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Lynda B. Ransdell, Mary K. Dinger, Stacy Beske and Colleen Cooke

The purpose of this paper is to examine factors related to success in academic publishing for women in exercise science. Two trained investigators conducted hand searches of 7 prominent exercise science journals to ascertain the names of the most prolific women authors between 1991 and 1996. Seventeen (17) women, whose names will not be revealed (due to confidentiality), were identified. Following their identification, women were asked to submit a copy of their vita and complete a questionnaire related to scholarly productivity. Thirteen out of seventeen women agreed to participate in the study, yielding a response rate of 76%. Personal attributes that contributed most to their success in publishing were self-motivation, discipline, and perseverance. Situational or sociological factors mentioned were the availability of mentors, talented collaborators, and institutional or personal support. Some tips for maximizing productivity include having proper preparation and a narrow focus, and developing skills in writing, research design, and analysis. Women reported many gender-related barriers early in their careers, but these barriers faded with experience and reputation establishment. The two most frequent recommendations for ensuring successful collaborations with others were completing work in a timely fashion and being a team player. Sacrifices made for publishing included fewer social interactions and less time for leisure activities and vacations. With the exception of some barriers related to gender, our findings are in agreement with others who have examined correlates of productivity in mixed samples of men and women from a variety of fields.

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Zoe Rebecca Knowles, Daniel Parnell, Gareth Stratton and Nicola Diane Ridgers

Background:

Qualitative research into the effect of school recess on children’s physical activity is currently limited. This study used a write and draw technique to explore children’s perceptions of physical activity opportunities during recess.

Methods:

299 children age 7−11 years from 3 primary schools were enlisted. Children were grouped into Years 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6 and completed a write and draw task focusing on likes and dislikes. Pen profiles were used to analyze the data.

Results:

Results indicated ‘likes’ focused on play, positive social interaction, and games across both age groups but showed an increasing dominance of games with an appreciation for being outdoors with age. ‘Dislikes’ focused on dysfunctional interactions linked with bullying, membership, equipment, and conflict for playground space. Football was a dominant feature across both age groups and ‘likes/dislikes’ that caused conflict and dominated the physically active games undertaken.

Conclusion:

Recess was important for the development of conflict management and social skills and contributed to physical activity engagement. The findings contradict suggestions that time spent in recess should be reduced because of behavioral issues.

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Nicola D. Ridgers, Gareth Stratton and Thomas L. McKenzie

Background:

Children frequently engage in diverse activities that are broadly defined as play, but little research has documented children’s activity levels during play and how they are influenced by social contexts. Assessing potentially modifiable conditions that influence play behavior is needed to design optimal physical activity interventions.

Methods:

System for Observing Children’s Activity and Relationships during Play (SOCARP) was developed to simultaneously assess children’s physical activity, social group sizes, activity type, and social behavior during play. One hundred and fourteen children (48 boys, 66 girls; 42% overweight) from 8 elementary schools were observed during recess over 24 days, with 12 days videotaped for reliability purposes. Ninety-nine children wore a uni-axial accelerometer during their observation period.

Results:

Estimated energy expenditure rates from SOCARP observations and mean accelerometer counts were significantly correlated (r = .67; P < .01), and interobserver reliabilities (ie, percentage agreement) for activity level (89%), group size (88%), activity type (90%) and interactions (88%) met acceptable criteria. Both physical activity and social interactions were influenced by group size, activity type, and child gender and body weight status.

Conclusions:

SOCARP is a valid and reliable observation system for assessing physical activity and play behavior in a recess context.

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Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Jennifer Wolch, Chih-Ping Chou, Michael Jerrett, Jason Byrne, Susan Weaver and Kim D. Reynolds

Background:

Efforts to increase community levels of physical activity through the development of multiuse urban trails could be strengthened by information about factors predicting trail use. This study examined whether reasons for trail use predict levels of physical activity on urban trails.

Methods:

Adults (N = 335) living within a 1-mile buffer zone of urban trails in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles completed a self-report measure assessing demographics, reason for trail use, and physical activity on the trail. Accelerometers measured total daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Environmental features of the urban trail were assessed with the Systematic Pedestrian and Cyclist Environmental Scan for trails measure. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted that accounted for clustering of individuals within trail segments.

Results:

After controlling for demographic and environmental factors and total daily MVPA, reasons for trail use significantly predicted recreational but not transportation activity. Recreational trail activity was greater for participants who reported exercise and health reasons for trail use as compared with other reasons (ie, social interaction, enjoying nature, walking pets) for recreational trail use.

Conclusions:

To increase the use of urban trails, it may be useful to promote the health and exercise benefits of recreational trail use.

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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.

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Sunday Azagba and Mesbah Fathy Sharaf

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

Identifying the correlates of LTPA among older adults can inform useful intervention measures.

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James E. Johnson

Integration and consumption of sport are often used to build community identity, enhance health, and promote positive social interactions. Those benefits informed the purpose of this project, which was to integrate service-learning education and behaviors into a graduate sport management leadership course. Project L.E.E.P. (Leadership through Education, Experience, and Photovoice) benefitted local communities by providing an interactive service-learning project that was mutually beneficial to graduate students and surrounding community partners. Eleven graduate students in a sport administration leadership course partnered with different community sport organizations to execute a series of assignments designed to assess, plan, deliver, and reflect on more than 40 hr of sports service. Among those assignments was a photovoice project intended to capture service learning through the students’ perspectives and give voice to the sporting needs of a community. This project aligned with the experiential learning approach in many sport management programs, as well as the societal and service benefits outlined in the North American Society for Sport Management’s purpose and position statements.

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Hiroko Shimura, Elisabeth Winkler and Neville Owen

Background:

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.

Methods:

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).

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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.

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Lisa Groshong, Sonja A. Wilhelm Stanis, Andrew T. Kaczynski, J. Aaron Hipp and Gina M. Besenyi

Background:

Public parks hold promise for promoting population-level PA, but studies show a significant portion of park use is sedentary. Past research has documented the effectiveness of message-based strategies for influencing diverse behaviors in park settings and for increasing PA in nonpark contexts. Therefore, to inform message-based interventions (eg, point-ofdecision prompts) to increase park-based PA, the purpose of this study was to elicit insights about key attitudes, perceived norms, and personal agency that affect park use and park-based PA in low-income urban neighborhoods.

Methods:

This study used 6 focus groups with youth and adults (n = 41) from low-income urban areas in Kansas City, MO, to examine perceptions of key attitudinal outcomes and motivations, perceived norms, key referents, and personal agency facilitators and constraints that affect park use and park-based PA.

Results:

Participant attitudes reflected the importance of parks for mental and physical health, with social interaction and solitude cited as key motivations. Of 10 themes regarding perceived norms, influential others reflected participants’ ethnic makeup but little consensus emerged among groups. Social and safety themes were cited as both facilitators and constraints, along with park offerings and setting.

Conclusions:

Information about attitudes, perceived norms, and personal agency can increase understanding of theoretically derived factors that influence park-based PA and help park and health professionals create communication strategies to promote PA.

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Maureen R. Weiss and Susan C. Duncan

Youth sport literature contends that the development of self-esteem is influenced by social interactions in the physical domain. However, little research has investigated the role of the peer group in developing perceptions of physical competence and social acceptance. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship, between competence in physical skills and interpersonal competence with peers in a sport setting. Children (N=126) completed measures assessing perceptions of physical competence and peer acceptance» perceptions of success for athletic performance and interpersonal skills, causal attributions for physical performance and interpersonal success» and expectations for future success in these two areas. Teachers' ratings of children's actual physical ability and social skills with peers were also obtained. Canonical correlation analyses indicated a strong relationship (r c = .75) between indices of physical competence and peer acceptance. Children who scored high in actual and perceived physical competence and who made stable and personally controllable attributions for sport performance also scored high in actual and perceived peer acceptance and made stable attributions for successful peer interactions.