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Riley Galloway, Robert Booker and Scott Owens

and racial differences within each opportunity. Table 2 Average Minutes of MVPA and Sedentary Time by School School n SES Class size Recess/day PE/day MI/day MVPA/day Sedentary/day 1 15 Low 15 19.13 ± 3.27 12.73 ± 2.15 2.13 ± 0.35 15.31 ± 6.53 275.03 ± 18.82 2 20 Low 20 12.85 ± 2.01 8.55 ± 1.28 0

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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.

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Rebecca E. Hasson, Kirsten E. Granados, David Xavier Marquez, Gary Bennett, Patty Freedson and Barry Braun


Racial differences in psychological determinants of exercise exist between non-Hispanic blacks (blacks) and non-Hispanic whites (whites). To date, no study has examined racial differences in the psychological responses during and after exercise. The objective of this study was to compare psychological outcomes of single exercise bouts in blacks and whites.


On 3 separate occasions, sedentary black (n = 16) and white (n = 14) participants walked on a treadmill at 75%max HR for 75 minutes. Questionnaires assessing mood, state anxiety, and exercise task self-efficacy were administered before and after each exercise bout. In-task mood and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured every 5 minutes during exercise.


Exercise self-efficacy and psychological distress significantly improved in both blacks and whites. However during exercise blacks reported more positive in-task mood and lower RPE compared with whites.


These data suggest that racial differences exist in psychological responses during exercise. Further research should confirm these findings in a larger, free-living population.

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John George

Over the past 30 years almost all world-class United States sprinters have been black. There were also many fast black sprinters in the United States before the 1960s, but in addition there were a considerable number of world-class white sprinters. In fact, during the 1940s and 1950s the fastest men were white. This was not the case during the 1930s, when the best male sprinters were black. This essay discusses the phenomenon and attempts to give reasons for it. Sociological explanations seem considerably more plausible than physical characteristics based on perceived racial differences.

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Laura Azzarito and Melinda A. Solmon

Recently, national studies have reported on young people’s low level of participation in physical activity. Because the effect of gender and racial differences among youth participating in physical activity have not been sufficiently addressed, examining the social construction of the body in physical education can provide valuable insights. This study uses poststructuralism as a lens to investigate how students’ construction of meanings around the body varied by gender and race, and how bodily meanings related to students’ participation in physical education classes. The participants were 528 students from public high schools. An instrument was used to assess students’ racial and gendered construction of bodily meanings around specific discursive constructs. Results indicated that students’ meanings differ by race and gender, especially in regard to size, power, muscularity, and appearance. These findings suggest that bodily meanings were influential in students’ self-reported levels of participation in physical education classes.

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Norris R. Johnson

This paper describes an instrument developed and used with an experimental methodology in a pilot study of stacking in football and baseball. The instrument was a positional profile purporting to represent an evaluation of young athletes on a number of position-relevant traits. Respondents were asked to assign each player to a position solely on the basis of this written evaluation. The race of the profiled player was systematically varied in order to measure the impact of race on positional assignment. Preliminary results showed that coaches achieve a high degree of consensus when making assignments on the basis of the written evaluations alone, and players who have been identified as white are significantly more likely to be assigned to the quarterback position than are players identified as black. No other evidence of racial differences in positional assignment was indicated.

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John R. Sirard, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Marsha Dowda and Russell R. Pate

The purpose of this study was to identify racial differences in physical activity (PA), fitness, and BMI in female 8th-grade sports participants and nonparticipants. Girls from 31 South Carolina middle schools (N = 1,903, 48% White; mean age = 13.6 ± 0.63) reported PA and previous year sports-team participation, completed a submaximal fitness test, and had height and weight measured. Sports team participation was positively associated with PA and negatively associated with television viewing and BMI, in a dose-response manner. Compared with Whites, African-Americans reported less PA and more television viewing, and had greater BMI scores. Whereas PA intervention programs that incorporate a sports-team component could benefit all girls, African-American girls could be specifically targeted because of their lower physical activity.

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Joan L. Duda and Maria T. Allison

The-role of race and ethnicity in explaining variability in human behavior has long been considered in the anthropological and sociological studies of play, games, and sport. This paper suggests ways in which the field of sport and exercise psychology might more systematically begin to incorporate factors of race and ethnicity into its research agendas. The paper is divided into four major sections. The first section provides evidence of a dearth of such research in the field of sport and exercise psychology. The second section presents an overview of current work that highlights ethnic/racial differences in motor performance, physical activity levels, and recreational sport participation. The third section explores the theoretical relevance of comparative research on ethnic/racial similarities and differences in psychological processes and behavior. Finally, potential research methodologies that might be used in psychological research in sport and exercise contexts are presented. Implications for both basic and applied work are offered.

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Mary H. Slaughter, Constance B. Christ, Rachel J. Stillman, Timothy G. Lohman and Richard A. Boileau

This study was designed to determine the association of selected circumferences with height among black and white, male and female, prepubescent and postpubescent children. Volunteers (N = 232) were grouped according to gender, race, and maturation level. Regression of the logs of the circumferences on the log of height revealed regression coefficients ranging from .74 to 1.3, except for the upper arm circumference (1.7), thus confirming the theoretical expectation of a linear relationship between circumference and height. Within-gender relationships of each circumference with height were determined using regression analysis. In general the prepubescent circumferences deviated below the within-gender line while the postpubescent circumferences typically deviated above it; however, there were exceptions in both sexes. Moreover, the racial differences in the circumference deviation scores were not consistent within either the male or female samples. The consideration of gender, race, and maturation is important in determining the association of circumference with height. The use of circumferences adjusted for height can be useful in studying muscle development in children.

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Cynthia A. Hasbrook

This study proposed and tested a theoretical explanation of how social class background influences sport participation. Two theoretical constructs of social class were operationalized within the context of sport participation and tested to determine how well they explained the social class-sport participation link: life chances/economic opportunity set (the distribution of material goods and services), and life-styles/social psychological opportunity set (values, beliefs, and practices). Life chances consisted of the availability and usage of sport equipment, facilities or club memberships, and instruction. Life-styles consisted of selected parental achievement and gender role expectations that encourage, fail to encourage, or discourage sport participation. Social class background was determined by father’s occupation as ranked in the Duncan Socioeconomic Index. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to a stratified random sample of high school students, with some questionnaires eliminated to control for cultural and/or racial differences and variation in parental influence. The construct validity of the instrument was supported by factor analytic results. The test-retest reliability of the questionnaire was r = .956. Partial correlation analyses revealed that while individual life chances/economic opportunity set variables explained a greater portion of the relationship between sport participation and social class background than did the individual variables of life-styles/social psychological opportunity set, a combination of all three economic opportunity set variables and two social-psychological opportunity set variables accounted for more than 50% of the relationship between sport and class.