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Lucy McPhate, Emily M. Simek, Terry P. Haines, Keith D. Hill, Caroline F. Finch and Lesley Day

Background:

Group exercise has been shown to be effective in preventing falls; however, adherence to these interventions is often poor. Older adults’ preferences for how these programs can be delivered are unknown.

Objective:

To identify older people’s preferences for how group exercise programs for falls prevention can be delivered.

Design:

A two-wave, cross-sectional, state-wide telephone survey was undertaken. Respondents were community-dwelling men and women aged 70+ in Victoria, Australia.

Methods:

Open-ended questions were asked to elicit information regarding respondent preferences of the program, which were analyzed using a framework approach.

Results:

Ninetyseven respondents completed the follow-up survey. The results indicate that older adults most frequently report the short-term advantages and disadvantages when describing their preferences for group exercise, such as enjoyment, social interaction, and leader qualities. Longer-term advantages such as falls prevention were described less frequently.

Conclusions:

This study indicates the importance of interpersonal skills, and that the opportunity for social interaction should not be overlooked as a positive feature of a group exercise program.

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Cynthia S. Teel, Paula Carson, Janet Hamburg and Alicia Ann Clair

The authors developed a program for older adults to improve spatial awareness and sense of balance while promoting person-environment interaction. Motivating Moves, a 20-min program of 14 movement sequences set to original music, was offered to 4 groups of older adults (N = 66, mean age = 80.97, SD = 7.34) during 6 weekly 1-hr sessions. Participants learned new movements during the First 5 weeks, and all movements were reviewed in the 6th week. Program evaluation was based on attendance-pattern data, self-report measures of program satisfaction, and focus-group interviews. Approximately 64% of enrollees (n = 42) completed the program, and attendance rates were high (>89%) for these individuals. Participants reported benefits of Motivating Moves’, such as enhanced posture awareness, improved sense of balance, and increased social interaction. Issues related to developing and offering a movement program with music are reviewed, with attention to potential difficulties and suggestions for program implementation.

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Lupe Castañ and Claudine Sherrill

The purpose was to analyze the social construction of Challenger baseball opportunities in a selected community. Participants were 10 boys and 6 girls with mental and/or physical disabilities (ages 7 to 16 years, M = 11.31), their families, and the head coach. Data were collected through interviews in the homes with all family members, participant observation at practices and games, and field notes. The research design was qualitative, and critical theory guided interpretation. Analytical induction revealed five outcomes that were particularly meaningful as families and coach socially constructed Challenger baseball: (a) fun and enjoyment, (b) positive affect related to equal opportunity and feelings of “normalcy,” (c) social networking/emotional support for families, (d) baseball knowledge and skills, and (e) social interactions with peers.

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Theresa E. Boggess, David C. Griffey and Lynn D. Housner

Eleven elementary physical education teachers provided information about their perceptions of 251 students’ temperament characteristics and estimates of four student aptitudes: motor ability, social interaction skills, motivation, and to what level of their potential students generally worked. Estimates of the frequency that teachers would attend to each child in typical instructional situations were also gathered. Factor analysis of the temperament measures revealed three independent factors: physical sensitivity, adaptability, and reactivity/task orientation. Teachers’ decisions to attend to children were regressed on temperament factors and student aptitude measures. The findings indicated that motor ability was the most important variable teachers reported they would use in making decisions about allocating their attention during instruction. The temperament factor reactivity/task orientation was the next most important factor. The analyses suggested that teachers would consider adaptability of students only in organizational patterns that include the whole group.

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Randy M. Page, James Frey, Richard Talbert and Cindy Falk

Approximately 600 elementary school children (Grades 1-6) completed a loneliness rating scale and several fitness tests. Children who scored within low, average, and high ranges on the loneliness scale were compared to determine whether there were differences in levels of reported performance on fitness tests. ANCOVA tests revealed that lonely children were less physically fit and physically active than were those who were not lonely. Grade-specific analyses revealed that the relationship between levels of loneliness and physical fitness/physical activity appears to be most profound at the third- and fourth-grade levels. The results from this study suggest that lonely children may lack the social and/or physical skills necessary to effectively interact and function in group settings (physical activity is often a social activity for children). This could potentially perpetuate a cycle of poor social interaction, rejection or withdrawal, reduced physical activity, and reduced physical fitness.

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Roger Cooper and Tang Tang

The 2012 Super Bowl was the most-watched television program in U.S. history and represented a wide-scale expansion to online and digital environments. This case study examined the role of gender in explanations for viewing the Super Bowl and for simultaneous media uses during the game. Results indicate that both men and women still relied on the traditional television for Super Bowl viewing. Newer media were used as a second-screen experience to complement the telecast or to gain additional information and social interaction. Gender differences underlie explanations for watching the Super Bowl on television and for simultaneous media uses. Findings suggest that women engaged with nonfootball elements that propel the Super Bowl from a sporting event to a societal event, whereas men indicated stronger interests in the game itself.

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Catherine Quatman and Packianathan Chelladurai

The works of Kuhn (1996) and other scholars on the social construction of knowledge suggest that great insight can be gained about an academic field of study by investigating interaction patterns between and among scholars. Using a social network perspective, the intent of this study was to empirically explore the social interaction patterns among scholars in the field of sport management. A network model of coauthorship was generated using several rounds of sampling of scholars in the field and archival data collection from relevant journals. The derived network structure was then explored both visually and quantitatively for meaningful patterns. The results of the study essentially tell a story of the evolution and current state of the field’s collaboration structure. Drawing on propositions from the literature on the sociology of scientific knowledge generation, the findings are discussed relative to what the obtained network structure might hold for sport management scholarship.

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Andrew C. Sparkes and Sarah Partington

Narrative practice is an approach that enables researchers to alternately focus on the whats and hows of meaningful social interaction. The potential benefits of utilizing this approach in sport psychology are highlighted by focusing on the area of flow as an exemplar. It is suggested that the majority of work on flow has focused on the whats rather than on the equally important hows of this phenomenon. To illustrate the ways in which a concern for the hows of narrative practice can provide different insights into flow, data are provided from an interview-based study of a white water canoeing club. The findings suggest that describing flow is a relational performance, which is shaped by a number of narrative resources and auspices that operate differently according to gender.

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Elaine M. Blinde and Lisa R. McClung

The impact of participation in recreational activities on perceptions of the physical and social selves of individuals with physical disabilities was explored. Eleven women (ages 19 to 54) and 12 men (ages 20 to 36) participated in individualized recreational programs including horseback riding, swimming, fitness, weightlifting, racquetball, bowling, tennis, fishing, walking, and tai chi. Tape-recorded interviews were conducted with these individuals following participation. Content analyses of the interview responses indicated that participation impacted four aspects of the physical self: (a) experiencing the body in new ways, (b) enhancing perceptions of physical attributes, (c) redefining physical capabilities, and (d) increasing perceived confidence to pursue new physical activities. Modifications in respondents’ perceptions of the social self were reflected in two themes: (a) expanding social interactions and experiences, and (b) initiating social activities in other contexts. The gains discussed by respondents suggest that individuals developed an enhanced sense of control in both their physical and social lives.

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Nancy Hritz and Craig Ross

Sport tourism is one of the fastest growing market segments in the tourism industry and is receiving increased attention for its social, environmental, and economic impacts upon destinations. Prior research in tourism impacts has tended to focus exclusively on tourism as a whole and does not differentiate among the different types of tourism that may be present in a destination. The purpose of this study was to examine how residents of Indianapolis, Indiana perceived the impacts sport tourism has upon their city. A total of 347 surveys were returned in a mailed questionnaire. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a four factor structure of social benefits, environmental benefits, economic benefits, and general negative impacts. Social and economic benefits were strong predictors for support for further sport tourism development revealing a strong identification with the advantages of sport tourism in their city such as an increased cultural identity and social interaction opportunities.