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Bert Hayslip Jr., Daniel Weigand, Robert Weinberg, Peggy Richardson and Allen Jackson

The present investigation reports on the reliability and validity of several scales derived from the Health Belief Model (HBM). Both their internal consistency and their ability to predict self-reported sport and physical activity participation among younger and older adults are examined. As an exploratory endeavor, new, internally consistent scales were developed to assess several HBM factors. Results of age-group comparisons as well as comparisons across levels of diversity in several types of self-reported physical activity suggest that the newly developed measures differentiate between individuals on the basis of age and degrees of diversity in activity.

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Lisa M. Van Landuyt, Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Eric E. Hall and Steven J. Petruzzello

Traditional conceptions of the exercise–affect relationship postulate that moderate-intensity exercise leads to positive affective changes in all or most individuals, and it can, therefore, be prescribed for all individuals involved in exercise programs. This study investigated whether this assumption is true, not only at the level of group averages but also at the level of individuals. Affect was assessed before, during, and after a session of moderate-intensity cycle ergometry using a dimensional conceptualization of affect. Examination of individual responses revealed a diversity of patterns that was masked by aggregate-based analyses. Mean ratings of affective valence were shown to remain stable during exercise, but in actuality almost half of the individuals experienced progressive improvement, whereas the other half experienced progressive deterioration. The diversity of individual affective responses must be taken into account in formulating conceptual models of the exercise–affect relationship and deriving public health physical activity recommendations.

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Stephanie J. Hanrahan

A group of students from the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts participated in a mental skills training program that focused on goal setting, self-confidence development, and team building. There were 13 two-hour sessions held over a 20-week period. The participants, cultural issues, and the basic structure of the program are described. The author’s observations regarding competition, displays of affection, collective values, and the importance of family and nature are provided. The participants qualitatively evaluated the program. Conclusions related to group process, program structure, and diversity are presented. These conclusions should be of value in terms of shaping future group mental skills training programs.

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Norah M. Nelson and Catherine B. Woods

Background:

Active commuting (AC) to school can increase daily minutes of physical activity yet research is lacking on its determinants. This study examined perceptions of the physical environment as a correlate of AC among adolescents.

Methods:

Cross-sectional data were collected from 1143 males and 1016 females (mean age 16.04 ± 0.66) who lived within 2.5 miles of their school. Participants’ self-reported active (walk or cycle) or inactive (car, bus, or train) mode of travel to school and perceptions of their neighborhood environment. Bivariate logistic regression examined perceived environmental features associated with active versus inactive modes, adjusted for sociodemographic factors. Significant variables were examined in multivariate models, adjusted for population density and distance.

Results:

Positive correlates of AC included well-lit streets, land-use-mix diversity, access to shops/public transport, the presence of public parks/bike lanes, and accessible well-maintained paths. Connectivity was unrelated to mode choice. In multivariate analyses, land-use-mix diversity, and the perceived presence of public parks remained significant among males, whereas excess traffic speed, shops within walking distance, and paths separate from the road remained significant among females.

Conclusions:

Environmental characteristics were associated with active commuting to school, however research must address methodological issues before making recommendations for intervention.

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Diane L. Gill

Feminist sport psychology encompasses many approaches and has many variations. The articles in this special issue reflect that variation but also reflect common themes outlined in this introductory article. The feminist framework for this article begins with bell hooks’ (2000) inclusive, action-oriented definition of feminism as “a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression” (p. viii). The following themes, drawn from feminist theory and sport studies scholarship, provide the supporting structure: (a) gender is relational rather than categorical; (b) gender is inextricably linked with race/ethnicity, class, and other social identities; (c) gender and cultural relations involve power and privilege; and (d) feminism demands action. Gender scholarship in sport psychology is reviewed noting recent moves toward feminist approaches and promising directions that incorporate cultural diversity and relational analyses to move toward feminist practice. The other articles in this issue reflect similar feminist themes and present unique contributions to guide us toward feminist sport psychology.

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Tara K. Scanlan, Paul J. Carpenter, Jeffery P. Simons, Greg W. Schmidt and Bruce Keeler

This article presents our progress in developing a set of survey measures to assess constructs of the Sport Commitment Model in the youth-sport domain. Initial item development was accomplished through extensive literature reviews and the expert evaluations of research professionals, teachers, and young athletes. The items were then examined empirically with three separate samples numbering 140, 178, and 1342 athletes, respectively. For the first two samples, items formed reliable scales for each of the model constructs and separated into distinct factors largely as hypothesized. For the third sample, structural-equation modeling was employed and results supported the measurement of four constructs, with the other two constructs held from the measurement model because of item limitations. Overall, results of the three samples indicate reliable measures that can be used in tests of the Sport Commitment Model across samples of youth-sport athletes representing diversity in age, gender, and ethnicity.

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Delfien Van Dyck, Lieze Mertens, Greet Cardon, Katrien De Cocker and Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij

This study aimed to obtain qualitative information about physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviors (SB)and their determinants, and about recently retired adults’ needs regarding PA interventions. Four focus group interviews were organized. The most commonly reported PA types were walking, cycling, swimming and fitness. The most commonly reported SB were reading, TV viewing, and computer use. Car use was limited. Most adults agreed their habits had changed during retirement. The most striking PA determinant was the feeling of being a ‘forgotten group’ and therefore having too few tailored PA initiatives available. Furthermore, participants were not aware of the negative health effects of SB and not motivated to decrease their SB. Concerning new PA interventions, very diverse ideas were put forward, reflecting the diversity of the target group. It seems that a dynamic intervention in which participants can choose which PA type they want to increase is preferable for recently retired adults.

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Mary B. Harris and Joy Griffin

In order to assess their cultural stereotypes and personal beliefs about women physical education teachers, we surveyed 196 individuals attending the 1995 American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) convention. Respondents felt that most Americans stereotyped women physical educators as masculine, aggressive, athletic, lesbian, and unintellectual. Their personal views were less extreme. Some differences in personal beliefs were found between men and women, and between lesbians, heterosexual men and heterosexual women. Occupation, age, and education were not importantly related to stereotyping. Open ended questions revealed both positive and negative aspects of physical education as a profession for women. Based upon the continued existence of some negative stereotypes, coupled with the low status of women physical educators, we suggest that the profession needs to increase its educational efforts and its appreciation of diversity.

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Kevin S. Masters and Benjamin M. Ogles

Association and dissociation (A/D) have been identified as important cognitive strategies in the literature on running and exercise. This paper is a comprehensive review of the 20 years of research in the area. Specific topics addressed include historical context, definition and terminology considerations, measurement and design issues, and findings as they pertain to performance, injury, and pain. Several research recommendations are made including change from using the term dissociation, use of multiple measurement methods, diversity of research designs, and study of topics, such as injury, exercise adherence, and emotionality, as they relate to A/D. Finally, practical findings indicate that association relates to faster performance, dissociation relates to lower perceived exertion and possibly greater endurance, and dissociation is not related to injury but association may be.

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Ellen O’Reilly, Sandy Romanow, Mamie Rutledge, Jamie Covey, James Mandigo and Ellen O’Reilly

How do adolescent girls self-evaluate their ability to throw with force? Does this evaluation alter if the characteristics of their participating group vary by such factors as gender or perceived abili ty? What importance do females attach to this skill? How does self assessment concerning the ability to throw with force affect identity formation in adolescent girls? These questions guided our study on adolescent girls’ perceptions of the importance of being able to throw overhand with force. The data for this study were collected during a series of health and activity sessions available to girls from a diversity of cultures and ethnic groups attending middle-class junior and senior high schools located in a large western Canadian city. Self-evaluation questionnaires were completed by 195 adoles cent female participants as part of an activity session focused on overhand throwing. Statistical analysis of the numbered preference responses, and qualitative assessment of additional written comments enabled the research team to document the contemporary female experience of throwing, with particular consideration given to technique, attitudes, and the personal meaning adolescent girls attribute to the development of a fundamental motor skill.