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Donna L. Goodwin

The purpose of this study was to describe the meaning of help in physical education as perceived by students with physical disabilities. The experiences of early, middle, and late elementary school aged students (n = 12) were captured using the phenomenological methods of individual and focus group interviews, field notes, and visual artifacts. The thematic analysis revealed that interactions were perceived as self-supporting or self-threatening. Self-supporting behaviors were instrumental, caring, or consensual in form, while self-threatening behaviors resulted in a loss of independence, concerns for self-esteem, or restricted participation. Participant responses to the helping behaviors became more complex with age. Instrumental and caring assistance emerged across all groups as did loss of independence and concerns for self-esteem. The older participants experienced restricted participation and consensual help. The implications of helping behavior on motivation and dependency states are discussed within the framework of threat to self-esteem theory.

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Lauriece L. Zittel and Jeffrey A. McCubbin

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an integrated physical education setting on the motor performance of preschool children with developmental delays. Subjects participated in segregated and integrated physical education classes and were observed practicing locomotor and object control skills. The quality of performance was analyzed to determine the number of critical elements present and the level of teacher or peer prompt required to initiate and complete each performance. A single-subject reversal design (A-B-A-B) was used. Four children with developmental delays were filmed within an 8-week school schedule while practicing two fundamental gross motor skills during segregated and integrated conditions. The results provide evidence that children with developmental delays are able to maintain their level of gross motor skill and independence within an integrated physical education setting. Although day-to-day variability was calculated for each subject, overall skill level remained stable and level of independence was not compromised in the integrated setting.

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Jean M. Williams

Identification of psychological and perceptual variables which cause one athlete to be more successful than another may enable coaches to initially better select those individuals who might ultimately have the greatest prospect for success within a given sport. The purpose of the present investigation was to determine whether a relationship exists between fencing ability and psychological differentiation, as measured by a test of field dependence-independence. Because differentiating the movement of one's body and analytically diagnosing the events during a bout are critical to fencing success, it was hypothesized that higher skilled, classified fencers (N = 26) would be more field independent (as measured by a rod and frame test) than less skilled, unclassified fencers (N = 20). The results were significant and in the hypothesized direction (p < .001). There were no significant differences for age, number of years fenced, and educational background. It was concluded that any assessment of fencing potential should include a rod and frame test to measure field dependence-independence.

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Mojca Doupona Topič and Jay Coakley

Sociology of sport knowledge on national identity is grounded in research that focuses primarily on long established nation-states with widely known histories. The relationship between sport and national identity in postsocialist/Soviet/colonial nations that have gained independence or sovereignty since 1990 has seldom been studied. This paper examines the role of sports in the formation of national identity in postsocialist Slovenia, a nation-state that gained independence in 1990. Our analysis focuses on the recent context in which the current but fluid relationship between sport and Slovenian national identity exists. Using Slovenia as a case study we identify seven factors that may moderate the effectiveness of sports as sites for establishing and maintaining national identity and making successful global identity claims in the twenty-first century. We conclude that these factors should be taken into account to more fully understand the sport-national identity relationship today, especially in new and developing nations.

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Lynda M. Nilges

Postmodern theory and Laban analysis were used to study gender as a nonverbal discourse in educational gymnastic sequences of male (n = 12) and female (n = 10) undergraduate students. Sequences were coded using Laban’s (1948) effort concepts (weight, time, space, and flow). For interpretive purposes, each concept was overlaid with a gender reference based on historical gender images. A chi-square test of independence of each effort dimension by gender group indicated weight, space, and flow are significantly related to gender. Males tended to use strong, direct, and bound actions, while females tended to use light, indirect, and free actions (p < .01). No significant difference in use of time was found. A chi-square test of independence of movement model by gender revealed the hypothesized male model was more likely to be used by males, while the female model was more likely to be used by females (p < .001).

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Robert M. Nideffer

Over the past 15 years the Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) has become increasingly popular in the sport psychology area. More recently, investigators factor-analyzing the six TAIS attentional scales and the information processing scale have raised serious questions about the independence of these measures. Specifically, they have suggested that the six attentional scales measured by the TAIS can be collapsed into two scales, one reflecting scanning (BET, BIT, INFP) and one reflecting the focusing of attention (NAR, OET, OIT). All of the studies reported on can be shown to have methodological flaws and to have drawn inappropriate conclusions from their analyses. Evidence is provided in the paper demonstrating the independence of the TAIS scales. Suggestions are made for avoiding the methodological and interpretive problems that have permeated the literature.

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C. Jessie Jones, Carter Rakovski, Dana Rutledge and Angela Gutierrez

Purpose:

To compare fitness of women with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) aged 50+ with performance standards associated with functional independence in late life.

Methods:

Data came from a longitudinal study tracking physical and cognitive function of 93 women with FMS and included the most recent symptoms, activity levels, and fitness assessments.

Results:

Most women performed below criterion-referenced fitness standards for all measures. Nearly 90% percent of those < 70 years scored below the standard for lower body strength. Only ~20% of respondents < 70 years old met the criteria for aerobic endurance. A third of those aged over 70 met the standard in agility and dynamic balance. Physical activity was positively associated with fitness performance, while pain and depression symptoms were negatively associated.

Discussion:

High proportions of women with FMS do not meet fitness standards recommended for maintaining physical independence in late life, indicating a risk for disability. Regular fitness assessments and targeted exercise interventions are warranted.

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Toshiki Ohta, Izumi Tabata and Yumiko Mochizuki

Edited by Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko

The Japanese National Physical Activity and Health Promotion Guidelines were compiled by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan. A broad definition of physical activity was adopted in this report. Objectives of physical activity were (a) maintaining and promoting health, (b) preventing and treating disease, (c) reducing stress, (d) promoting development in childhood, (e) maintaining and improving independence in older people, (f) managing symptoms associated with menopause, and (g) promoting general psychological well-being.

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Toshiki Ohta, Izumi Tabata and Yumiko Mochizuki

Edited by Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko

The Japanese National Physical Activity and Health Promotion Guidelines were compiled by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan. A broad definition of physical activity was adopted in this report. Objectives of physical activity were (a) maintaining and promoting health, (b) preventing and treating disease, (c) reducing stress, (d) promoting development in childhood, (e) maintaining and improving independence in older people, (f) managing symptoms associated with menopause, and (g) promoting general psychological well-being.

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Elisa A. Marques, Fátima Baptista, Rute Santos, Susana Vale, Diana A. Santos, Analiza M. Silva, Jorge Mota and Luís B. Sardinha

This cross-sectional study was designed to develop normative functional fitness standards for the Portuguese older adults, to analyze age and gender patterns of decline, to compare the fitness level of Portuguese older adults with that of older adults in other countries, and to evaluate the fitness level of Portuguese older adults relative to recently published criterion fitness standards associated with maintaining physical independence. A sample of 4,712 independent-living older adults, age 65–103 yr, was evaluated using the Senior Fitness Test battery. Age-group normative fitness scores are reported for the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles. Results indicate that both women and men experience age-related losses in all components of functional fitness, with their rate of decline being greater than that observed in other populations, a trend which may cause Portuguese older adults to be at greater risk for loss of independence in later years. These newly established normative standards make it possible to assess individual fitness level and provide a basis for implementing population-wide health strategies to counteract early loss of independence.