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Laurie Stickler, Trisha Armstrong, Alyssa Polso and Melissa Smith

Context:

Low energy availability has been identified through research as the cornerstone of the female athlete triad, yet reasons for nutritional choices among female collegiate athletes are poorly understood.

Objective:

To explore the perspectives of female collegiate cross country runners on eating behaviors and attitudes toward health.

Design:

Phenomenologic qualitative study with individual, semistructured interviews.

Methods:

Ten collegiate female cross country runners, ages 18–22, participated in the study. All interviews were audiotaped then transcribed. Three researchers independently coded data and developed themes and subthemes before meeting and negotiating findings.

Results:

The following four themes were identified: health behaviors, nutritional knowledge, internal and external factors, and health attitudes.

Conclusions:

This study contributes to understanding “the why” behind health behaviors of female collegiate cross country runners. This developmental understanding may assist in interpreting the behavioral causes of low energy availability; thus, both management and prevention of the triad may be aided by this information.

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Lee F. Monaghan

This article explores men’s talk about physical activity, weight, health and slimming. Drawing from qualitative data from men whom medicine might label overweight or obese, it outlines various ideal typical ways of orienting to the idea that physical activity promotes “healthy” weight loss before exploring the most critical display of perspective: justifiable resistance and defiance. This gendered mode of accountability comprises numerous themes. These range from the inefficiency of physical activity in promoting weight loss to resisting imposed discipline. Theoretically and politically, these data are read as a situationally fitting and meaningful response to “symbolic violence” in a field of “masculine domination” (Bourdieu 2001)—that is, a society in which fatness is routinely discredited as feminine and feminizing filth by institutions that are publicly reinforcing and amplifying fatphobic norms or sizism.

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Angela N. Pratt

Intercollegiate athletics directors (ADs) in the United States are high-profile representatives of their departments and universities. Their publics include media, sponsors, donors, fans, faculty, students, and government officials. However, few studies have explored ADs from a public relations perspective, especially regarding their understandings of public relations. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to learn how ADs understand public relations in the context of their athletics departments. A phenomenological approach was used to pursue this purpose. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I ADs. Their transcripts were analyzed using comparative-analysis procedures. The findings show that the participants understand public relations as integrated impression management: a combination of image, message, and action/interaction. Integrated impression management ties into ideas from Goffman (1959), as well as systems theories of public relations. However, the results also imply that ADs do not necessarily separate public relations from other disciplines such as marketing.

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Shara Crookston

was appropriate to this study as giving primacy to girls’ understanding of their experience and influences enables direct feedback that can be applied to future efforts to engage girls in sport. Interviewing is the primary method of data collection in a qualitative study as it allows for a rich, thick

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Elizabeth D. Gilbert

This qualitative study was an examination of organized sport experiences of girls eight to thirteen years of age. The purpose was to determine, through the perceptions of the girls in this study, the factors which led to more satisfying sport experiences. In-depth interviews were conducted to probe for information concerning the girls’ current and past experiences with sport participation. The interviews addressed issues related to the girls’ initial involvement, such as who or what influenced them to participate in sports. In addition, questions were asked which addressed issues related to the influences which positively and negatively affected the nature and quality of the girls’ sport experiences. By presenting the direct quotes of the girls, the reader is allowed a first-hand examination of the components girls described as positively and negatively influential in their organized sport experiences.

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Sharon R. Guthrie

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore internalized lesbophobia and eating disorder symptomatology among lesbian current and former athletes and the possible link between the two phenomena. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 physically active adult lesbians who had at least 10 years of athletic experience. Lesbophobia was defined as the internalization of society’s negative attitudes and assumptions regarding lesbianism. Eating disorder symptomatology was defined as attitudes and behaviors associated with eating pathology (e.g., body dissatisfaction, weight preoccupation, fat phobia, frequent dieting, fasting, bingeing/purging, and other weight control measures). Findings suggested a connection between internalized lesbophobia and eating disorder symptomatology, that is, individuals who expressed greater negativity associated with being a lesbian, particularly concerns about being perceived as lesbian, reported more body dissatisfaction, weight preoccupation, fat phobia, and other eating disordered attitudes and behaviors. The social implications of these findings are discussed.

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Andrew Parker and Andrew Manley

Traineeship within English professional football (soccer) has attracted much attention in recent years yet few studies have explored in any real depth the everyday workings of trainee footballing lives. This paper features the findings of two small-scale qualitative studies of football traineeship both of which were carried out at high profile English professional football clubs, one in 1993–94, the other in 2010–11. The paper uncovers the nuances of trainee experience in line with a series of theoretical assertions surrounding organizational discipline and control. It concludes by suggesting that while debate surrounding the design and delivery of traineeship within professional football has intensified over the past two decades, little appears to have changed with respect to the fundamental dynamics of organizational regimen.

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Sharon R. Guthrie and Shirley Castelnuovo

The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the ways women with physical disabilities shape their identities and manage (i.e., cope or come to terms with) their disabilities while living in an able-bodyist culture. Particular emphasis was placed on how these women, all of whom were participating in sport or exercise, used physical activity in the management process. In-depth interviews were conducted with 34 women who had physical mobility disabilities. Findings indicated three different approaches to managing disability via physical activity: (a) management by minimizing the significance of the body, (b) management by normalization of the body, and (c) management by optimizing mind-body functioning. They also indicated that having a disability does not preclude positive physical and global self-perceptions. The implications of these findings for sport and society are discussed.

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Marlene A. Dixon, Stacy M. Warner and Jennifer E. Bruening

This qualitative study uses expectancy-value and life course theories (Giele & Elder, 1998) to examine both the proximal and distal impact of early family socialization on enduring female participation in sport. Seventeen National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I female head coaches from the U.S. participated in interviews regarding parental influence on their sport involvement. Participants revealed three general mechanisms of sport socialization: a) role modeling, b) providing experience, and c) interpreting experience. Parental influence impacted their enduring involvement in sport by normalizing the sport experience, particularly in terms of gender, and by allowing them a voice in their own participation decisions. Insights regarding the roles of both parents and the interactive and contextual nature of socialization for increasing female participation are discussed.

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Samaya Farooq and Andrew Parker

This qualitative study of a British Islamic independent school explores the construction of religious masculinities within the lives of a cohort of Muslim adolescent males. An ethnographic analysis is presented whereby boys’ physical education is located as a strategic site for the development of Muslim masculine identities. Adopting a symbolic interactionist perspective, the article discusses the representation of pupil masculinities within the school and the specific role that Islam, sport, and physical education played in respondent lives. Findings highlight how religion provided a central mechanism through which pupils sought to construct and negotiate their masculine selves. In turn, physical education served as an avenue through which respondents could embrace and embody their sense of self and express a series of broader religious ideals.