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Liam D. Harper and Robert McCunn

Recent work has espoused the idea that in applied sporting environments, “fast”-working practitioners should work together with “slow”-working researchers. However, due to economical and logistical constraints, such a coupling may not always be practical. Therefore, alternative means of combining research and applied practice are needed. A particular methodology that has been used in recent years is qualitative research. Examples of qualitative methods include online surveys, 1-on-1 interviews, and focus groups. This article discusses the merits of using qualitative methods to combine applied practice and research in sport science. This includes a discussion of recent examples of the use of such methods in published journal articles, a critique of the approaches employed, and future directions and recommendations. The authors encourage both practitioners and researchers to use and engage with qualitative research with the ultimate goal of benefiting athlete health and sporting performance.

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Maureen M. Smith

Edited by David L. Andrews, Daniel S. Mason and Michael L. Silk

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Craig Hyatt

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Pirkko Markula, Bevan C. Grant and Jim Denison

There has been a notable increase in research on aging and physical activity in recent years. Most of this research derives from the natural sciences, using quantitative methods to examine the consequences of the physically aging body. Although these investigations have contributed significantly to our knowledge, to further understand the complex meanings attached to physical activity we also need social-science research. The article explores how a variety of social scientists (positivisls, postpositivists, interpretive social scientists, critical social scientists, poststructuralists, and postmodernists) who use quantitative and qualitative methods approach physical activity and aging. Through examples from research on aging and physical activity, the authors highlight the differences, possibilities, and limitations of each research approach. Their intention is not to declare one research approach superior to any other but to increase awareness and acceptance of different paradigms and to encourage dialogue between those who study aging and physical activity from a variety of perspectives.

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K. Andrew R. Richards and Michael A. Hemphill

grounded in qualitative methods and data analysis literature (e.g., Glaser & Strauss, 1967 ; Lincoln & Guba, 1985 ; Patton, 2015 ). While some practical guides in the literature provide an overview of data analysis procedures, such as thematic analysis ( Braun & Clarke, 2006 ), and others discuss issues

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Jaime R. DeLuca and Emily Fornatora

responsible and obligated to ensure that students are responding to instructional methods, and this begins with understanding student perceptions of applied learning. Methods Through qualitative methods, this research explored the importance of applied elective courses within undergraduate sport management

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Corliss Bean, Majidullah Shaikh and Tanya Forneris

strategies used to facilitate program quality in youth sport and (b) explore commonalities and differences in strategies between competitive and recreational programs. Methods A qualitative descriptive methodology was employed, which supports liberty in the choice of qualitative methods, sampling, data

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Rachel Cholerton, Jeff Breckon, Joanne Butt and Helen Quirk

. ( 2017 ). Physical inactivity among older adults across Europe based on the SHARE database . Age and Ageing, 46, 71 – 77 . PubMed ID: 28181637 doi: 10.1093/ageing/afw165 Groenewald , T. ( 2004 ). A phenomenological research design illustrated . International Journal of Qualitative Methods

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Maureen R. Weiss, Alan L. Smith and Marc Theeboom

The influence of peer groups on children’s psychosocial development is highlighted in the sport psychology literature in areas such as motivation, self-perceptions, and affect. However, scant research has been devoted to examining children’s and teenagers’ conceptions of friendships within the physical domain. Current and former sport program participants (N = 38) took part in an in-depth interview that concerned their best friend in sports. An inductive content analysis revealed the existence of 12 positive friendship dimensions: companionship, pleasant play/association, self-esteem enhancement, help and guidance, prosocial behavior, intimacy, loyalty, things in common, attractive personal qualities, emotional support, absence of conflicts, and conflict resolution. Four negative friendship dimensions were extracted: conflict, unattractive personal qualities, betrayal, and inaccessible. These conceptions of friendship were both similar and unique to friendship conceptions found in mainstream developmental research. Future research directions include measurement efforts, relationships among important constructs, and intervention techniques in the sport setting.

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Daniel Gould, Susan Jackson and Laura Finch

This investigation examined stress and sources of stress experienced by U.S. national champion figure skaters. Seventeen national champions, who held their titles between 1985 and 1990, were interviewed about the stress they experienced as national champions and were asked to identify specific sources of stress. Qualitative methodology was used to inductively analyze the interview transcripts and revealed that 71% of the skaters experienced more stress after winning their title than before doing so. Stress source dimensions were also identified and included: relationship issues, expectations and pressure to perform, psychological demands on skater resources, physical demands on skater resources, environmental demands on skater resources, life direction concerns, and a number of individual specific uncategorizable sources. In general, these findings parallel the previous elite figure skaters stress source research of Scanlan, Stein, and Ravizza (1991), although there were several points of divergence relative to the type of stressors experienced by this sample of national champion athletes.