As part of the emergence of alternative research paradigms in exercise and sport psychology, we draw upon data from an ethnographic study of 3 individuals with schizophrenia to explore the use of exercise as an adjunct therapy for schizophrenia. A 10-week exercise program of twice-weekly sessions was implemented. Participant observation and interviews with participants and their assigned key-workers were the primary sources of data collection used. The influence of exercise on the lives of participants and their mental health and the underlying mechanisms of change were explored. Our findings indicate that exercise has the potential to help reduce participants’ perceptions of auditory hallucinations, raise self-esteem, and improve sleep patterns and general behavior. The process of exercising, via the provision of distraction and social interaction rather than the exercise itself, was very influential in providing these benefits. In conclusion, we strongly recommend the inclusion of exercise as an adjunct treatment in psychiatric rehabilitation.
Guy Faulkner and Andrew Sparkes
Eileen Udry, Daniel Gould, Dana Bridges and Suzie Tuffey
It is often assumed that important others can play significant roles in reducing stress among athletes. However, little attention has been given to (a) what specifically these important others say or do to reduce stress (empathize vs. motivate), and (b) how prevalent various types (positive vs. negative) of interactions are. This investigation attempted to fill this void. In-depth retrospective interviews were conducted with athletes who experienced burnout (n = 10) or season-ending injuries (n = 21). Inductive analysis revealed that athletes’ evaluations of the specific behaviors of important others tended to vary according to the stress (burnout vs. injury) experienced. Additionally, frequency analysis revealed that athletes described their interactions with important others as negative more often than as positive. The findings are discussed in relation to current conceptualizations of social interactions.
Bonnie L. Tjeerdsma
This study examined cooperating teacher (CT) experiences in and perceptions of the student teaching practicum, and the impact of the practicum on their beliefs about teaching in physical education and on their perceptions of the practicum. Constructivism, particularly social constructivism, provided the theoretical framework. The participants were 7 elementary physical education teachers serving as CTs. The primary data sources were standardized, open-ended interviews with the CTs and journals kept by the CTs throughout the practicum. The results showed that these CTs saw the practicum as a positive experience that caused them to increase reflection on and revitalize their teaching. Few changes were noted from pre- to postpracticum in the CTs’ beliefs about teaching physical education or their perceptions of the practicum. CTs with positive practicum perspectives have in common certain contextual factors and social interactions that differ from CTs with negative perspectives; these are discussed.
Randy M. Page, James Frey, Richard Talbert and Cindy Falk
Approximately 600 elementary school children (Grades 1-6) completed a loneliness rating scale and several fitness tests. Children who scored within low, average, and high ranges on the loneliness scale were compared to determine whether there were differences in levels of reported performance on fitness tests. ANCOVA tests revealed that lonely children were less physically fit and physically active than were those who were not lonely. Grade-specific analyses revealed that the relationship between levels of loneliness and physical fitness/physical activity appears to be most profound at the third- and fourth-grade levels. The results from this study suggest that lonely children may lack the social and/or physical skills necessary to effectively interact and function in group settings (physical activity is often a social activity for children). This could potentially perpetuate a cycle of poor social interaction, rejection or withdrawal, reduced physical activity, and reduced physical fitness.
Alex C. Garn, David R. Ware and Melinda A. Solmon
High school physical education classes provide students with numerous opportunities for social interactions, but few studies have explored how social strivings impact class engagement. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among 2 × 2 achievement goals, social motivation orientations, and effort in high school physical education classes using contemporary goal theory. A total of 105 ninth and tenth grade students reported their social motivation orientations, achievement goal orientations, and effort toward physical education. All four 2 × 2 achievement goals and three social motivation orientations had positive relationships with students’ self-reported effort in physical education. Further regression analysis revealed that mastery approach, performance avoidance, and social status goal orientations accounted for unique variance in explaining self-reported effort in high school physical education. Thus, students’ social strivings produce constructive outcomes in high school physical education and teachers who are able to promote healthy social climates can reap these benefits.
Thomas J. Martinek
There is considerable variability among students in the way they are affected by their teachers’ expectations for their future performance. The present article describes a model from which this variability can be partially explained. The model basically describes a series of mediating events that include (a) students’ perceptions of their teachers’ behaviors directed to them, (b) the students’ interpretation of the perceived teaching behaviors, and (c) the effects of the students’ interpretation of the teachers’ actions on their performance and/or behavior. Special attention will focus on the types of attributions students make when explaining the social interactions that transpire between them and their teacher during instruction. It is hoped that this article will increase the clarity of the Pygmalion phenomenon and provide some guidelines for future research in this area.
Jean Côté and John H. Salmela
The purpose of this study was to report the knowledge used by expert high-performance gymnastic coaches in the organization of training and competition. In-depth interviews were conducted with 9 coaches who worked with male gymnasts and 8 coaches who worked with female gymnasts. Qualitative analyses showed that coaches of males and coaches of females planned training similarly, except that coaches of females appeared to emphasize esthetic and nutritional issues to a greater extent. Coaches of males revealed more concerns about the organization of gymnasts’ physical conditioning. Analysis indicated that expert gymnastic coaches of males and females are constantly involved in dynamic social interactions with gymnasts, parents, and assistant coaches. Many areas of coaches’ organizational work, such as dealing with the athletes’ personal concerns and working with parents, are not part of the structure of coaches’ training programs and emerged as crucial tasks of expert gymnastic coaches for developing elite gymnasts.
Jeffrey D. Coelho
Written critical incidents were collected from students (n = 236) to investigate their perceptions of physical education at the United States Military Academy. Fourteen students were interviewed to provide perceptions beyond the confines of a specific incident. The data were classified into three themes: (a) teacher and teacher behaviors; (b) curriculum, program features, and subject matter; and (c) social interaction and behaviors of students. Within the first theme, encouragement, additional instruction, and demonstrations were the most frequently perceived positive influences. Inappropriate grading, public embarrassment, and adversarial relationships between teachers and students were the most frequently perceived negative influences. The positive influences within the curriculum theme were overcoming fear, relevance, and challenge. The negative influences were unfair grading standards, irrelevant content, and injury. Support and encouragement, acceptance, and effective leadership were the top ranked positive perceptions within the third theme. Poor leadership and lack of sportsmanship were associated with negative perceptions.
Hiroko Shimura, Elisabeth Winkler and Neville Owen
We examined associations of individual, psychosocial and environmental characteristics with 4-year changes in walking among middle-to-older aged adults; few such studies have employed prospective designs.
Walking for transport and walking for recreation were assessed during 2003–2004 (baseline) and 2007–2008 (follow-up) among 445 adults aged 50–65 years residing in Adelaide, Australia. Logistic regression analyses examined predictors of being in the highest quintile of decline in walking (21.4 minutes/day or more reduction in walking for transport; 18.6 minutes/day or more reduction in walking for recreation).
Declines in walking for transport were related to higher level of walking at baseline, low perceived benefits of activity, low family social support, a medium level of social interaction, low sense of community, and higher neighborhood walkability. Declines in walking for recreation were related to higher level of walking at baseline, low self-efficacy for activity, low family social support, and a medium level of available walking facilities.
Declines in middle-to-older aged adults’ walking for transport and walking for recreation have differing personal, psychosocial and built-environment correlates, for which particular preventive strategies may be developed. Targeted campaigns, community-based programs, and environmental and policy initiatives can be informed by these findings.
Sunday Azagba and Mesbah Fathy Sharaf
In spite of the substantial benefits of physical activity for healthy aging, older adults are considered the most physically inactive segment of the Canadian population. This paper examines leisure-time physical inactivity (LTPA) and its correlates among older Canadian adults.
We use data from the Canadian Community Health Survey with 45,265 individuals aged 50–79 years. A logistic regression is estimated and separate regressions are performed for males and females.
About 50% of older Canadian adults are physically inactive. Higher odds of physical inactivity are found among current smokers (OR = 1.52, CI = 1.37–1.69), those who binge-drink (OR = 1.24, CI = 1.11–1.39), visible minorities (OR = 1.60, CI = 1.39–1.85), immigrants (OR = 1.13, CI = 1.02–1.25), individuals with high perceived life stress (OR = 1.48, CI = 1.31–1.66). We also find lower odds of physical inactivity among: males (OR = 0.89, CI = 0.83 to 0.96), those with strong social interaction (OR = 0.71, CI = 0.66–0.77), with general life satisfaction (OR = 0.66, CI = 0.58–0.76) and individuals with more education. Similar results are obtained from separate regressions for males and females.
Identifying the correlates of LTPA among older adults can inform useful intervention measures.