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.
Mary B. Harris and Joy Griffin
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.
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.
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.
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.
Earl Smith and Angela Hattery
There have been many discussions about diversity and the value that it brings to the workplace (Ely & Thomas, 2001). Although sport has been deemed a model of diversity, where people of different races and ethnicities comingle as participants and spectators, there is a serious disconnect between perceptions of this diversity and the reality that defines the lack of racial diversity in the management (i.e., coaching and leadership) of sport. The purpose of this essay is to provide an exploration and analysis of the varied ways in which race may influence sport management experiences and opportunities. We frame this analysis through race relation theory, symbolic racism theory, social distance theory, and the concepts of segregation and power. The inferences and implications of our essay are centered on the undercurrent of the status of African American men in sport leadership, who are severely under-represented despite their prominent contribution to the financial vitality of the sport industry as players. The essay concludes with several policies and practices for improving racial diversity in sport management.
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.
Previous research has demonstrated that female athletes draw sexist and homophobic remarks, especially in contact sports, which are more highly valued and dominated by men. As such, female athletes have used a variety of responses to combat stigma they face; however, these responses have reaffirmed sexist and homophobic assumptions rather than contest them. In the last decade roller derby has emerged as a contact sport which is female-dominated and whose members seek to complicate gendered assumptions about sport. Analysis of semistructured, in-depth interviews with 17 female flat-track roller derby players shows that although skaters face similar challenges of sexism and homophobia skaters resist these challenges in innovative ways including demonstrating the legitimacy of the sport, educating outsiders on the diversity of players, shrugging off or defending themselves, and adopting new uniforms. This study concludes by arguing that roller derby, as a unique sport within the particular historical moment of increased LGTBQ acceptance, has implications for altering women’s relationship to sport by resisting homophobic and sexist assumptions. The altered relationship includes skaters being more open to different expressions of sexuality and gender in sport, taking control over their athletic status, and fostering a more accepting place for female athletes. In addition, this resistance has the potential to impact female athletes in contact sports other than roller derby by identifying and adopting these resistive strategies creating larger change.
Lanay M. Mudd, Jim M. Pivarnik, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Nigel Paneth, Hwan Chung and Claudia Holzman
We sought to evaluate the effects of maternal leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) during pregnancy and current child LTPA on child weight status.
Women with term pregnancies in the Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Health Study (1998–2004) were followed-up. A race-stratified subset of participants (cohort A) received extensive follow-up efforts leading to better response rates (592/926 = 64%) and diversity. The remainder (Cohort B) had a lower response rate (418/1629 = 26%). Women reported child height, weight and LTPA at 3 to 9 years (inactive vs. active), and recalled pregnancy LTPA (inactive vs. active). A 4-category maternal/child LTPA variable was created (reference: active pregnancy + active child). Children were classified as healthy weight, overweight, or obese using age- and sex-specific Body Mass Index percentiles. Logistic regression was used to assess the odds of child obesity (reference: healthy weight).
In unadjusted analyses, pregnancy inactivity increased odds for obesity when the child was active (1.6 [95% CI, 1.0−2.6] in Cohort A; 2.1 [95% CI, 1.1−4.0] in Cohort B), and more so when the child was inactive (2.4 [95% CI, 1.2−4.9] in Cohort A; 3.0 [95% CI, 1.0−8.8] in Cohort B). Adjustment for covariates attenuated results to statistical nonsignificance but the direction of relations remained.
Maternal inactivity during pregnancy may contribute to child obesity risk.
Diane K. King, Peg Allen, Dina L. Jones, David X. Marquez, David R. Brown, Dori Rosenberg, Sarah Janicek, Laila Allen and Basia Belza
Midlife and older adults use shopping malls for walking, but little research has examined mall characteristics that contribute to their walkability.
We used modified versions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Healthy Aging Research Network (HAN) Environmental Audit and the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) tool to systematically observe 443 walkers in 10 shopping malls. We also observed 87 walkers in 6 community-based nonmall/nongym venues where older adults routinely walked for physical activity.
All venues had public transit stops and accessible parking. All malls and 67% of nonmalls had wayfinding aids, and most venues (81%) had an established circuitous walking route and clean, well-maintained public restrooms (94%). All venues had level floor surfaces, and one-half had benches along the walking route. Venues varied in hours of access, programming, tripping hazards, traffic control near entrances, and lighting.
Despite diversity in location, size, and purpose, the mall and nonmall venues audited shared numerous environmental features known to promote walking in older adults and few barriers to walking. Future research should consider programmatic features and outreach strategies to expand the use of malls and other suitable public spaces for walking.