The high attrition rates observed among young athletes, particularly adolescents, have been attributed to and studied primarily as outcomes of negative aspects of the organization and administration of competitive youth sport. The present study extends this research by examining withdrawal from competitive sport roles in the broader context of the role constellation and lifestyle of adolescent girls. A conceptual framework was developed to examine the process of withdrawal from the role of competitive age group swimmer. It was hypothesized that withdrawal is influenced by six categories of factors: (a) the salience of gender-role stereotypes; (b) the diversity and salience of the opportunity set; (c) the degree of social support from significant others for the sport role; (d) the extent to which the athlete role is perceived as central to personal identity; (e) the extent to which positive and negative outcomes are associated with sport involvement; and (f) the degree of commitment to the athlete role. Survey data were collected from 211 former swimmers and 193 currently involved age group swimmers in Ontario, Canada. It was concluded that a combination of factors from a variety of sources interact to influence the role transition.
Nicola Brown and Yasmin Bowmer
survey of 1885 women across age groups (teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60+) revealed that across all ages ‘toned and fit’ was the common motivator ( Gavin, Keough, Abravanel, Mourdrakovski, & Mcbreaty, 2014 ). It is recognized that beginning exercise earlier in life can extend life expectancy and improve
Christopher R. Hill, Deborah L. Feltz, Stephen Samendinger and Karin A. Pfeiffer
measuring both PA and BSE. For example, it could be particularly troublesome to ask younger children to recall PA, especially for time periods of up to a week, or decipher what periods of movement equate to PA. Researchers should also take a meticulous approach to considering barriers to PA in young age
Lynda B. Ransdell and Christine L. Wells
Women’s running has made significant gains during the past century. The Feminine Sportive Federation International, an international organization for women in sport, was an early advocate for women’s running. They lobbied for the inclusion of 5 new women’s events in the 1928 Olympics, the longest of which was 800 meters. Unfortunately, some competitors in the 800 m event collapsed, providing “rationale” for excluding women from distance racing (Noakes, 1991). Later, the 800 meter event was re-introduced in the 1960 Olympics, and so the interest in “women’s distance running” was re-kindled. Women continued to call for greater challenges, and eventually in 1972, they were officially allowed to run the Boston Marathon (Noakes, 1991). Today, distances of 5,10, and 42 kilometers make up the majority of road races throughout the country. These events are not limited to top-flight women athletes racing for fame and fortune or a chance to represent America in the Olympic Games. Rather, thousands of women—of all shapes, running styles and fitness levels—enter these weekend races, most with little hope of winning a prize.
Currently, women runners are recognized at the national level as “open” (any age) or “masters” (40 years of age and older) competitors. This separation is important because performance varies with age. How age affects performance depends upon a number of factors including overall health, injury status, training, and genetic endowment. Considerable individual variability exists, but at some point in middle-age, performance declines. Although equal performance is not likely from outstanding 45 year old and 25 year old competitors, each may be considered an “elite” performer when competition is separated into age groups. The separation of athletes into masters and open categories and further into age groups results in opportunities for many to receive recognition, and for competitors to set and achieve goals relative to their age. Age-group competition has attracted thousands and thousands of “new” runners and encouraged former competitors to “stay with it for a few more years.”
Very little is known about women who run at the “masters” level. There is general information about how aging affects the male athlete’s performance, but little information about how aging affects women’s performances. This paper is a review of the literature on masters women runners and a description of 1) their physical and physiological characteristics, 2) their performance, 3) their performance decline with advancing age, and 4) the health related benefits of physical activity.
Nicole M. LaVoi
Research pertaining to female coaches at the professional, intercollegiate, and interscholastic levels exists, but attention to females in positions of power in youth sport is limited. Given youth sport is an important social institution that affects millions of children and their families, it provides a rich opportunity for creating social change and challenging stereotypical beliefs pertaining to gender and leadership. This study uses the theoretical framework of occupational sex-segregation—specifically tokenism and marginalization (Kanter, 1977a, 1977b)—to examine the representation of females in positions of power (N = 5,683; Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Team Managers) within one Midwestern youth soccer association. Based on the data, female coaches are considered “tokens” within all boys’ teams and at the highest competitive level of girls’ teams, and are marginalized and underrepresented in all positions of power at almost all age groups and competitive levels. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Markus Lamprecht and Hanspeter Stamm
Under the influence of the Sport for All movement the sport system in Switzerland has changed. Sport has become a leisure-time activity for an increasing number of people and has gained new meanings and forms. Many traditional limitations to participation appear to have been removed. By focusing on gender and age, this study, based on a survey of 1,103 employees, explores the extent to which particularisms and inequalities in contemporary recreational Swiss sport still exist. Although the involvement in sport by men and women, and involvement of different age groups, are quite similar in terms of frequency, their forms and meanings remain different. Using correspondence analysis we identify different sports fields and different sporting patterns by gender and age in terms of motives, places, and activities.
Barbara A. Brown and B. Gail Frankel
This study examines participation in leisure physical activity, leisure satisfaction, and life satisfaction from a life course perspective, using self-report data from a stratified random sample of adults living in a midsized Canadian city. Findings indicate that physical activity is most strongly associated with leisure satisfaction in the younger age groups, whereas no consistent age pattern is observed in the relationship between physical activity and life satisfaction. Regression analyses that are controlled for income, education, and age indicate major gender differences in the impact of participation in leisure physical activity on life satisfaction, with participation being more important for females. Path analysis indicates that leisure satisfaction contributes both directly and indirectly to life satisfaction. The findings provide evidence for age variation in sources of life satisfaction apart from leisure, and for important gender differences in the role of physical activity.
Gyöngyi Szabó Földesi
This paper is an analysis of the presence and the consequences of ageism and sexism in contemporary sport relative to Hungarian women. The major purposes are: (1) to consider some theoretical concerns about research on physical activity in the later years; (2) to examine how the double disadvantage of being old and female influences life-styles in connection with sport; (3) to review research relative to how and why sport is or is not an integral part of life-style of the 50+ age group of women in Hungary; (4) to present results of research carried out recently in Hungary on elderly people’s sport participation and their judgments of their own physical activity. Findings from a variety of studies were discussed, including 1987 and 1997 studies of the Budapest older population. Interview and questionnaire techniques were used to collect data relative to participation and interpretation of sport and physical activity. According to the findings, of the 1997 study, only 19% of women over 70 reported their health as satisfactory, compared with 5.6 % of the men. Lasting diseases were more frequent among women than among men (42.3 % versus 34.1 %). 38.8 % of females and 27.8 % of males aged 70-74 years cannot walk a distance of 2 kilometers; 47.1 % of females and 31.8 % of males in the same age groups are not able to ascend 10 stairsteps without taking a rest. Approximately 5 % of males over 60 and approximately 4% of females over 55 were physically active. It appears to the great majority of Hungarian older women that they are losers of the recent system change: because of growing poverty their life-chances have been worsening, their opportunities for choosing the components of their life-styles-including physical activity have narrowed and social distances within and between the individual age cohorts have increased, including sport participation. There is a need for rethinking attitudes and for increasing awareness of how physical fitness could keep Hungarians in all ages healthier, more independent and more optimistic.
Tonya Toole and Judith C. Kretzschmar
The purposes of this review article are to: 1) present empirical studies which have compared the development of motor skills for boys and girls in the early childhood years, 2) present studies which have made gender comparisons for similar and related motor skills for older adults, and 3) make comparisons between the younger and older age group literature in terms of gender and causal factors contributing to gender differences. It was concluded that: 1) young boys and older men are superior to young girls and older women in power-dependent skills. Biological and environmental factors were discussed as they relate to gender differences in one power-dependent skill, throwing, throughout the life-span, and 2) young girls excel at hopping, skipping, hand-eye coordination, limb and body control, and balance tasks compared to young boys. Of these tasks, balance and hand-eye coordination are the only skills which are typically measured for young children and older adults. For balance in older age, the results are equivocal but suggestions were made for understanding why women may have lost their performance advantage in older adulthood. For hand-eye coordination, women are not clearly better than men as they were in youth. Reasons for life-span changes are suggested.
1998/99. The present analysis includes only those children age 6 to 9 in 1998/99, since a large percentage of the 10 to 15 age group included in White and McTeer’s ( 2012 ) study reach young adulthood (i.e., 18 and over) in the latter cycles of the NLSCY, at which point questions about sport