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Ronald D. Adelman, Michele G. Greene, Erika Friedmann, Marcia G. Ory and Caitlin E. Snow

This cross-sectional observational study examined the frequency of older patient–physician discussions about exercise, who initiates discussions, and the quality of questioning, informing, and support about exercise. The study used a convenience sample of 396 follow-up visits at 3 community-based practice sites, with 376 community-dwelling older patients and 43 primary-care physicians. Audiotapes were analyzed using the Multi-Dimensional Interaction Analysis coding system. Results demonstrate that exercise was discussed in 13% of visits and the subject was raised equally by patients and physicians. Exercise was significantly more likely to be discussed in dyadic visits (14.7%) than in triadic visits (4.1%). Patient level of education, patient overall physical health, and the physician’s being female were significant predictors of the occurrence of exercise discussion. Given the importance of exercise for maintaining health and independence in older adults, more clinical and research attention is needed to address barriers to effective discussions in this area.

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Christie L. Ward, Rudy J. Valentine and Ellen M. Evans

Adiposity, lean mass, and physical activity (PA) are known to influence physical function in older adults, although the independent influences are not completely characterized. Older adults (N = 156, M age = 68.9 ± 6.7 yr, 85 men) were assessed for body composition via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, PA by accelerometer, and physical function via timed up-and-go (UP&GO), 30-s chair stand, 6-min walk (6-min WALK), and Star-Excursion Balance Test. In the absence of percentage-body-fat by PA interactions (p > .05), main effects existed such that a higher percentage body fat was associated with poorer performance in UP&GO, 30-s chair stand, and 6-min WALK (p < .05). No significant main effects were found for PA and functional performance. Adiposity explains 4.6–11.4% in physical functional variance (p < .05). Preventing increases in adiposity with age may help older adults maintain functional independence.

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Janet B. Parks and Michael E. Bartley

Scholarship expectations of many universities in the United States are becoming more stringent. The purpose of this study was to examine variables associated with the scholarship of the sport management professoriate. The participants were 266 of the 422 academics in the NASPE-NASSM Sport Management Program List (1991). Chi-square tests of independence (alpha < .004) revealed slight tendencies for (a) younger faculty to have doctorates in areas such as sport management, psychology/sociology of sport, and legal aspects of sport rather than in physical education; (b) younger faculty to have more publications than older faculty; (c) women to be concentrated in the lower ranks and salary ranges; and (d) movement toward gender parity in rank and salary. This study should be replicated in 5 years to discover if these tendencies were precursors of trends.

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Jae Kun Shim, Jeffrey Hsu, Sohit Karol and Ben F. Hurley

The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of finger strength training (ST) on finger strength, independence, force control, and adaptations in multifinger coordination. Thirty-three healthy, young (23.0 ± 2.9 years) subjects were randomly assigned into 4 groups. Group 1 (G1) trained all fingers together, Group 2 (G2) trained individual fingers without restricting movements of the non-training fingers, and Group 3 (G3) trained individual fingers while restricting the movement of the nontraining fingers. The control group (G0) did not undergo any training. A vertically hanging load was attached to a spring that passed through a pulley. The other end of the string extended to the horizontal plane and had thimbles attached to it. Subjects were asked to rest their forearm on the table and lift the load by inserting their fingers into the thimbles. The training protocol lasted 6 weeks. Identical experimental tests were conducted 4 times, biweekly, across the 6-week training. Force coordination and moment coordination, defined as synergies stabilizing the resultant force and the resultant moment of all finger forces, in a multifinger pressing task were quantified using the Uncontrolled Manifold (UCM) analysis. The UCM analysis allocates motor variability into two components, one in the null space of a motor task and the other perpendicular to the null space. During multifinger pressing tasks, multifinger coordination exists when the variability in the null space is greater than the variability in the subspace perpendicular to the null space. The multifinger coordination was quantified as the difference between the variance within the null space and that perpendicular to the null space, normalized by the total variance. Thus, the coordination measure in our analysis is a unitless variable. A greater coordination measure indicates better multifinger coordination. Moment-stabilizing multifinger coordination increased only in G1 (from 1.197 ± 0.004 to 1.323 ± 0.002, p < .01), and force-stabilizing coordination increased only in G3 (from 0.207 ± 0.106 to 0.727 ± 0.071, p < .01). Finger strength, measured by the maximal voluntary finger force of pressing 4 fingers, increased significantly in all training groups (from 103.7 ± 3.1 N to 144.0 ± 3.6 N for training groups, all p < .001). Finger-force errors, quantified by the deviations between the required force profiles (20% maximal voluntary force) presented to the subjects and the actual force produced, decreased significantly with ST for all the training groups (all p < .05). Finger independence also decreased significantly for all the training groups (p < .05). We conclude that the neuromuscular system adaptations to multifinger ST are specific to the training protocol being employed, yielding improvements in different types of multifinger coordination (i.e., coordination-specific ST), finger-force control, and finger strength and a decrease in finger independence. Finger independence, depending on the nature of the task, might or might not be favorable to certain task performances. We suggest that ST protocol should be carefully designed for the improvement of specific coordination of multieffector motor systems.

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Constantine Karteroliotis and Diane L. Gill

This study examined the relationships of cognitive worry, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence—all components of the CSAI-2 (Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2)—to each other, to physiological measures, and to motor performance prior to, during, and after competition. In addition, the prediction that only somatic anxiety increases prior to competition was examined. Forty-one undergraduate males competed in a motor task while the experimenter monitored heart rate and blood pressure responses. Each subject competed against a confederate for 10 experimental trials and completed the CSAI-2 prior to, during, and after the competition. The results confirmed the multidimensional nature of the state anxiety construct and provided evidence for the independence of cognitive worry and somatic anxiety. However, both dimensions followed similar temporal patterns prior to and during competition. Finally, the results confirmed the nonsignificant relationship between psychological and physiological measures of anxiety.

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Edward Albert

The subculture of bicycle racing provides a situation in which the relationship between formal rules and dominant sport ideologies, and the taken-for-granted informal structures produced by athletes during competition, may be observed. Ethnographic and interview data suggest that such structures as pelotons and pacelines create both the opportunity for and the requirement of cooperative efforts between opponents, standing in stark contrast to more conventional conceptions of sport in which only unambiguous conflict between competitors is seen as legitimate. Here the informal norms of cooperation are central to insider definitions of the social order and are accompanied by strong sanctions for noncompliance. This cooperative informal order is seen as especially problematic for novices, as it diverges from widely held beliefs in the independence of competing units and the importance of overcoming opponents through maximum individual effort. Media coverage of the sport, in disregarding cooperative efforts, both creates and perpetuates erroneous stereotypes, making socialization into the sport more difficult.

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Jan M. Schroeder, Karen L. Nau, Wayne H. Osness and Jeffrey A. Potteiger

Measurements of functional ability, balance, strength, flexibility, life satisfaction, and physical activity were compared among three populations of older adults (age 75-85 years). Sixty-nine subjects performed the Physical Performance Test (PPT). timed Up and Go. 1 repetition maximum (IRM) leg press and extensions, and Modified Sit and Reach. The Physical Activity Questionnaire for the Elderly and Satisfaction With Life Scale were also completed. No difference was found among the groups for life satisfaction. Individuals living in a nursing facility had poorer PPT scores, dynamic balance, leg extension strength, leg press strength, flexibility, and physical activity than individuals living in assisted-care facilities and the community. Assisted-care individuals had significantly lower PPT scores and leg strength than community-living individuals. The decline of ADL performance and physical activity may be accounted for by loss of strength, balance, and flexibility, all associated with a loss of independence.

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Pamela G. Bowen, Yvonne D. Eaves, David E. Vance and Linda D. Moneyham

African American women are more likely to be classified as overweight or obese than European American women and little is known about this phenomenon. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experiences of overweight and obese African American older women living in the southern regions of the United States. Semistructured, audiotaped interviews were conducted to elicit narratives from nine participants. Interview data were transcribed verbatim and then coded and analyzed using Colaizzi’s phenomenological analysis framework. Three major categories emerged: impact of health conditions, incongruent perceptions, and the desire for independence. The focus of culturally appropriate interventions aimed at increasing physical activity for this group should incorporate activities that will help them remain independent, because weight loss is not a primary motivator.

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Joanna L. Morrissey, Phyllis J. Wenthe, Elena M. Letuchy, Steven M. Levy and Kathleen F. Janz

In a sample of 291 adolescents (mean age 13 yr), seven psychosocial factors, including family support, were examined in relation to accelerometry-derived physical activity (PA) measured after school and during the weekend. Gender-specific stepwise linear regression analyses determined which combinations of factors explained the variance in nonschool moderate to vigorous PA and nonschool total PA after adjusting for % BF, age, and maturity (p ≤ 0.05). Being praised by a family member and % BF explained 13% of the variance in female nonschool MVPA, while being praised and maturity explained 13% of the variance in nonschool total PA. Having a family member watch him participate, % BF, and age explained 11.5% of the variance in male nonschool MVPA, while having a family member participate with him explained 6.4% of the variance in nonschool total PA. Despite adolescents’ growing independence, family support continues to influence PA levels.

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Dorothy J. Lovett and Carla D. Lowry

Two reasons given for the dramatic decline in the percentage of women coaches since the passage of Title IX have been the effectiveness of the “good old boys” network and the lack or ineffectiveness of the “good old girls” network. With homologous reproduction used as a theoretical basis for these networks, 1,106 public secondary schools were surveyed to determine their administrative structures based on the sex of the principals and the athletic directors. Two types of administrative structures were identified with four models under each type. The numbers of male and female head coaches in the girls' athletics program under each administrative structure were determined and analyzed for independence. Significant differences were found between the different administrative models and the gender of the head coaches. Findings are discussed in terms of the prevailing administrative structures and the representation of females in coaching as a result of the dominant group reproducing itself.