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.
Sharon H. Thompson, Alan J. Case and Roger G. Sargent
Larry J. Weber, Thomas M. Sherman and Carmen Tegano
In this research, faculty reported attempts to influence their academic decisions regarding student athletes. In most instances the pressure was not formal or frequently applied, and it appeared to have little influence on faculty judgments or their willingness to assist athletes. Except for isolated situations of a flagrant nature that are sensationalized by the media, the problem seems not to be a major one.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sharon H. Thompson, Presley Smith and Rita DiGioacchino
A serious commitment to sport and exercise may predispose female athletes to the development of eating disorders. The energy restriction and accompanying menstrual disorders that are often associated with eating disorders may increase female athletes’ injury risks. The purpose of this study was to assess NCAA Division I, II, and III female collegiate cross country athletes’ weekly exercise time, rates of injury, menstrual dysfunction, and subclinical eating disorder risks. A paper-pencil survey was completed by athletes (mean age = 19.64 years) from NCAA Division I (n = 82), Division II (n = 103) and Division III (n = 115) colleges across the United States. Division I athletes spent significantly more weekly exercise time (M = 687.97 minutes) than Division II (M = 512.38 minutes, p = .0007) or Division III (M = 501.32 minutes, p = .0003) athletes. When examining rates of menstrual dysfunction, 23 percent reported amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea. Over 60 percent (64.3%) of the athletes reported a performance-related injury, with the knee being the most commonly injured site. 24 percent (23.7%) of the athletes reported having stress fractures. Scores for subclinical eating disorders for Division I athletes were significantly higher (M = 87.11) than Division III athletes (M = 82.94, p = .0042). Division I female athletes may be at an increased risk of developing subclinical eating disorders compared to those competing in Division II or III. Because early identification of those with subclinical eating disorders prevents the progression to eating disorders, further study is warranted.