participants reported current physical inactivity or irregular exercise. BMI and body image score were significantly linearly related, with higher body mass indicating more negative body image (r = 30, p <.017). Significant differences existed between exercise stages for physical activity score, X2 (3, N = 134) = 19.98, p <.05. Based upon follow-up tests participants in the maintenance stage had significantly higher physical activity scores than all other stages. No significant differences were found for BMI or body image between exercise stages. Regular exercisers had the highest frequency of disordered eating and weight-preoccupied attitudes and behaviors. The majority of these women were not currently regularly physically active, professed dissatisfaction with their current level of activity, and expressed a fear of being fat. Further study directed at specific factors related to body image and exercise behaviors, as well as the impact of stage-specific interventions are suggested.