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Lisa M. Silliman and Ron French

The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of preferred verbal praise and music reinforcement on improving the soccer kick performances of youths with profound mental retardation (PMR). Subjects (N = 15) were randomly assigned to three groups. Based on visual inspection and the split-middle technique, all three groups (i.e., control, verbal praise, and music reinforcer) improved performances in their kicking accuracy. Comparison of graphed mean data of the three groups, by visual inspection and the split-middle technique, showed that the verbal praise and music reinforcement groups had higher scores than the control group. Visual inspection of 2-week follow-up data revealed that both experimental groups maintained higher scores than the control group. In addition, all of the subjects had the ability to generalize this kicking skill into a physical recreation environment.

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Noam Eyal, Michael Bar-Eli, Gershon Tenenbaum and Joan S. Pie

The aim of this study was to examine whether outcome expectations can be generalized from one defined task to other tasks. A deception paradigm was employed in which outcome expectations were manipulated. High, low, or medium expectations toward performing five tasks, which gradually increased in complexity and shared a common skill, were manipulated. Ninety adult males were randomly assigned to manipulation groups. A within-subjects repeated measures ANOVA indicated that those manipulated by medium expectations showed elevated perceptions of outcome expectations. Their performance, however, was superior only in the two tasks most similar in complexity to the initial task. On the less similar tasks, the differences among the groups were insignificant. A generalization effect can therefore be demonstrated on outcome expectations and performance to a certain degree of task complexity. Implications of the superior performance of participants manipulated to produce medium outcome expectations are discussed.

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Francis L. F. Lee

This article examines the role of the news media in the production of media sports spectacle through representation of soccer fandom and articulation of the meanings of sports events. The article analyzes the visits of two European soccer teams (Liverpool FC and Real Madrid) to Hong Kong in the summer of 2003. Newspaper discourses are found to generate a picture of generalized fandom and normalized fanaticism towards these events. At the same time, the media articulated the meanings of the events within the context of both global and local processes. The overall result is that public discourse embraced the commercialization of sports, and the media helped to transform the preseason “friendlies” into hugely successful spectacles. These results are understood within the theoretical framework of the society of the spectacle proffered by Debord (1995), though the analysis also points to the limitations of Debord’s framework.

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Angela DiDomenico, Raymond W. McGorry and Jacob J. Banks

Time-to-contact (TtC) is an alternative measure of postural stability to center of pressure (CoP) velocity. TtC is based on both spatial and temporal aspects of CoP displacement, definition of the boundary shape, and quantity of minima analyzed. Three boundary shapes and three minima selection methods were used to compute TtC during bipedal quiet standing. The results suggest that there is a strong correlation between TtC values obtained using each of the calculation methods (r ≥.73) and mean CoP velocity (r ≥ −.70). TtC was significantly affected by boundary shape and minima selection method. This limits the ability to compare absolute values, but relative levels of stability computed using TtC can be compared due to strong correlations. Given the task parameters studied, mean CoP velocity may even be adequate to assess levels of stability. Future studies are needed to examine the generalizability of these findings for different groups and task parameters.

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Karen L. Schmidt, Jessie M. Van Swearingen and Rachel M. Levenstein

The context of voluntary movement during facial assessment has significant effects on the activity of facial muscles. Using automated facial analysis, we found that healthy subjects instructed to blow produced lip movements that were longer in duration and larger in amplitude than when subjects were instructed to pucker. We also determined that lip movement for puckering expressions was more asymmetric than lip movement in blowing. Differences in characteristics of lip movement were noted using facial movement analysis and were associated with the context of the movement. The impact of the instructions given for voluntary movement on the characteristics of facial movement might have important implications for assessing the capabilities and deficits of movement control in individuals with facial movement disorders. If results generalize to the clinical context, assessment of generally focused voluntary facial expressions might inadequately demonstrate the full range of facial movement capability of an individual patient.

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Iina Antikainen and Rebecca Ellis

Although physical activity interventions have been shown to effectively modify behavior, little research has examined the potential of these interventions for adoption in real-world settings. The purpose of this literature review was to evaluate the external validity of 57 theory-based physical activity interventions using the RE-AIM framework. The physical activity interventions included were more likely to report on issues of internal, rather than external validity and on individual, rather than organizational components of the RE-AIM framework, making the translation of many interventions into practice difficult. Furthermore, most studies included motivated, healthy participants, thus reducing the generalizability of the interventions to real-world settings that provide services to more diverse populations. To determine if a given intervention is feasible and effective in translational research, more information should be reported about the factors that affect external validity.

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David D. Anderson, Ben M. Hillberry, Dorothy Teegarden, William R. Proulx, Connie M. Weaver and Tomoaki Yoshikawa

Bone remodeling as a response to exercise in human subjects is described in the literature, although most studies treat exercise as a qualitative factor contributing to bone remodeling. Quantitative description requires assessment of the mechanical loads on the bones. This work describes a generalized lower extremity model that uses existing musculoskeletal modeling techniques to quantify mechanical variables in the femoral neck during exercise. An endurance exercise program consisting of walking, jogging jumping rope, and weight-training was analyzed. Peak femoral neck cortex stresses and strains were high during jogging and squatting, compared to walking, whereas jumping rope and other weight-training exercises produced peak stresses comparable to or lower than walking. Peak stress and strain rates were significantly higher for walking, jumping rope, and jogging than for weight-training. The model should prove useful for any study investigating a quantitative relationship between exercise and bone remodeling.

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Zakkoyya H. Lewis, Kyriakos S. Markides, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher and Soham Al Snih

We investigated the relationship between physical activity and physical function on the risk of falls over time in a cohort of Mexican-American adults aged 75 and older from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE). Participants were divided into four groups according to their level of physical activity and physical function: low physical activity and low physical function (n = 453); low physical activity and high physical function (n = 54); high physical activity and low physical function (n = 307); and high physical activity and high physical function (n = 197). Using generalized linear equation estimation, we showed that participants with high physical activity and low physical function had a greater fall risk over time, followed by the high physical activity and high physical function group. Participants seldom took part in activities that improve physical function. To prevent falls, modifications to physical activity should be made for older Mexican Americans.

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Walter E. Davis, William A. Sparrow and Terry Ward

A fractionation technique was employed to determine the locus of reaction time delay in Down syndrome (DS) and other adult subjects with mental retardation (MH). Twenty-three subjects (8 nondisabled, 8 MH, and 7 DS) responded to a light, sound, and combination light/sound signal. Dependent measures of premotor time, motor time, total reaction time, and movement time were obtained during a 20° elbow extension movement and were analyzed separately. As expected, both MH and DS subjects were slower and more variable in their responses than the subjects without disabilities. In turn, DS subjects were significantly slower but not more variable than the MH subjects. There were no significant differences between the DS and MH subjects on movement times. Evidence for both a specific (premotor) and a generalized (both premotor and motor) locus of delay was found. Some difference in signal effect was also found for the DS subjects.

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Karen Davranche, Danny Paleresompoulle, Rémy Pernaud, Julie Labarelle and Thierry Hasbroucq

The present study investigated the effects of acute paddling on performance in a typical decision-making task. It was aimed at assessing whether the effects of moderate exercise can be replicated using the feet as response effectors when physical exercise essentially solicits upper-body muscles. Twelve national-level paddling athletes performed a Simon task while paddling at a moderate (75% of maximal heart rate, HRmax) and at very light (40% of HRmax) intensities. The results showed that the effects of moderate exercise can be generalized to exercises involving different response effectors and upper-body muscle groups. They suggest (1) that the activation-suppression hypothesis (Ridderinkhof, 2002) holds when the task is performed with the feet, and (2) that moderate exercise speeds up reaction time and impairs the suppression of direct response activation.