Kathleen E. Miller and Joseph H. Hoffman
Past research has linked physical activity and sports participation with improved mental and social well-being, including reduced risk of depression and suicidality. In this study we examined relationships among several dimensions of athletic involvement (team sport participation, individual sport participation, athlete identity, and jock identity), gender, and depression and suicidal behavior in a sample of 791 undergraduate students. Both participation in a team sport and athlete identity were associated with lower depression scores. Athlete identity was also associated with lower odds of a past-year suicide attempt, whereas jock identity was associated with elevated odds of a suicide attempt. The findings are discussed in light of the relationship between mental well-being and a larger constellation of health-risk behaviors linked to a “toxic jock” identity.
Janet Currie and Imke Fischer
Five hundred mothers of children under five years participated in a survey to gain perceptions of a community pram walking program designed to promote mental health. Telephone survey (n=450) and focus group (n=50) methods were used. Ninety-two percent of telephone survey respondents (n=416) believed that physical activity could increase mental well-being and 87% (n=390) felt that it could reduce the effects of postnatal depression [PND]. Interestingly, approximately 50% (n=25) of focus group participants felt that mothers experiencing PND would not want to join an exercise group set up for promoting mental well-being and 80% (n=40) stated that marketing messages should not mention mental health in order to avoid labelling or stigmatization. This study has revealed positive attitudes toward the potential of physical activity to improve mental health. However, for promotional purposes, terms such as well-being or reduced stress may be less stigmatizing than mental health.
Mary E. Pritchard and Gregory S. Wilson
Recent research has noted an increase in body image dissatisfaction among adolescents and adults. One group that seems to be particularly at risk for body image dissatisfaction is female athletes. However, few studies have examined what factors might influence body image dissatisfaction in female athletes. The present study surveyed 146 female high school athletes to determine which factors influence their body image. We found that body image related to several physical and psychological health variables, including physical ailments, negative health habits, stress, fatigue, anger, tension, depression, confusion, negative affect, and use of ineffective coping styles. Finally, several parental health habits related to female body image including maternal smoking and maternal and paternal nutrition habits. In sum, coaches and parents need to emphasize healthy habits, as well as effective coping strategies when dealing with female athletes. In addition, parents must realize the impact they have on their daughter’s body image.
Douglas A. Kleiber and Stephen C. Brock
In a previous investigation of the factors that make for a satisfying “exit” from organized sport (Kleiber, Greendorfer, Blinde, & Samdahl, 1987), it was determined that the only predictor of life satisfaction in the years following departure from formal participation was whether one had sustained a career-ending injury. By examining degree of investment in playing professional sports and the academic orientation of that earlier sample, it was possible in the current study to refine the profile of those vulnerable to subsequent depression of well-being (as reflected in lower life satisfaction and self-esteem). Of athletes who had been injured, only those who had an investment in playing professional sport were likely to show lower selfesteem and life satisfaction 5 to 10 years later. The disruption to a “life narrative” that is suggested by these findings argues for a more interpretive approach to research on and treatment of injury and illness among athletes and others.
Vicki Ebbeck, Patti Lou Watkins and Susan S. Levy
This study examined possible determinants of some of the health behaviors of larger women. Specifically, it was of interest to discern if affect (depression, social physique anxiety) mediated the relationship between self-conceptions (global self-worth, perceived physical appearance) and behavior (disordered eating, physical activity). The investigation was grounded in the model of self-worth forwarded by Harter (1987). A total of 71 overweight or obese women agreed to participate in the study. Data collection involved a researcher meeting individually with each of the participants to record physical assessments as well as responses to a packet of self-report questionnaires. A series of canonical correlation analyses were then conducted to test each of the three conditions for mediation effects outlined by Baron and Kenny (1986). Results suggested that indeed the set of self-conceptions indirectly influenced the set of behaviors via the set of affect variables. Surprisingly, however, involvement in physical activity failed to contribute to the multivariate relationships. The findings further our understanding of how self-conceptions are related to behavior and highlight the value of examining multiple health behaviors in parallel.
Physical inactivity, overweight, and obesity are endemic in the United States and in the developed world, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. More information is needed regarding the physical activity beliefs, attitudes, barriers, and perceived self-control among those who are sedentary and weight-challenged. The purpose of this study was to elicit physical activity beliefs about feasibility, pleasure, and movement descriptions from sedentary, middle-aged, overweight women.
Open-ended questions were used throughout individual interviews with 23 participants (age: M = 52.0, SD = 7.3; BMI: M = 34.2, SD = 9.79); attitudes and beliefs regarding physical activity and movement descriptions were documented. Participants were divided into those who were completely sedentary (12 women) and those who regularly engaged in physical activity (11 women).
A content analysis revealed that sedentary women were less active and had more perceived barriers to physical activity than active women. The most frequently cited perceived barriers were injuries, caregiving responsibilities, time, age, dislike of sweating, and depression. Sedentary women were less likely to report physical activity as pleasurable; they were also more likely to cite having an exercise buddy as an optimal activity situation. The most frequently cited pleasurable activities in both groups were yoga, movement to music, stretching, and walking.
This study provided evidence that perceived barriers to physical activity must be addressed, that low-intensity programs are needed and desired by overweight and sedentary women, and that movement activities must be found that are enjoyable for the target population.
Kristen Lucas and E. Whitney G. Moore
research was crucial to validating mindfulness as an efficacious psychological intervention for treating depression, anxiety, and chronic pain ( Hofmann, Sawyer, Witt, & Oh, 2010 ; Shapiro, Carlson, Astin, & Freedman, 2006 ). While researchers have shown mindfulness to be an effective intervention, it is
pecuniary difficulties, once during the Depression, and then following WWII when the school was taken over by Kentucky authorities (Young and a fellow administrator had suggested the move). For Young, the purpose of Lincoln was to give students the knowledge and skills that would allow them not just to
Rachel Vaccaro and Ted M. Butryn
performance ( McGannon & McMahon, 2016 ). The small amount of research that touched on athletes’ mental health issues tended to focus on depression because of its easily diagnosable nature ( Weigand, Cohen, & Merenstein, 2013 ). Newman et al. ( 2016 ) suggested that the lack of research on the etiology and