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.
Sharon H. Thompson, Presley Smith and Rita DiGioacchino
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.
James Curtis and Richard Ennis
This paper compares findings from a survey of former Canadian Junior hockey players and results from a representative sample of males of the same age in the general population. The analyses test hypotheses derived from the argument that disengagement from elite-level sport leads to various stress-induced negative consequences. The three primary dependent variables, suggested by the previous literature, are measures of life satisfaction, employment status, and marital status. For these measures, there was no evidence of negative consequences of disengagement, even when the comparisons were controlled for time since disengagement. This conclusion was also supported by reports from the former players on their attitudes toward elite-level hockey and about their disengagement from the role of active player at this level. A possible exception was in the former players’ reports of feelings of loss at the time of disengagement. Relevant analyses are also reported for the extent of continued involvement in hockey in other than playing capacities. There were some effects of continued involvement upon attitudes toward hockey that suggest that involvement functions to limit attitudes of negativity. Theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.
Bryan E. Denham
Drawing on data gathered from high-school seniors in the 2008 Monitoring the Future Study of American Youth (N = 2,063), this research examined the explanatory effects of competitive sports participation on alcohol consumption and marijuana use using race and noncompetitive exercise frequency as controls. Among males, competitive sports included baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and weightlifting, and among females, sports included softball, basketball, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field, and volleyball. White males reported greater alcohol consumption than Black and Hispanic respondents, with competitors in baseball, football and weightlifting consuming alcohol more frequently. The use of marijuana did not depend on race, but baseball players and weightlifters reported significantly more use. Among females, race differences did not emerge in ordinal regression models testing effects on alcohol consumption, but participants in every sport reported drinking alcohol more frequently. White female athletes also appeared to smoke marijuana more frequently. Overall, results suggested comparably strong effects for female sport environments while male behaviors varied by race, noncompetitive exercise frequency, and sports competition. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are offered.
Arlene E. Hall
This study is an examintion of the effects of race and income on leisure-time physical activity among women (n = 116). Perceived benefits of and barriers to participating in leisure-time physical activity were also compared. A regression model utilizing social cognitive variables was used to explore factors which may predict physical activity participation. No significant differences emerged between the groups regarding the amount of physical activity they reported either by race or socioeconomic status. Time expenditure emerged significantly different by race (p < .001) and income (p < .000); middle-income women reported time as a barrier more than lower-income women and Whites were likelier to report time as a barrier more than Blacks. Middle-income women perceived greater (p < .01) physical performance benefits from exercise than lower-income women. Social interaction, time expenditure, and body mass index were the strongest predictors of physical activity. The data and findings could be useful for increaseing our understanding of economic and racial disparities in physical activity participation and garnish information for use in constructing interven programs.
The purpose of this study was to describe (1) the current physical activity (PA) levels of women who were among the earliest competitors in organized intercollegiate sports during the late 1960s and 1970s. Activity was determined using the Godin Leisure Time Questionnaire. Of the 103 subjects, 45% reported participation in strenuous activity (MET level 9), and 41% reported participation in moderate activity (MET level 5) more than 3 times per week. The majority of women often (50%) or sometimes (38%) participated in activity long enough to work up a sweat. Only 12 % reported never engaging in activity long enough to work up a sweat. Most women (66%) currently participate in physical activity to gain health or fitness or for recreation. A much smaller percentage (13%) still enjoys competition. Most women (60%) performed these activities alone while only 3% participated in group activities. Most (73%) indicated that the opportunity to participate in their college sport does not currently exist, while 27% indicated that they still participate. Reasons for not participating included no program available (27%), musculo-skeltal problems (15%), no desire (6%) and that their college sport was too vigorous (3%). The most common activities in which women currently participate are golf, running, jogging and walking and tennis. A large majority (97%) indicated previous intercollegiate participation had very positively influenced their current participation in physical activity.
Unlike the majority of their peers, this population of women who competed in the early intercollegiate athletics has tended to stay active in spite of decreasing opportunities to engage in team and other physical activities after college and as they age.
Timothy I. McCutcheon, James E. Curtis and Philip G. White
This paper reports on the distribution by socioeconomic status (SES) of injuries from sport and physical activities for each gender using data from a national sample of adult Canadians. The results show weak positive relationships between SES (various measures) and sport injury before controls for both genders, and that men are more likely to experience sports injuries than women. Workplace physical activity is negatively related to SES and negatively related to sport injury. Also, duration and intensity of sport and physical activities are positively related to SES and positively related to sport injuries. The effects of these intervening variables help account for the positive relationships of SES and sport injuries.
Mee lee Leung
The purpose of this study was to investigate the attitudes of 130 male and female athletes toward female coaches in Hong Kong. Athletes, selected from 14 individual sports, responded to a questionnaire that included 34 attitudes’ items using a 5-point Likert Scale and a question involving preference, in which subjects indicated their preferences toward male or female coaches. An independent t-test analysis (p < .05) revealed that athletes reported a favorable attitude toward female coaches. Chi-Square analysis revealed that athletes preferred a male coach to a female coach.
Sports remain a man’s world as the coverage of females in sport continues to be marginalized. In During the 1990s Sports Illustrated, which appeals primarily to male readers interested in spectator sports publicized by the media, provided limited coverage of females. Based on an examination of the number of feature articles, article length in column inches, number of pictures, and article content, only in tennis, figure skating, and gymnastics were more females featured than males. In reporting on females in sports, Sports Illustrated emphasized individual sports and the femininity of female athletes, while including some usage of sexist language.
Danae Dinkel, Jennifer Huberty, Melissa Tibbits and Melicia Whitt-Glover
Girls are less active than boys and in need of physical activity (PA) interventions. The time directly following school may be a prime opportunity to increase PA, specifically in girls. Afterschool programs and the staff who serve as role models play a critical role in promoting girls’ PA. However, staff do not always provide the support necessary to encourage girls to be active. Studies are needed to explore afterschool program staff’s perceptions of girls’ motivation, as well as their provision of support for autonomy, competence, and relationships with girls (relatedness) to understand how to best promote PA. The purpose of this study was to explore staff and girls’ perceptions of girls’ motivation for PA. The secondary purpose was to explore staff and girls’ perceptions of autonomy, competence, and relatedness support for PA. Interviews with staff (n = 45) and focus groups with girls (n = 88) occurred in 10 afterschool program sites. Half of staff compared with a majority of girls thought girls’ motivation was intrinsic and self-determined (e.g., participated for enjoyment). Three-fourths of staff reported attempting to gain girls’ input and a majority of girls felt they had autonomy to choose or input on the PA provided. Half of staff compared with a quarter of girls thought girls’ competence was negatively impacted by other children. Finally, staff and girls reported spending time together in sedentary pursuits. Efforts are needed to ensure staff: understand girls’ PA motivation, create an autonomy supportive environment, and engage girls in active pursuits.