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Jon Welty Peachey, George B. Cunningham, Alexis Lyras, Adam Cohen and Jennifer Bruening

The purpose of this research project was to examine the impact of participating in a sport-for-peace event and one’s social dominance orientation on prejudice and change agent self-efficacy. In Study 1, participants (n = 136) completed questionnaires both before and following their participation in a sport-for-peace event. The event was designed to ensure both high levels of and quality intergroup contact, with interactions confirmed through a manipulation check. Results from the doubly repeated measures analysis of variance indicate a significant decrease in prejudice and a significant increase in change agent self-efficacy. Social dominance orientation did not influence the nature of these changes. In Study 2, the authors conducted focus group interviews with 27 participants to better understand how the event impacted prejudice and change agent self-efficacy. Results indicate that the team-based sport environment and social opportunities were instrumental in prejudice reduction while the educational platform was important for increasing change agent self-efficacy.

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Vikki Krane

The purpose of this paper is to lay a conceptual foundation for understanding and studying lesbians in sport. To begin to understand lesbians in sport, it is necessary to critically examine the socialization process. Lesbians are socialized within a homonegative and heterosexist society, where they learn homonegative attitudes. The sport environment is even more hostile toward lesbians, thus escalating the negative impact of homonegativism experienced by lesbians in sport compared to nonsport lesbians. These reactions to homonegativism will be manifested through individuals’ mental states (e.g., low self-esteem, low confidence, low satisfaction, high stress) or behaviors (e.g., poor sport performance, substance abuse). However, through exposure to positive social support and successful role models, a positive lesbian identity will be developed. The goals of this framework are to consolidate previous empirical literature about lesbians and apply it to sport and to encourage further conceptualization about lesbians in sport.

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Louise M. Burke and David B. Pyne

Bicarbonate loading is a popular ergogenic aid used primarily by athletes in short-duration, high-intensity sporting events and competitions. Controlled experimental trials have shown that small (worthwhile) benefits can obtained from acute doses of bicarbonate taken before exercise. Gastrointestinal problems encountered by some athletes limit the widespread use of this practice, however. The transfer of positive research findings to the competitive environment has proved problematic for some individuals. More recent applications involve serial ingestion of bicarbonate over several days before competition or during high-intensity training sessions over a few weeks. A number of research questions need to be addressed to enhance applications of bicarbonate loading in the elite sport environment. This commentary examines some of research and practical issues of bicarbonate loading used to enhance both training and competitive performance.

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Aditi Mankad, Sandy Gordon and Karen Wallman

The present study adopted a qualitative, exploratory approach to describe the underlying emotional climate among injured athletes within team sport environments. Nine elite athletes undergoing long-term injury rehabilitation (LTIR) participated in semi-structured interviews to describe their LTIR experience. A general inductive analysis extracted three higher-order themes: (a) emotional trauma, (b) emotional climate, and (c) emotional acting. Athletes reported experiencing emotional trauma throughout LTIR. To maintain in-group norms, they described engaging in avoidance behaviors and reported suppressing negative affect for fear of negative evaluation. They also reported frequently controlling emotions in public using acting strategies. Athletes perceived these emotionally inhibitive behaviors as encouraged within their team environment. These results have important implications for the identification and treatment of emotionally destructive behaviors that could potentially delay an athlete’s psychological rehabilitation from athletic injury.

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Melissa L. Breger, Margery J. Holman and Michelle D. Guerrero

Traditional sport norms and gender-based biases that are prevalent in the sport environment, both explicit and implicit, have contributed to a culture where sexual harassment and abuse is commonplace. This article examines how sport tolerates the development of this culture, and more importantly, how practices and polices can be utilized to transform sport’s culture to one that is inclusive and safe. Reform is needed in attitudes and norms towards gender bias and sexual violence that primarily, but not exclusively, targets girls and women in sport and is perpetrated by boys and men. The application of various theories from psychology is recommended as one strategy to rid sport of both a culture of misogyny and of those who resist change to achieve this objective.

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Jessyca N. Arthur-Cameselle and Paula A. Quatromoni

The purpose of this study was to identify factors related to the onset of eating disorders in female athletes. Participants were 17 collegiate female athletes (mean age of 20.7) who experienced eating disorders. Participants were interviewed individually and responses were coded thematically. Results revealed internal and external factors related to the onset of eating disorders. Internal factors included: Negative Mood States, Low Self Esteem, Perfectionism/Drive for Achievement, and Desire for Control. External factors included: Negative Influences on Self-Esteem, Hurtful Relationships, Hurtful Role Models, and Sport Performance. Findings suggest that many triggers for onset among athletes are similar to those reported among nonathletes. However, results demonstrate that the sport environment has a unique impact on athletes’ eating disorder development. In particular, negative comments by coaches, modeling of eating disordered behaviors by other athletes, and sport performance pressure all contributed to eating pathology. Implications and recommendations for the sport community are discussed.

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Helena Seymour, Greg Reid and Gordon A. Bloom

Social interaction and development of friendships between children with and without a disability are often proposed as potential outcomes of inclusive education. Physical activity specialists assert that exercise and sport environments may be conducive to social and friendship outcomes. This study investigated friendship in inclusive physical education from the perspective of students with (n = 8) and without (n = 8) physical disabilities. All participants attended a reversely integrated school and were interviewed using a semistructured, open-ended format. An adapted version of Weiss, Smith, and Theeboom’s (1996) interview guide exploring perceptions of peer relationships in the sport domain was used. Four conceptual categories emerged from the analysis: development of friendship, best friend, preferred physical activities and outcomes, and dealing with disability. The results demonstrated the key characteristics of best friends and the influential role they play.

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Edited by Vikki Krane

I titled this special issue “Sexualities, Culture, and Sport” to stimulate reflection on important issues inherent in the culture of women’s sport. Sport has the opportunity to provide many positive benefits for women, such as personal and physical empowerment (Blinde, Taub, & Han, 1994; Krane & Romont, 1997; Theberge, 1987); in sport a woman can challenge herself, push her physical limits, and achieve new goals. Concerns related to sexuality however can interfere with the attainment of these benefits. On one hand, stereotypes about athletic females and concerns about femininity linger over women’s sport. Yet, there also is a shroud of silence concerning sexuality (Griffin, 1992; Sparkes, 1996). As a whole, women’s sport is not accepting of diverse sexualities (e.g., lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered individuals). This lack of acceptance has created an oppressive sport environment for all participants. A primary goal of this special issue is to bring to light some of the issues related to female sexuality, which are magnified by the heteropatriarchial American culture and are widespread in women’s sport.

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Amanda M. Rymal, Rose Martini and Diane M. Ste-Marie

Self-modeling involves the observation of oneself on an edited videotape to show a desired performance (Dowrick & Dove, 1980). While research has investigated the effects of self-modeling on physical performance and psychological mechanisms in relation to skill acquisition (e.g., Clark & Ste-Marie, 2007), no research to date has used a qualitative approach to examine the thought processes athletes engage in during the viewing of a self-modeling video in a competitive sport environment. The purpose of this study was to explore the self-regulatory processes of ten divers who viewed a self-modeling video during competitions. After competition, the divers were asked four questions relating to the self-modeling video. Zimmerman’s (2000) self-regulation framework was adopted for deductive analysis of the responses to those questions. The results indicated that a number of self-regulatory processes were employed, and they were mainly those in the forethought (75%) and self-reflection (25%) phases of Zimmerman’s model. Directions for future research in self-regulation and self-modeling are discussed.

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Christopher L. Stevenson

This investigation examined the ways in which, and the rationalizations with which, certain elite athletes juxtaposed the two role-identities of “Christian” and “athlete.” The data were obtained through in-depth interviews with current and former college and professional athletes associated with the Athletes-in-Action (AIA) organization in Western Canada (N=31: 23 males, 8 females). Initial analysis indicated considerable variability in the types of behavior that the athletes, as Christians, saw as acceptable in their sport environments, and yet the majority of these Christian-athletes did not appear to perceive any values-conflict between their Christian faith and their sporting practices. A more detailed examination using both a developmental and an interactionist perspective identified three more or less distinct types of accommodation to the normative expectations associated with the two role-identities (the segregated, selective, and committed types), each of which was associated with different consequences for the athletes’ own behaviors in sport, the values and attitudes they expressed, and the kinds of behaviors they perceived to be acceptable for Christian-athletes.