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Marios Goudas, Stuart Biddle, Kenneth Fox and Martin Underwood

The purpose of this study was to examine the motivational effects of two different teaching styles in one sport activity. One class of 24 girls was taught track and field for 10 weeks, each lesson being taught with either a direct (practice) or a differentiated (inclusion) teaching style. After each lesson the girls completed self-report measures of intrinsic motivation and goal involvement. On course completion, 8 girls were interviewed to assess their reactions to the course. ANOVA showed that students reporting higher levels of competence, autonomy, and task orientation had higher intrinsic motivation scores throughout the course. However, teaching style was also found to have an independent effect; the differentiated style was associated with higher levels of intrinsic motivation and task goal involvement and lower levels of work avoidance involvement. A differentiated teaching style can positively influence young girls’ reactions to a sports activity independently of perceptions of goal orientations, autonomy, and competence.

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Keith R. Johnston, Donna L. Goodwin and Jennifer Leo

Dignity, as an essential quality of being human, has been overlooked in exercise contexts. The aim of this interpretative phenomenological study was to understand the meaning of dignity and its importance to exercise participation. The experiences of 21 adults (11 women and 10 men) from 19 to 65 yr of age who experience disability, who attended a specialized community exercise facility, were gathered using the methods of focus-group and one-on-one interviews, visual images, and field notes. The thematic analysis revealed 4 themes: the comfort of feeling welcome, perceptions of otherness, negotiating public spaces, and lost autonomy. Dignity was subjectively understood and nurtured through the respect of others. Indignities occurred when enacted social and cultural norms brought dignity to consciousness through humiliation or removal of autonomy. The specialized exercise environment promoted self-worth and positive self-beliefs through shared life experiences and a norm of respect.

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Katherine R. Newsham

Performance enhancement is a multibillion dollar industry, with little known about the efficacy or safety of many practices. Many sport governing bodies have banned certain equipment, supplements, and drugs, yet, some athletes use anyway. This use may pose a danger to the individual user, as well as to other participants, and can challenge the integrity of the sport. We must consider how we, as health care professionals, balance personal autonomy, individual safety, and the integrity of sport in fulfilling our social contract.

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Frederick S. Daniels and Daniel M. Landers

This study investigated heart rate (HE) and respiration functioning during rifle shooting to test hypotheses derived from Schwartz's (1979) systems and disregulation theory, and to compare biofeedback with verbal instruction in developing awareness and control of autonomic patterns. Male subjects (N = 8) were pretested to determine HE and respiration patterns affecting performance. They were then divided into two equal groups and given either auditory biofeedback or verbal instruction. The auditory-biofeedback group received continuous pattern feedback through earphones while the verbal instruction group received only presession instruction without feedback. Each group trained for five sessions of 40 shots each. Following training, two 40-shot sessions were conducted. A scaled interview was administered pre- and posttraining to determine awareness/control of autonomic functioning. Compared to the verbal instruction group, the results showed that the biofeedback group significantly improved performance and consistency of the desired pattern and had significantly greater awareness/control of the autonomic pattern. The results supported the systems and disregulation theory as well as the viability of biofeedback for altering imbalances within the systems.

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Deborah L. Feltz

This investigation contrasted path analysis models for 40 males and 40 females based on the predictions of Feltz's (1982) respecification model of Ban-dura' s (1977) self-efficacy theory in the approach/avoidance of two trials of a modified back dive. The hypothesized (respecified) model proposed that previous related experiences, self-efficacy, and heart rate predicted initial back-diving performance and that previous performance and self-efficacy predicted subsequent performance. The hypothesized model also proposed that self-efficacy mediates the influence of autonomic perception of arousal on performance. Results indicated that males had lower state anxiety and autonomic perception scores than females on the first trial. No differences occurred for back-diving performance, self-efficacy, or heart rate. Path analysis results indicated that the hypothesized model fit the data better for females than for males, though it left much unexplained variance for both males and females. Females showed a reciprocal relationship between self-efficacy and performance, whereas males showed a reciprocal relationship between autonomic perception and heart rate. Previous performance and self-efficacy were strong predictors of subsequent performance for both males and females.

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Kaisu Marjut Kaikkonen, Raija irmeli Korpelainen, Mikko P. Tulppo, Hannu Sakari Kaikkonen, Marja Liisa Vanhala, Mika Antero Kallio, Sirkka M. Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi and Juha Tapani Korpelainen

Background:

Autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction and obesity are intrinsically related to each other. In normal-weight subjects physical activity (PA) and fitness are related to cardiovascular autonomic regulation, providing evidence that aerobic training may improve ANS functioning measured by heart rate variability (HRV). The goal of this study was to investigate the association between lifetime PA, aerobic fitness and HRV in obese adults.

Methods:

Participants included 107 (87 females) volunteers (mean age 44.5 years, median BMI 35.7) who completed health and lifestyle questionnaires and measurements of maximal aerobic performance, anthropometry and 24 h HRV.

Results:

In the multivariate linear regression analyses, lifetime physical activity explained 40% of the variance in normal R-R intervals (SDNN). Each 1-category increase in the activity index increased SDNN by 15.4 (P = .009) and 24% of the variance in natural logarithmic value of ultra-low frequency power (P = .050). High measured VO2max explained 45% of the variance in natural logarithmic value of high-frequency power (P = .009) and 25% of the variance in low frequency/high frequency ratio (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Lifetime physical activity and aerobic fitness may reduce obesity-related health risks by improving the cardiac autonomic function measured by HRV in obese workingage subjects. This research supports the role of lifetime physical activity in weight management strategies and interventions to reduce obesity-related health risks.

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Tristan L. Wallhead and Nikos Ntoumanis

This study looked at the influence of a Sport Education intervention program on students’ motivational responses in a high school physical education setting. Two intact groups were assigned curricular interventions: the Sport Education group (n = 25), which received eight 60-min lessons, and the comparison group (n = 26), which received a traditional teaching approach to sport-based activity. Pre- and postintervention measures of student enjoyment, perceived effort, perceived competence, goal orientations, perceived motivational climate, and perceived autonomy were obtained for both groups. Repeated-measures ANOVAs showed significant increases in student enjoyment and perceived effort in the Sport Education group only. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that increases in task-involving climate and perceived autonomy explained a significant amount of unique variance in the Sport Education students’ postintervention enjoyment, perceived effort, and perceived competence responses. The results suggest that the Sport Education curriculum may increase perceptions of a task-involving climate and perceived autonomy, and in so doing, enhance the motivation of high school students toward physical education.

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Tao Zhang, Melinda A. Solmon and Xiangli Gu

Examining how teachers’ beliefs and behaviors predict students’ motivation and achievement outcomes in physical education is an area of increasing research interest. Guided by the expectancy-value model and self-determination theory, the major purpose of this study was to examine the predictive strength of teachers’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness support toward students’ expectancy-related beliefs, subjective task values, concentration, and persistence/effort in physical education. Participants were 273 middle school students (143 girls, 130 boys) enrolled in a southeastern suburban public school. They completed previously validated questionnaires assessing their perceived teachers’ support for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, expectancy-related beliefs, subjective task values, concentration, and self-reported persistence/effort during their regular classes. The results highlight the importance of teachers’ competence support and autonomy support in fostering students’ motivational constructs and achievement outcomes in physical education. The findings demonstrate that a supportive environment and high levels of expectancy-related beliefs and subjective task values are positively associated with students’ achievement outcomes in physical education.

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David V.B. James, Linda J. Reynolds and Sara Maldonado-Martin

Background:

Heart rate variability (HRV) has been promoted as a noninvasive method of evaluating autonomic influence on cardiac rhythm. Although female subjects predominate in the walking studies, no study to date has examined the influence of the duration of a moderate intensity walking physical activity bout on HRV in this population.

Methods:

Twelve healthy physically active middle-aged women undertook 2 conditions; 20min (W20) and 60min (W60) bouts of walking on a treadmill. Resting HRV measures were obtained before (−1 h), and 1 h and 24 h after the walking bouts.

Results:

Mean NN interval (ie, normal-to-normal intervals between adjacent QRS complexes) was significantly lower (P = .017) at +1 h in W60 (832, 686−979ms) compared with W20 (889, 732−1046ms). A borderline main effect for time was observed for both the SDNN intervals in W60 (P = .056), and for low frequency (LFabs) power in W60 (P = .047), with post hoc tests revealing a significant increase between −1 h (51, 33−69 ms and 847, 461−1556 ms2) and +1 h (65, 34−97ms and 1316, 569−3042 ms2) for SDNN and LFabs power, respectively, but no increase at +24h compared with −1 h.

Conclusions:

It appears that a walking bout of 60 min duration does alter cardiac autonomic influence in healthy active women, and this alteration is not evident after 20 min of walking. Given the rather subtle effect, further studies with larger sample sizes are required to explore the nature of the changes in cardiac autonomic influence following a prolonged bout of walking.

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Sarah H. Whitehead, Stuart J.H. Biddle, Toni M. O’Donovan and Mary E. Nevill

Few studies have addressed factors influencing Scottish adolescent girls’ participation in physical activity (PA). Participants (N = 352) aged 11 to 16 years completed surveys measuring PA participation and potential social-psychological and physical-environmental correlates. Data were analyzed separately by two age groups (11-13 and 14-16 years). For younger girls, mother’s participation, perceived importance, and home equipment use were higher among those higher in PA. For older girls, perceived importance, home equipment use, neighborhood perceptions, and use and enjoyment of local facilities were higher among girls higher in PA. It seems that older girls place less importance on significant others and move toward autonomy away from the home.