While the sport sociology community has had a long-running conversation about the relationship between athletes’ success and race, there are few empirical investigations of individuals’ attitudes regarding the connection of race and athletic performance. This study on White college students’ explanations of White (and African American) athleticism attempts to push this discussion of race and sport. Using a qualitative, open-ended question we elicited explanations from White college students about athletic performance. Findings revealed that White students explained White athleticism through discussions of African American athleticism. In addition, White student participants avoided biological explanations regarding White athletes’ success.
C. Keith Harrison, Suzanne Malia Lawrence and Scott J. Bukstein
R. Saylor Breckenridge and Pat Rubio Goldsmith
We examine the effect of the visibility of African American, Latino, and Jewish baseball players on attendance at Major League Baseball games between 1930 and 1961. We invoke the sociological concepts of “social distance,” “spectacle,” and “group threat” and incorporate data focusing on the era of integration to expand on previous research in this arena. Notably, African American and Latino player visibility—but not that of other groups—is revealed to increase attendance at games. This effect weakens for losing teams and in cities with relatively larger minority populations. The findings suggest a synthesis of theories is possible.
Patricia F. Coogan, Laura F. White, Stephen R. Evans, Julie R. Palmer and Lynn Rosenberg
Influences on TV viewing time, which is associated with adverse health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes, need clarification. We assessed the relation of neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) and walkability with TV viewing time in the Black Women’s Health Study, a prospective study of African American women.
We created neighborhood SES and walkability scores using data from the U.S. census and other sources. We estimated odds ratios for TV viewing 5+ hours/day compared with 0–1 hours/day for quintiles of neighborhood SES and walkability scores.
Neighborhood SES was inversely associated with TV viewing time. The odds ratio for watching 5+ hours/day in the highest compared with the lowest quintile of neighborhood SES was 0.66 (95% CI 0.54–0.81). Neighborhood walkability was not associated with TV viewing time.
Neighborhood SES should be considered in devising strategies to combat the high levels of sedentariness prevalent in African American women.
Neil A. Doldo, Matthew J. Delmonico, Jason A. Bailey, Brian D. Hand, Matthew C. Kostek, Karma M. Rabon-Stith, Kalapurakkal S. Menon, Joan M. Conway, Craig R. Carignan and Ben F. Hurley
To determine sex and race differences in muscle power per unit of muscle contraction, knee-extensor muscle power normalized for knee-extensor muscle volume was measured in 79 middle-aged and older adults (30 men and 49 women, age range 50–85 years). Results revealed that women displayed a 38% faster peak movement velocity than men and African Americans had a 14% lower peak movement velocity than Whites of a similar age when expressed per unit of involved muscle (p < .001). As expected, men exhibited greater knee-extensor strength and peak power per unit of muscle than women, but women had a faster knee-extension movement velocity per unit of muscle than men at the same relative strength level. Moreover, African Americans had greater knee-extensor muscle volume than Whites but exhibited lower knee-extensor strength and lower movement velocity per unit of muscle when tested at the same relative strength levels.
Katherine Beissner, Samantha J. Parker, Charles R. Henderson Jr., Anusmiriti Pal, Lynne Iannone and M. Cary Reid
This pilot study examined the feasibility and potential efficacy of a self-management program for seniors with chronic back pain and assessed for possible race/ ethnicity differences in program impact. Sixty-nine seniors (24 African Americans, 25 Hispanics, and 20 non-Hispanic Whites) enrolled in the 8-wk community-based program. Efficacy outcomes included pain-related disability as measured by the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ), pain intensity, pain self-efficacy, depressive symptoms, social activity, and functional status. Eighty percent of enrollees completed the program. Clinically important decreases in RMDQ scores were found for non-Hispanic White (adjusted change score = –3.53), African American (–3.89), and Hispanic (–8.45) participants. Improvements in all other outcomes were observed, but only for Hispanic participants. Results confirm that implementation of the protocol in urban senior centers is feasible, and the program shows potential efficacy. The race/ethnicity differences observed in the current study merit further investigation.
John R. Sirard, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Marsha Dowda and Russell R. Pate
The purpose of this study was to identify racial differences in physical activity (PA), fitness, and BMI in female 8th-grade sports participants and nonparticipants. Girls from 31 South Carolina middle schools (N = 1,903, 48% White; mean age = 13.6 ± 0.63) reported PA and previous year sports-team participation, completed a submaximal fitness test, and had height and weight measured. Sports team participation was positively associated with PA and negatively associated with television viewing and BMI, in a dose-response manner. Compared with Whites, African-Americans reported less PA and more television viewing, and had greater BMI scores. Whereas PA intervention programs that incorporate a sports-team component could benefit all girls, African-American girls could be specifically targeted because of their lower physical activity.
Cheryl Cooky, Faye L. Wachs, Michael Messner and Shari L. Dworkin
Using intersectionality and hegemony theory, we critically analyze mainstream print news media’s response to Don Imus’ exchange on the 2007 NCAA women’s basketball championship game. Content and textual analysis reveals the following media frames: “invisibility and silence”; “controlling images versus women’s self-definitions”; and, “outside the frame: social issues in sport and society.” The paper situates these media frames within a broader societal context wherein 1) women’s sports are silenced, trivialized and sexualized, 2) media representations of African-American women in the U. S. have historically reproduced racism and sexism, and 3) race and class relations differentially shape dominant understandings of African-American women’s participation in sport. We conclude that news media reproduced monolithic understandings of social inequality, which lacked insight into the intersecting nature of oppression for women, both in sport and in the United States.
Scott B. Martin, Craig A. Wrisberg, Patricia A. Beitel and John Lounsbury
A 50-item questionnaire measuring athletes’ attitudes toward seeking a sport psychology consultant (ATSSPCQ) was initially developed and then administered to 48 African American and 177 Caucasian student-athletes at a NCAA Division I university. Principal components factor analyses were conducted to extract initial factors and then varimax orthogonal rotation was performed. The analyses produced three dimensions of athlete attitude that accounted for 35% of the variance: stigma tolerance, confidence in a SPC/recognition of need, and interpersonal openness/willingness to try a SPC. A MANOVA and follow-up discriminant function analyses were then performed to identify the factors that maximized differences between gender and race. Significant differences in stigma tolerance were found for both gender and race. SPCs were stigmatized more by male athletes than by female athletes and more by African American athletes than by Caucasian athletes. No other significant effects were obtained.
George B. Cunningham and Nicole Melton
In drawing from Herek’s (2007, 2009) sexual stigma and prejudice theory, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among prejudice toward sexual minority coaches, religious fundamentalism, sexism, and sexual prejudice and to determine whether race affected these relationships. The authors collected data from 238 parents. Results indicated that Asians expressed greater sexual prejudice than Latinos and Whites, while African Americans expressed more religious fundamentalism than did Whites. There were also differences in the associations among the variables. For African Americans, sexism held the strongest association with prejudice toward sexual minority coaches. While for Asians and Whites, religious fundamentalism held the strongest association, contact with lesbian and gay friends was a significant predictor of prejudice for Asians, but not for the other groups. For Latinos, both religious fundamentalism and sexism were associated with sexual prejudice. The authors discuss the results in terms of theoretical and practical implications.
Timothy J. Bungum and Murray Vincent
Purposes of this study included the identification of physical activity (PA) levels, and the types of activity, as well as the determination of racial differences in these factors between African-American (AA) (n=626) and White (WH) (n=226) adolescent females.
PA was measured using a one week recall. Approximately 1/2 of WH and 1/3 of AA female adolescents were sufficiently physically active (Blair, 1992) to produce health benefits. Less than twenty-five percent of study participants met a newly established guideline addressing moderate to vigorous PA (Sallis & Patrick, 1994). Younger adolescents were more active than older adolescents.
Accounting for differences in age and socioeconomic status WH females were more active than AA females. African-American and WH females participated in similar types of activity. Walking was the most frequently cited mode of activity.