Maureen M. Smith
Edited by David L. Andrews, Daniel S. Mason and Michael L. Silk
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.
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
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.
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.
Zoe Rebecca Knowles, Daniel Parnell, Gareth Stratton and Nicola Diane Ridgers
Qualitative research into the effect of school recess on children’s physical activity is currently limited. This study used a write and draw technique to explore children’s perceptions of physical activity opportunities during recess.
299 children age 7−11 years from 3 primary schools were enlisted. Children were grouped into Years 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6 and completed a write and draw task focusing on likes and dislikes. Pen profiles were used to analyze the data.
Results indicated ‘likes’ focused on play, positive social interaction, and games across both age groups but showed an increasing dominance of games with an appreciation for being outdoors with age. ‘Dislikes’ focused on dysfunctional interactions linked with bullying, membership, equipment, and conflict for playground space. Football was a dominant feature across both age groups and ‘likes/dislikes’ that caused conflict and dominated the physically active games undertaken.
Recess was important for the development of conflict management and social skills and contributed to physical activity engagement. The findings contradict suggestions that time spent in recess should be reduced because of behavioral issues.
Chad S.G. Witcher, Nicholas L. Holt, John C. Spence and Sandra O’Brien Cousins
The purpose of this study was to assess rural older adults’ perceptions of leisure-time physical activity and examine these perceptions from a historical perspective. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 inhabitants (mean age 82 years) of Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and subjected to inductive analysis. Member-checking interviews were conducted with 5 participants. Findings indicated that beginning in childhood, participants were socialized into a subculture of work activity. As a result of these historical and social forces, leisure-time physical activity did not form part of the participants’ lives after retirement. Strategies for successful aging involved keeping busy, but this “busyness” did not include leisure-time physical activity. Results demonstrated the importance of developing a broader understanding of how past and present-day contexts can influence participation in leisure-time physical activity.
Kristiann C. Heesch, Jannique van Uffelen and Wendy J. Brown
The aim of this study was to examine older adults’ understanding and interpretation of a validated questionnaire for physical activity surveillance, the Active Australia Survey (AAS). To address this aim, cognitive interviewing techniques were used during face-to-face semistructured interviews with 44 adults age 65–89 years. Qualitative data analysis revealed that participants were confused with questionnaire phrasing, misunderstood the scope of activities to include in answers, and misunderstood the time frame of activities to report. They also struggled to accurately estimate the frequency and duration of their activities. Our findings suggest that AAS questions may be interpreted differently by older adults than intended by survey developers. Findings also suggest that older adults use a range of methods for calculating PA frequency and duration. The issues revealed in this study may be useful for adapting AAS for use in older community-dwelling adults.
Amy Whitehead, Kanayo Umeh, Barbara Walsh, Eleanor Whittaker and Colum Cronin
. ( 1992 ). Achievement goals and adaptive motivational patterns: The role of the environment . In G.C. Roberts (Ed.), Motivation in sport and exercise human kinetics (pp. 161 – 176 ). Champaign, IL : Human Kinetics . Andrews , D.L. , Mason , D.S. , & Silk , M.L. ( 2005 ). Qualitative