As women age, society assigns stereotypes that suggest that older women are no longer capable of being competent athletes. In considering the experiences of older women in sport from a sociological perspective, this article provides a short summary of works examining older women in masters sport settings, as well as three brief case studies of older women engaged in sport and movement. As American women age, more of them will have experienced organized high school sport (after the passage of Title IX), suggesting that the experiences of older women in sport will take on new dimensions and meanings worthy of exploration.
Maureen M. Smith
Donna L. Goodwin, Joan Krohn and Arvid Kuhnle
This phenomenological case study sought to understand the wheelchair dance experiences of five children (ages 6-14 years) with spina bifida. The experiences of one boy and four girls were captured using the phenomenological methods of semistructured interviews, journals, visual artifacts, and field notes. The perspectives of their parents were also gathered. The dancer data and parent data were analyzed separately, revealing four common themes: unconditional acceptance, a dream comes true, beyond the wheelchair, and a stronger self. The experience of dancing from a wheelchair was interpreted and understood by reflecting upon the concepts of ableism, dualism, and the minded body.
Michael A. Hemphill and Tom Martinek
Many kinesiology departments engage in partnerships that aim to promote positive youth development through physical activity. These partnerships are often enhanced by mutually beneficial goals and shared decision making between university and community partners. This paper describes how sport has been at the center of two university-community partnerships that have helped to teach life skills to youth. We draw upon our experience working with community partners to illuminate challenges and opportunities for youth-focused partnerships. The programs include an emphasis on sustainability. As kinesiology programs continue to enhance their efforts to partner and support youth development, case studies such as this may help inform our efforts.
John Mahoney and Stephanie J. Hanrahan
The purpose of this study was to research the experiences of four injured athletes during their rehabilitation from ACL injuries and to examine the potential usefulness of an adapted ACT intervention in addressing individuals’ adherence to rehabilitation protocols and their general psychological well-being. We investigated the usefulness of a brief, 4-session ACT program adapted for educational purposes and presented data as case studies. The case studies suggested that (a) the injured athletes experienced a multitude of private events immediately following injury, throughout their recovery, and when approaching a full return to sport; (b) the injured athletes typically avoided these private events and engaged in emotion-driven behaviors; (c) an adapted ACT approach for educational purposes could be useful on at least a basic level to help injured athletes accept private events, commit to rehabilitation behaviors, and have some certainty about returning to sport; and (d) more could be done to address the needs of injured athletes beyond the structure of our 4-session educational intervention. We concluded that the ACT-based intervention, to a certain extent, educated injured athletes about how to meet the challenges of their recoveries and how to commit to their rehabilitations, as well as to exhibit behaviors that would potentially permit their successful reentries to sport.
Mary E. Rudisill
Over the past 35 years, institutions of higher education have been involved in strategic planning in an attempt to promote their priorities and remain competitive in challenging economic times. Efforts have been made to improve the process and effectiveness of strategic planning over those years. Although strategic planning can be effective, the plan must be created properly and also implemented in an effective manner. Since online learning has become an increasingly important revenue source for many institutions of higher education, as well as an alternative way to provide instruction to students, it is typically included within institutional strategic plans and prioritized for growth. Ensuring that faculty “buy-in” to this goal and strategic priorities requires significant faculty engagement. In this paper, options for implementation and ways to promote engagement are discussed within a case study of how Auburn University kinesiology faculty took part in educational transformation and innovation by connecting to the campus mission.
Roy J. Shephard
A quantitative hypothetico-deductive approach has continued to contribute greatly to advances in biological and medical science. Quantitative methods are adopted over other approaches primarily because they contribute the most new knowledge about biological processes. Nevertheless, investigators make many assumptions when testing a biological hypothesis quantitatively. These assumptions may become invalid unless experiments are designed with great care. Problems arise in relation to formulating appropriate hypotheses, using volunteer samples, controlling the experimental intervention and potentially interfering behaviors, reaching an acceptable level of proof, excluding alternative hypotheses, and generalizing findings beyond the immediate experimental sample. When biologists are aware of these issues, they can take appropriate countermeasures and reach valid conclusions. However, the issues become more critical and resolution is less clear-cut when the same methods are extended from biology to psychology and the social sciences, and from general to special populations. In such situations, case studies and single-subject designs may have continuing relevance.
Chris Button, Stuart Moyle and Keith Davids
There has been no direct attempt to evaluate whether gait performed overground and on a treadmill is the same for lower limb amputees. A multiple case study approach was adopted to explore the degenerate movement behavior displayed by three male amputees. Participants walked overground at a self-selected preferred pace and when this speed was enforced on a treadmill (50 stride cycles per condition). The extremities of motion (i.e., maximum flexion) for the hip and knee joints differed between conditions (0.2–3.8°). For two participants, the temporal asymmetry of gait was reduced on the treadmill. Initial data suggest that research on amputees simulating overground walking on a treadmill might need to be interpreted with some caution.
Brenda Rossow-Kimball and Donna Goodwin
This phenomenological case study examined the leisure experiences of five women with intellectual disabilities (ages 44–60) in two group homes. Using participant observation, artifacts, and semistructured interviews, the nature of the women’s leisure experiences were understood within the conceptual framework of self-determination. Five staff members were also interviewed to further contextualize the women’s leisure experiences. Thematic analysis revealed three main themes: leisure at home, leisure in the community, and leisure with family and friends. Leisure was experienced differently in each group home, largely due to staff-created input into leisure choices. In one group home, leisure was supervised; in the other, independent leisure was encouraged. The study highlights the importance of promoting self-determined leisure for those approaching retirement age.
Paul Keiper and Richard B. Kreider
Online education has become an increasingly popular means of delivering educational programs in health and kinesiology. It has helped departments meet increasing enrollment demands and provided additional resources that support students and faculty. A number of challenges, however, are associated with developing these types of programs. The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the issues that Texas A&M University has experienced in developing extensive online courses and distance education programs. The paper discusses methods and models employed to develop online and distance programs in health and kinesiology and provides a case study of some of the opportunities and challenges that the Sport Management Division experienced in developing an online master's program. Issues related to efficacy, management, funding, and student success are discussed. Health and kinesiology administrators should consider these issues as they look to develop or grow online course offerings in the discipline.
John V. Stokes and James K. Luiselli
Functional analysis (FA) is an experimental methodology for identifying the behavior-reinforcing effects of social and non-social consequences. The data produced from a FA are used to select intervention procedures. In this case study, we conducted a FA with a male high school football athlete by manipulating social contingencies within practice tackling drills. The FA suggested that the highest percentage of correct tackling occurred when the participant was able to “escape” interaction with the coach following drills. After demonstrating that the participant had a low percentage of correct tackling during a baseline (preintervention) phase, the coach provided him delayed written performance feedback after practice. This intervention was associated with a higher percentage of correct tackling. The participant also tackled proficiently during a postintervention in-game assessment. The advantages of conducting a FA when intervening with athletes are discussed.