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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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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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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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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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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.

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Lanay M. Mudd, Jim M. Pivarnik, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Nigel Paneth, Hwan Chung and Claudia Holzman

Background:

We sought to evaluate the effects of maternal leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) during pregnancy and current child LTPA on child weight status.

Methods:

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).

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

Maternal inactivity during pregnancy may contribute to child obesity risk.

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Andrea Torres, John Steward, Sheryl Strasser, Rodney Lyn, Rebecca Serna and Christine Stauber

Background:

Open Streets are community-based programs that promote the use of public space for physical activity (PA), recreation and socialization by closing streets temporarily to motorized vehicles, allowing access to pedestrians. The city of Atlanta hosted its first Open Streets event, Atlanta Streets Alive (ASA), in May 2010. An evaluation of the first 5 ASA events from May 2010 to May 2012 was conducted. The purpose was to learn about the characteristics of ASA participants, the influence of the event on their PA, and perceptions of safety and neighborhood social capital.

Methods:

ASA’s evaluation had 2 components: participant counts and a participant survey. Characteristics of participation were compared among the 3 different events in which surveys were conducted using the Pearson χ2 test and F test as appropriate.

Results:

The estimated participation at ASA increased from nearly 3,500 (ASA 1 to 4) to 12,520 (ASA 5). The number of events increased to 3 per year for a total of 10 events until 2014. Overall, 19.4% of participants met the weekly PA recommendation during 1 event.

Conclusions:

The expanding diversity of routes, participants, and sponsorships highlights the potential promise such programming offers in terms of establishing an urban culture of health.

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Rayanne Streeter

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.

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Maria E. Hermosillo-Gallardo, Russell Jago and Simon J. Sebire

Background:

Approximately 17.4% of people in Mexico self-report physical activity levels below the World Health Organization’s guidelines and an average sedentary time of 16 hours per day.1 Low physical activity has been associated with noncommunicable disease risk factors and previous research suggests that urbanicity might be an important determinant of physical activity. The aim of this study was to measure urbanicity in Mexico and assess if it is associated with physical activity and sitting time.

Methods:

A sample of 2880 men and 4211 women aged 20 to 69 was taken from the 2012 Mexico National Health and Nutrition Survey and multivariable linear regression models were used to examine the association between physical activity, sitting time and urbanicity; adjusting for sex, education level, socioeconomic status and Body Mass Index. The urbanicity score and the 7 urbanicity subscores were estimated from the CENSUS 2010.

Results:

The subscores of demographic, economic activity, diversity and communication were negatively associated with physical activity. Sitting time was positively associated with the overall urbanicity, and the demographic and health subscores.

Conclusions:

There was evidence of associations between urbanicity and physical activity in Mexico.