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Jennifer L. Huberty, Diane Ehlers, Jason Coleman, Yong Gao and Steriani Elavsky

Background:

Ideal approaches to increasing long-term physical activity (PA) adherence in women remain unclear. This study used a longitudinal mixed-methods approach to 1) determine the effectiveness of an 8-month book club intervention for increasing PA participation and self-worth, and reducing barriers at 1-year follow-up; and 2) identify reasons why completers and noncompleters did or did not maintain PA.

Methods:

One year after the cessation of Women Bound to be Active (WBA), completers (participated in posttesting; n = 30) and noncompleters (did not participate in posttesting; n = 22) responded to questionnaires and interviews assessing their body mass index (BMI), current PA participation, barriers, and global self-worth.

Results:

Compared with noncompleters, completers reported decreases in BMI, higher motivation for PA, higher ratio of benefits to barriers, and more consistent PA. Both groups still reported barriers to PA, especially time; however, completers more often reported strategies for overcoming these barriers. Completers more directly discussed the impact of their improved self-worth on their PA participation.

Conclusions:

In the future, a greater focus on time management and self-regulation strategies should be emphasized in PA interventions, specifically those that focus on women. This may help to prevent program and long-term PA attrition.

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Veerle De Bosscher, Simon Shibli, Maarten van Bottenburg, Paul De Knop and Jasper Truyens

This article aims to make a contribution to comparative sport research and details a method for comparing nations’ elite sport systems less descriptively by measuring and comparing determinants of national competitiveness quantitatively. A mixed methods exploratory sequential design is used, consisting of two distinct phases. After qualitative exploration, a conceptual model was developed, revealing that there are nine sport policy dimensions or ‘pillars’ that are important for international sporting success. This article focuses on a second quantitative phase, where the model was tested in a pilot study with six sample nations to develop a scoring system. Data from each nation were collected through an overall sport policy questionnaire completed in each country, and through a survey with the main stakeholders in elite sport, namely athletes (n = 1090), coaches (n = 253), and performance directors (n = 71). Reflecting recognized principles of economic competitiveness measurement, this article demonstrates how 103 critical success factors containing quantitative and qualitative data can be aggregated into a final percentage score for the sample nations on each pillar. The findings suggest that the method is a useful way for objective comparison of nations, but it should not be isolated from qualitative descriptions and from a broader understanding of elite sport systems.

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Travis R. Bell and Jimmy Sanderson

In December 2015, the movie Concussion was released. The film portrayed the story of Dr Bennet Omalu, who is credited with discovering chromic traumatic encephalopathy in the brains of deceased National Football League players. Before the release, on December 7, 2015, Omalu penned an op-ed in The New York Times in which he opined that children should not play tackle football. This research explores 114 reader comments on Omalu’s op-ed through the lens of Nisbet’s bottom-up framing. Using a mixed-methods approach, the results indicated that participants framed the issue through health and safety, American cultural values, parenting liability, and skepticism. Linguistic analysis revealed that comments contained a negative tone, with women’s comments being more negative than men’s. The analysis suggests that online news forums function as spaces where public deliberation around the viability of children playing tackle football occurs and illustrates the tensions around risk, sport participation, and health and safety that confront parents as they grapple with the decision to let their children play tackle football

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Maureen R. Weiss, Lindsay E. Kipp, Alison Phillips Reichter, Sarah M. Espinoza and Nicole D. Bolter

Purpose: Girls on the Run is an after-school physical activity-based positive youth development program designed to enhance girls’ social, psychological, and physical development. We evaluated the effectiveness of the program by employing a longitudinal design and mixed methods. Methods: Girls (N = 203; aged 8–11 y) completed survey measures of positive youth development constructs (competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring), physical activity, and sedentary behavior prior to, at the end of, and 3 months after the season. Subsamples of girls, coaches, caregivers, and school personnel participated in focus groups. Coaches completed information about their team’s community impact project and number of girls who completed the season-ending 5k. Results: The full sample improved in confidence and connection, whereas girls who started below the preseason average showed the greatest gains from preseason to postseason on all measures, and scores were maintained or continued to improve at follow-up. All stakeholders in focus groups corroborated evidence of season-long improvement in social and emotional behaviors and health outcomes. Involvement in the community impact project contributed to girls’ growth in character and empathy skills. Conclusion: Findings provide empirical evidence that Girls on the Run is effective in promoting positive youth development, including season-long and lasting change in competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, and physical activity, especially among girls who exhibited lower preseason scores than their peers.

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Catherine E. Dorwart

Though physical inactivity can lead to increased health problems in older adults, few places actually encourage this population to be active by implementing choices that allow the built and natural environment to be accessed by foot or bicycle. In addition, little research has examined older adults’ perceptions of design and the relationship between greenways and improving public health, a topic that is receiving popular attention. The objective of this mixed-methods study was therefore to evaluate elements in a greenway’s design that the aging population found important and which afforded physical activity. Using a combination of survey questions, photo elicitation, and interviews, data were collected from a sample of older adults aged 65 and over that used a greenway trail. Results of this study indicated that older adults may prefer certain elements on a trail, namely those elements that afforded their choice of activity. Although there will always be limitations to understanding behavioral responses to the built environment, this should not disqualify the benefits of greenways on older adults’ physical activity.

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Brendan Cropley, Lee Baldock, Stephen D. Mellalieu, Rich Neil, Christopher Robert David Wagstaff and Ross Wadey

This study aimed to gain an insight into the general coping strategies used by sport psychology consultants (SPCs) based in the UK, and an in-depth understanding of their development and impact. To achieve these aims a mixed-method approach was adopted by means of two linked studies. In study one, BASES accredited and/or BPS chartered SPCs (n = 29) completed the modified COPE inventory (Crocker & Graham, 1995) to gain a better understanding of the general coping strategies used by practitioners. In study two, follow-up interviews (n = 6) with participants sampled from study one were conducted to explore how the reported strategies were developed, the perceived impact of coping/not coping with stressors, and how future SPCs may be better prepared for the stressful nature of consultancy. Findings suggested that the participants had a statistically significant preference to using problem-focused coping strategies. Further, the interviews suggested that coping strategies were primarily developed through reflection on experiences in different contexts. The impacts of coping/not coping and the practical development implications raised are discussed.

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M. Renée Umstattd, Stephanie L. Baller, Erin Hennessy, David Hartley, Christina D. Economos, Raymond R. Hyatt, Anush Yousefian and Jeffrey S. Hallam

Background:

Evidence supports the role of physical and social environments in active living, including perception of environment. However, measurement of perceived environments in rural settings is lacking. This study describes the development of the Rural Active Living Perceived Environmental Support Scale (RALPESS).

Methods:

Premised on social ecological and cognitive perspectives, 85 initial items were generated through a literature review and a mixed-methods investigation of “activity-friendly” environments. Items were organized by resource areas—town center, indoor and outdoor physical activity areas, schools, churches, and areas around the home/neighborhood—and submitted for expert panel review. In 2009, a revised questionnaire was disseminated to adolescents, parents, public school staff, and older adults in 2 rural southeastern United States counties. Principal component analysis with varimax rotation was used to explore factor structure (n = 542).

Results:

The final analysis yielded 33 items with 7 factors: 1) church facilities, 2) town center connectivity, 3) indoor areas, 4) around the home/neighborhood, 5) town center physical activity resources, 6) school grounds, and 7) outdoor areas.

Conclusions:

The RALPESS is a valid, internally consistent, and practically useful instrument to measure perceptions of rural environments in the context of physical activity across the lifespan. Confirmatory factor analysis is recommended to validate factor structure.

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Michael A. Hemphill and K. Andrew R. Richards

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to examine youth development outcomes in an Urban Squash program.

Methods:

A mixed method approach to was employed to address three research questions: 1) to what extent did the Urban Squash program exhibit features of a quality OST program?; 2) what aspects of the Urban Squash program were most valued by participants and stakeholders?; and 3) how were outcomes gained within urban squash transferred into the school day. The OST Observation Instrument was employed to provide a measure of fidelity related to the implementation of quality program structures. Youth participants (N = 21) and adults (N = 13) with knowledge of the program were interviewed in a semistructured format. Qualitative inductive analysis and constant comparison methods were used to generate themes.

Results:

Systematic observations demonstrated that the program reflected a strong program design with activities that were sequenced, active, personally focused, and explicit. Within that context, four qualitative themes related to quality programming include 1) academic enrichment, 2) academic transfer, 3) relationships, and 4) personal and social responsibility.

Conclusions:

Urban Squash provided a quality program structure. Transfer from the program to the school was evident with academic enrichment and personal and social responsibility.

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María Trinidad Morales-Belando and José L. Arias-Estero

Purpose:

To determine whether a TGfU intervention improved participants’ decision-making, skill execution, game performance, game involvement, game knowledge, enjoyment, perceived competence, and intention to continue practicing sailing.

Method:

Participants were 19 sailors (age: M = 8.44, SD = 1.24 years old). This study followed a mixed-methods approach. The children participated in 12 TGfU intervention sessions and 2 prepost assessment sessions. We designed and validated the sessions, and the coach was trained in TGfU. Data were collected using GPAI during an Olympic triangle race, an ad hoc knowledge questionnaire, two psychological scales, and interviews of children and coach.

Results:

Statistically significant improvements were found in decision-making, Δ = 3.97, skill execution, Δ = .43, game performance, Δ = 5.34, and game involvement, Δ = 7.89.

Discussion/Conclusion:

The results support TGfU may serve to sail training in youth sport. Sailing coaches now have a teaching-learning framework that determines “what” and “how” the tasks must be, the feedback, and participant and coach behavior.

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Diane M. Culver, Wade Gilbert and Andrew Sparkes

A follow-up of the 1990s review of qualitative research articles published in three North American sport psychology journals (Culver, Gilbert, & Trudel, 2003) was conducted for the years 2000–2009. Of the 1,324 articles published, 631 were data-based and 183 of these used qualitative data collection techniques; an increase from 17.3% for the 1990s to 29.0% for this last decade. Of these, 31.1% employed mixed methods compared with 38.1% in the 1990s. Interviews were used in 143 of the 183 qualitative studies and reliability test reporting increased from 45.2% to 82.2%. Authors using exclusively quotations to present their results doubled from 17.9% to 39.9%. Only 13.7% of the authors took an epistemological stance, while 26.2% stated their methodological approach. We conclude that positivist/postpositivist approaches appear to maintain a predominant position in sport psychology research. Awareness of the importance of being clear about epistemology and methodology should be a goal for all researchers.