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Päivi Lampinen and Riitta-Liisa Heikkinen

The purpose of this prospective study, which is part of the Finnish Evergreen project, was to study depressive symptoms and positive self-esteem in different physical activity categories among men and women aged 65 and over during an eight-year period. Only subjects (N=663) who participated in both the baseline (1988) and the follow-up (1996) interviews were selected for the analyses. Depressive symptoms and positive self-esteem were assessed using a modified version of Beck’s 13-item scale (RBDI; Raitasalo, 1995). The intensity of physical activity was assessed on a seven-point scale ranging from the performance of necessary chores only to competitive sports. In addition, lifelong physical exercise was assessed by two questions. Number of chronic diseases and marital status were obtained from the participants themselves. Gender, lifelong physical exercise, intensity of physical activity and chronic diseases were associated with depressive symptoms and self-esteem. Physically active men and women and lifelong exercisers reported fewer depressive symptoms than their sedentary counterparts both at baseline and follow-up. The self-esteem scores were fairly similar among both sexes in the different categories of physical activity in both study years. The most active women had higher self-esteem scores than the more sedentary ones. Based upon these results, physical activity and lifelong physical exercise may prevent depressive symptoms and maintain positive self-esteem in older age. Positive measures should therefore be taken to support regular physical activity among older men and women.

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Megan M. Buning

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between coach expectations, female athletes’ perceptions of coach behavior, and motivation to play softball, and to observe changes in perceptions of behavior and motivation by expectancy group. Self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000) was used as a guide. Participants were randomly selected from Division I softball teams competing in the United States (n = 20). Head coaches (n = 20) completed evaluations rating expectations of athletes’ performance ability, and athletes (n = 148) self-reported motivation and perceived coaching behaviors pre- and post-study. Cluster analysis distinguished between three expectancy groups based from coach expectation ratings: High, low, and average. Pearson’s r revealed weak relationships between coach expectancy ratings, perceived coaching behaviors, and motivation. Split-plot analysis of variance tests revealed expectancy groups perceived behaviors differently and were motivated differently. Low expectancy athletes perceived more non-rewarding behaviors, less positive behaviors, and were more non-self-determined to play softball. Overall, coaches were perceived as mostly positive.

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Nancy C. Rich

There are an abundant number of published studies in which the authors state that post-pubertal men are stronger, faster and more powerful and therefore more proficient than women in many motor skills. The topics of strength and neuromuscular response time are phenomena that have been used in the past as bases for the rationalization that women do not have the physical characteristics that are essential requirements for front-line work as soldiers, firepersons, police officers and construction workers, and also that they are not as proficient as men in other occupations. This paper is a review of physiological and performance data that have contributed to our knowledge base in the areas of strength and neuromuscular response times of women. In addition, data regarding the deterioration of these parameters that occur with aging and the potential determent of this deterioration as a consequence of a lifetime of activity will be considered. Finally, a suggestion will be made that female and male data should be analyzed and reported in ways that eliminate genetic characteristics which bias the data.

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Cara L. Sidman, Jennifer L. Huberty and Yong Gao

This study has two purposes: (1) to observe the step-count patterns of adult women who participated in an eight-month healthy lifestyle-based book club intervention and (2) to describe step-count patterns across seasons and body mass index (BMI) categories. Sixty-two participants (mean age ± SD = 53 ± 9, 92% Caucasians) had complete pedometer data, which was used for data analysis. After weekly, hour-long, discussion-based meetings during months one through four, and bi-monthly meetings during months five through eight, women increased their step counts by 26%. Significant step-count differences were observed among seasons (p < .05), and from pre- to post-intervention (p < .05), with the lowest steps being reported in the fall and the highest in the spring. Women in the obese category continued to increase steps during the winter, while the healthy-weight group decreased steps. There was a significant correlation between the average steps taken during the intervention and changes in BMI from pre- to post-intervention (r = −.26, p < .05). Overall, positive step-count pattern observations were found among adult women participating in a healthy lifestyle-based intervention.

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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.

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Daniel G. Renfrow, Terrence L. Wissick and Christopher M. Guard

Drawing on 251 incident reports, this study explores American football fans’ decisions to rush the field to celebrate a victory despite pleas from university officials and the police to abstain. We explore the symbolic interactions through which students defined this situation and acted within it. Our findings characterize this event as series of ongoing interactions wherein meaning and action are continually (re)negotiated. Campus rumors normalized the act of rushing by locating it and the student role within local tradition. Through interactions with other students in the stadium and by drawing on knowledge of prior sports tragedies, fans assessed the risks of participating and selected among lines of action ranging from “going to be with others” and “getting out of the way” to “going with the flow.” Ultimately, however, public address announcements, the loss of bodily control, and the inability to direct other people’s actions aligned competing definitions of the situation into one of emergency. We conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.

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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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Anita Wyznikiewicz-Nawracala

The reasons for reported low sport activity of Polish women usually have been explained by too many responsibilities at work outside the home and at home. Yet, with the introduction of aerobics into Poland women apparently have had to overcome these hindrances. Other factors are assumed to be decisive reasons for physically active women in their mature years rather than the reasons which, up to now, were accepted as facts.

The purpose of this study was to identify the factors differentiating women who are active in sport and women who are not interested in sport but take care of their body spending holidays at spas.

The investigation was based on an interview, including a questionnaire to evaluate opinions on health and feelings. The questionnaire consisted of the following areas: personal data, occupation, level of education, health problems and sport activities practiced in youth.

There are many factors related to why women are physically active, but the main influence comes from how active they were in their younger years. The financial status and lack of time only make a difference with respect to what kind of sport is practiced; it does not affect whether or not a sport is practiced.

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Jacqueline G. Haslett

The purpose of this paper is to give historical insight into the progressive thinking of nineteenth century American philanthropist, Mary Hemenway (1820-1894), and why she was interested and believed in physical education for females. Also interesting is how her integrated thinking is compatible with the thinking in present-day education reform

The presentation of the findings will include a brief background of Mrs. Hemenway’s family life, and a brief description of her philanthropic contributions and activities. These include: 1) public education in America, particularly female education, 2) physical education and home economics education, 3) Native-American research, and 4) other significant issues and philanthropic activities in American education. The major focus will be her contributions to physical education and her founding of the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics, and influences that persuaded her interests in these pursuits.

The sources used include early normal school catalogues, minutes of meetings, course syllabi and lecture synopses, written papers, early and recent bulletins, personal correspondences, government reports, college documents, pamphlets, memorial pamphlet, one new and several old books, and old newspaper clippings and professional journals.

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Kathleen E. Miller, Michael P. Farrell, Donald F. Sabo, Grace M. Barnes and Merrill J. Melnick

In this paper, we examine the relationships among athletic participation and sexual behavior, contraceptive use, and pregnancy in female and male high school students. Analyses of covariance and multiple analyses of covariance were performed on a nationally representative sample of 8,979 high school students (the 1995 Youth Risk Behavior Survey). After controlling for race and ethnicity, age, and mother’s education, girls who participated in sports had lower rates of sexual experience, fewer sex partners, later age of first intercourse, higher rates of contraceptive use, and lower rates of past pregnancy than girls who did not participate. Male high school athletes reported higher rates of sexual experience and more partners than nonathletes, but—like their female counterparts—were also more likely to have used birth control during their most recent intercourse. Cultural resource theory suggests that athletic participation may reduce girls’ adherence to conventional cultural scripts while providing them with additional social and personal resources on which to draw in the sexual bargaining process. Sports provides boys with similar resources while strengthening their commitment to traditional masculine scripts.