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Steven L. Proctor and Candace Boan-Lenzo

This study examined the athletic status differences in reported depressive symptoms between male intercollegiate team sport athletes (n= 66) and male nonathletes (n = 51) enrolled at one of two public universities in the Southeastern United States, while controlling for preferred (task-oriented and emotion-oriented) coping strategies. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that the athletes reported significantly fewer depressive symptoms than nonathletes while controlling for coping strategy selection (p< .05). In terms of the actual prevalence rates of depressive symptoms, 29.4% of the nonathletes met the criterion for possible depression compared with only 15.6% of the athletes. Overall, athletic participation in an intercollegiate team sport appears related to lower levels of depression. The potentially distress-buffering aspects of athletic involvement and implications for future research are discussed.

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Insa Nixdorf, Raphael Frank, Martin Hautzinger and Juergen Beckmann

Depression among elite athletes is a topic of increasing interest, but empirical data are rare. The present study aimed to provide insight into the prevalence of depressive symptoms among German elite athletes and possible associated factors. In an online survey of 162 athletes, we explored depressive symptoms, chronic stress, coping strategies and stress-recovery states. Results indicated an overall prevalence of 15% for depression among elite athletes (n = 99), and revealed higher levels of depressive symptoms among the individual athletes than the team athletes. Furthermore, correlation analyses showed a significant connection between high levels of depressive symptoms and high levels of chronic stress, negative coping strategies and negative stress-recovery states. Results indicate that the prevalence for depressive symptoms in elite athletes is comparable to that in the general German population. Moreover, exploratory analyses provide first indications of factors associated with depressive symptoms.

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Markus Tilp, Simon Steib, Gudrun Schappacher-Tilp and Walter Herzog

Force enhancement following muscle stretching and force depression following muscle shortening are well-accepted properties of skeletal muscle contraction. However, the factors contributing to force enhancement/depression remain a matter of debate. In addition to factors on the fiber or sarcomere level, fiber length and angle of pennation affect the force during voluntary isometric contractions in whole muscles. Therefore, we hypothesized that differences in fiber lengths and angles of pennation between force-enhanced/depressed and reference states may contribute to force enhancement/depression during voluntary contractions. The purpose of this study was to test this hypothesis. Twelve subjects participated in this study, and force enhancement/depression was measured in human tibialis anterior. Fiber lengths and angles of pennation were quantified using ultrasound imaging. Neither fiber lengths nor angles of pennation were found to differ between the isometric reference contractions and any of the force-enhanced or force-depressed conditions. Therefore, we rejected our hypothesis and concluded that differences in fiber lengths or angles of pennation do not contribute to the observed force enhancement/depression in human tibialis anterior, and speculate that this result is likely true for other muscles too.

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Fabien D. Legrand

We examined the possible mediating role of physical self-perceptions, physical self-esteem, and global self-esteem in the relationships between exercise and depression in a group of socioeconomically disadvantaged women with elevated symptoms of depression. Forty-four female residents of a low-income housing complex were randomized into a 7-week-long exercise-training group or a wait-list group. Depression, physical self-perceptions and self-esteem were measured repeatedly. Significant changes were found for depression, self-esteem, physical self-worth, and self-perceived physical condition in the exercise-training group. Intent-to-treat analyses did not alter the results. Most of the reduction in depression occurred between Week 2 and Week 4 while initial improvement in physical self-worth and self-perceived physical condition was observed between baseline and Week 2. These variables can be seen as plausible mechanisms for effects of exercise on depression.

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Andreas Heissel, Anou Pietrek, Michael A. Rapp, Stephan Heinzel and Geoffrey Williams

-analyses underline the importance of an exercise professional’s occupational qualifications for a positive effect on psychological health and well-being. Large effects were found for exercise training as a treatment for depression in 25 randomized controlled trials, showing the largest effect sizes for exercise

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Glenn S. Brassington and Robert A. Hicks

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between aerobic exercise, sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness by examining variables that may be associated with exercise in improving sleep (i.e., anxiety, depression, stress, and minor physical symptoms). Specifically, 33 sedentary and 46 exercising men and women (mean age 73, range 60–82) were asked to complete questionnaires on sleep, anxiety, depression, stress, and minor physical symptoms. Next, subjects were asked to complete a 14-day sleep log. The groups did not differ on a number of control variables: age, gender, trait sociability, trait shyness, number of social contacts, and body mass. Analyses revealed that the exercise group had greater sleep quality in the form of greater sleep duration, less sleep onset latency, and less daytime dysfunction. It was also found that exercise seems to be related to sleep quality and daytime naps independent of the psychological variables; however, exercise seems to be related to the other parameters of sleep by mediating the salience of the psychological variables.

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Lynda M. Mainwaring, Sean M. Bisschop, Robin E.A. Green, Mark Antoniazzi, Paul Comper, Vicki Kristman, Christine Provvidenza and Doug W. Richards

Despite suggestions that emotions influence recovery from injury, there is little research into the emotional sequelae of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), or “concussion,” in sport. This examination compares emotional functioning of college athletes with MTBI to that of uninjured teammates and undergraduates. A short version of the Profile of Mood States (POMS; Grove & Prapavessis, 1992) assessed baseline emotions in all groups, and serial emotional functioning in the MTBI and undergraduate groups. Whereas preinjury profiles were similar across groups, the MTBI group showed a significant postinjury spike in depression, confusion, and total mood disturbance that was not seen for the other groups. The elevated mood disturbances subsided within 3 weeks postinjury. Given that concussed athletes were highly motivated to return to play, these data could be used as a benchmark of normal emotional recovery from MTBI. Findings are discussed in relation to current literature on emotional reaction to injury and directions for future research.

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James Annesi

depression, food cravings, and weight-related quality-of-life will significantly moderate bivariate relationships between changes in the treatment-focused psychosocial variables and physical activity. It was hoped that the present findings over a 6-month period would stimulate larger and more comprehensive

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Jeffrey G. Caron, Gordon A. Bloom, Karen M. Johnston and Catherine M. Sabiston

The purpose of this study was to understand the meanings and lived experiences of multiple concussions in professional hockey players using hermeneutic, idiographic, and inductive approaches within an interpretative phenomenological analysis. The interviewer was an athlete who had suffered multiple concussions, and the interviewees were five former National Hockey League athletes who had retired due to medically diagnosed concussions suffered during their careers. The men discussed the physical and psychological symptoms they experienced as a result of their concussions and how the symptoms affected their professional careers, personal relationships, and quality of life. The former professional athletes related these symptoms to the turmoil that is ever present in their lives. These findings are of interest to athletes, coaches, sport administrators, family members, sport psychology practitioners, and medical professionals, as they highlight the severity of short- and long-term effects of concussions.

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Marcus K. Taylor, Ricardo Pietrobon, Deng Pan, Michael Huff and Laurence D. Higgins

Background:

Physical inactivity is a risk factor for poor mental health. The present study evaluates the association between mental health and physical activity levels according to the Healthy People 2010 guidelines in a large national sample.

Methods:

Participants (N = 41,914) were selected from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Primary predictor variable was physical activity level, and primary outcome measure was frequency of mental distress. Specific outcomes of anxiety and depressive symptoms were also measured.

Results:

Compared with those meeting the Healthy People 2010 guidelines, sedentary participants were 1.31 times more likely to experience 14 or more days of mental distress during the past 30 days (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.16, 1.48), 1.34 times more likely to experience anxiety symptoms (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.21, 1.49), and 1.22 times more likely to experience depressive symptoms (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.10, 1.36). Comparing those participants falling short of the Healthy People 2010 recommendation with those meeting the guideline, no significant group differences were demonstrated relative to frequency of mental distress. Those meeting the recommendation were more likely to have 14 or more days of anxiety symptoms during the past 30 days (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02, 1.17).

Conclusions:

Our results suggest that being sedentary is clearly associated with more aversive psychological symptoms. However, performing enough physical activity to meet the Healthy People 2010 guideline may not be associated with better psychological status than minimal amounts of physical activity.