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Marie Dacey, Amy Baltzell and Len Zaichkowsky

Strategies for exercise maintenance of vigorous (n=54) and moderate (n=38) regular women exercisers were compared using the Processes of Change (Marcus, Rossi et al., 1992) and Self-Efficacy scales (Marcus, Selby et al., 1992). Both groups reported highest utilization of Counterconditioning, Self-liberation, Self-reevaluation, and Reinforcement Management, as well as a high degree of exercise self-efficacy. Vigorous exercisers indicated greater utilization of Counterconditioning (p=.004) and a higher degree of self-efficacy (p=.009), whereas moderate exercisers reported higher utilization of Environmental Reevaluation (p=.028). In follow-up interviews with vigorous exercisers (n=4) and moderate exercisers (n=4), all participants reported psychological benefits of physical activity, high exercise self-efficacy, and exercising to meet personal needs. Reported differences between the two groups include physical experiences while exercising, the development of exercise behavior patterns, and social influences. Based upon this study we suggest that similarities outweigh differences in the maintenance of vigorous and moderate exercise, but certain mode-specific interventions may be warranted to enhance adherence.

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Sharon H. Thompson, Alan J. Case and Roger G. Sargent

Group exercise instructors are at particular risk for performance-related injuries because many teach multiple classes each day where they repetitively demonstrate exercise moves. To assess performance-related injuries, a paper-pencil survey was mailed to 1000 randomly selected American Council on Exercise certified group exercise instructors. Questionnaire respondents included 386 professionally certified female instructors from 48 states. Most injuries reported (77%) were of the lower extremity (feet, knee, calf, thigh, shin, ankle, hip). Less than one-fourth of the injuries (23%) were of the trunk or upper body (shoulder, arm, back). The three most commonly reported injury sites were the foot (13.1%), knee (12.5%), and back (9.5%). The three most common types of injury reported were general inflammation (20.7%), muscle strain or sprains (19.6%), and stress fractures (16.8%). Two independent variables were significantly associated with rates of injuries: obligatory exercise scores (p = .0028), and reports of a past eating disorder (p = .0007). Group exercise instructors are at particular risk for injury to the lower body. Those instructors with exercise and eating-related disorders are especially prone to activity-related injuries.

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Justine J. Reel and Diane L. Gill

College cheerleaders (73 females and 51 males) participated in the current study on eating disorders and weight-related concerns within cheerleading. The participants completed the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS), and CHEER, a measure of weight-related stressors within cheerleading. Significant gender differences were identified through a one-way MANOVA with these measures. As expected, female cheerleaders reported more weight-related concerns and had higher scores on SPAS, EDI Drive for Thinness and Body Dissatisfaction than did male cheerleaders. Both males and females reported weight-related concerns, although the actual stressors were different. Based upon these data, we suggest that males, as well as females, face unique pressures in cheerleading related to body weight.

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Jeffrey Martin, Betty Kelley and Candice Dias

In the current study we examined the relationships between stress predictors, stress, and burnout in female high school athletic directors (N = 52). Significant negative correlations between stress and hardiness and between stress and number of social support providers were found. Significant positive correlations between stress and time concerns, personnel concerns, and program success (e.g., winning) subscales of the athletic directing issues scale were also found. Subjects high in hardiness and with adequate social support networks, who also reported few athletic directing issues, were likely to report minimal stress. Significant positive correlations also indicated that stress was related to the burnout dimensions of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Based on our results we supported and extended Kelley’s (1993; 1994) model of stress and burnout with a population of female athletic directors.

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Katie N. Brown, Heidi J. Wengreen, Katherine A. Beals and Edward M. Heath

This quasi-experimental study aimed to assess risk for the female athlete triad (Triad) and pilot a peer-led Triad educational intervention. Twenty-nine female high school track and field athletes (N = 29) at one high school in the western United States consented to participate. Participants were weighed and measured, and completed pre- and postsurveys that included Triad risk factor questions and 10 questions assessing Triad knowledge. 54% of athletes reported current menstrual irregularity; 7% reported a history of stress fractures. Significant increases in Triad knowledge were observed pre- to postintervention (4.7 ± 2.6 to 7.7 ± 1.78 out of 10; p < .0001). Triad education was generally accepted and enjoyed by participants; however, 86% preferred that a coach or other adult provide education instead of a peer.

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Otto J. Schantz and Keith Gilbert

The purpose of this study was to analyze newspaper coverage of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics by the French and German press. Drawing on media theories and critical concepts of exclusion and disability. 104 articles from 8 French and German nationwide newspapers were analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methodology. The results suggest that performances of athletes with disabilities are of little importance to the French and German sport press. Indeed, the way in which the newspapers reported on the Paralympics misconstrued the ideal of the Paralympic Games. Instead of reporting on the sporting and idealistic aspects of this meeting, the press chose the commercial logic of general news value and focused primarily on national success and medal rankings of the countries.

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Tanya Nieri and Elizabeth Hughes

This study explored women’s subjective experience of Zumba, a new, popular form of group fitness. We interviewed 41 racially/ethnically diverse adult women from the Los Angeles/Inland Empire (California) area who had taken Zumba in the previous year. The women reported taking Zumba for the purpose of exercise and did not challenge the notion that exercise is imperative. However, they reported positive experiences of Zumba, contrasting it with other fitness forms, which they characterized as boring, stressful, painful, lonely, and/or atomistic, and with other dancing, which they characterized as more restrictive. They perceived Zumba to prioritize fun over work and process over outcomes; value individual autonomy and personalization rather than strict conformity; and engage the participant as more than just a body to be shaped. They felt freer to engage in behavior that is considered to violate structural gender norms, but their experience did not translate to an explicit challenge to the gender structure.

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Matthew J. Taylor, Rachel A. Wamser, Michelle E. Sanchez and Charleanea M. Arellano

The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of sports participation and race/ethnicity on violence and victimization among a sample of white, African American, and Hispanic rural-area high school girls. It was hypothesized that girls who participated in sports would report lower rates of violent behavior and fewer incidents of victimization. Using logistic regression and multivariate analysis of variance, evidence for the hypotheses was mixed and appeared to be related to the type of violence and victimization. Sports participants were less likely to engage in general violence and reported less physical and sexual victimization, but did not experience less intimate partner violence victimization. Conversely, sports participants were more likely to engage in verbal and physical reactive violence. While sports participation may have some preventative impact on violence and victimization, this relationship may also be influenced by community characteristics and not a universal outcome.

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Sohaila Shakib, Philip Veliz, Michele D. Dunbar and Don Sabo

This study examines sport as a source for youth popularity, and its variation by gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and grade level, using a nationally representative U.S. sample of 2,185 3rd—12th graders. Results indicate athletes are more likely than nonathletes to report self-perceived popularity equally across gender, socioeconomic status, and grade. Black athletes are less likely to report self-perceived popularity than Whites. When given a choice of popularity criteria, youth chose sport as the most important criterion for male, not female, popularity. Regarding male popularity, sport is chosen over other criteria by middle school youth more than elementary and high school youth. While sport is a status enhancer, there is variation by gender, ethnicity, and grade level.

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Damon Andrew and Mary Hums

Several studies in business and sport have noted systematic differences in leadership behavior between men and women. Many of these studies only examined leadership behavior from the perspective of the leader or the follower. This study’s purpose was to examine the impact that a coach’s gender may have on leadership behavior indicators as reported by leaders and followers. Collegiate women’s tennis coaches (M = 40; F = 71) and female collegiate tennis players (n = 167) participated in separate studies and completed the Revised Leadership Scale for Sports (Zhang, Jensen, & Mann, 1997), which assesses the following six leadership behaviors: training and instruction, democratic behavior, autocratic behavior, social support, positive feedback, and situation consideration. Study one examined self-reported leadership differences on the basis of sex from the leader’s perspective and found female coaches reported significantly less (p = .048) autocratic behavior than male coaches. Study two examined leadership differences from the female athletes’ perspective and found no significant differences in perceived leadership behavior based on the coach’s sex. These findings are subsequently discussed within the context of social role theory. The results of this study support the notion that perceived gender role orientations become linked to the social roles occupied rather than the leader’s gender.