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Barbara E. Ainsworth and Cheryl Der Ananian

There is a growing recognition of the need for the primary prevention of chronic illnesses across the lifespan. In recent years, diseases that were formerly associated with adulthood such as diabetes are being diagnosed in adolescents and young adults. While there have been many prevention efforts focusing on health in children and adolescents, there is a limited body of research examining prevention in young adults. This article examines the concept of wellness in the Millennial generation and describes how their life course experiences impact seven domains of wellness. Specifically, this article describes the period and cohort effects that influence the domains of wellness and how the Millennial generation differs from other generations in these aspects of wellness. Finally, this paper provides an overview of the technological and cultural influences on wellness in the Millennial generation.

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LeeAnn Kriegh and Mary Jo Kane

Over the past two decades, sport media scholars have demonstrated that female athletes are portrayed in ways that trivialize and undermine their accomplishments as highly skilled competitors, thus denying them power. More recently, scholars in a related field of knowledge—homophobia in women’s athletics—have also addressed the various ways in which power is denied to sportswomen. Although scholars within both bodies of knowledge have investigated institutional structures, ideologies and practices by which men continue to monopolize sport, few studies have explicitly linked sport media scholarship to the literature on homophobia in women’s athlet. An additional limitation in both fields of knowledge is that analyses focused primarily on adult female athletes; examinations of adolescent females are virtually nonexistent. A final limitation is that the vast majority of studies have focused on print and broadcast journalism, thereby ignoring another influential medium, young adult sports fiction. Therefore, the purpose of our investigation was to extend the knowledge base in three ways: 1) to explicitly link two bodies of knowledge concerned with women’s athleticism--sport media and homophobia/heterosexism; 2) to focus on a population that has been sorely neglected; and 3) to investigate a rich new area of analysis-young adult literature-particularly as it relates to the presence, and characterization of, lesbians in sport.

The sample consisted of novels meeting the following criteria: (a) published for a young adult audience, (b) featured a female athlete as protagonist, (c) had sport as a major characteristic of the story, and (d) and be published during or after 1970. Using a qualitative methodology, we examined themes and character portrayals related to the suppression and oppression of young sportswomen in general and lesbians in particular. More specifically, we were interested in whether manifestations of homophobia in women’s athletics (e.g., silence and denial) were present in the novels under consideration. Results indicated that a lesbian presence was subverted in numerous ways, ranging from explicit verbal attacks on female protagonists accused of being “freaks,” to more subtle, apologetic constructions in which female athletes were characterized as ultra-feminine. These findings suggest that the homophobic and heterosexist coverage given to sportswomen in print and broadcast journalism extends into young adult sports fiction.

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Mary Jo Kane

Scholars have argued that sport is a highly gendered space where dominant and subordinate groups engage in struggles of resistance and counter-resistance. There are two limitations with this research. First, the majority of investigations have been confined to adult women; examinations of adolescent females are virtually nonexistent. Second, most research has focused on print and broadcast journalism. The influence of one important medium—young adult sports fiction—has been neglected. This investigation analyzed “lone girl” novels (where adolescent female protagonists try out for boys’ teams), as well as books focusing on women’s team sports. Findings revealed lone girl novels characterized female protagonists as going against their “true nature.” Novels featuring women’s team sports undermined female solidarity by equating it with heterosexual desire. These results constitute a fictional denial of sport as a site of resistance and empowerment for athletic females.

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Nicole M. LaVoi, Erin Becker and Heather D. Maxwell

Given the lack of nationalized and required coach education programs for those involved with youth sports, self-help coaching books are a common source of knowledge. With the exception of critiques of young adult sports fiction (Kane, 1998; Kreigh & Kane, 1997), sport media research has lacked investigation of mediums that impact non-elite youth athletes and adolescent girls, and youth coaches and parents of young female athletes. The purpose of this study is to examine ‘coaching girls’ books–specifically how differences between female and male athletes are constructed. A content analysis was performed on selective chapters within a criterion sampling of six best-selling, self-help ‘coaching girls’ books. Results indicate coaching girls books are written from a perspective of inflated gender difference, and represent a simplified, stereo-typed account of coaching girls. Four first-order themes emerged from analysis: Problematizing Coaching Girls, Girls Constructed As “Other,” Ambivalence, and Sustaining the Gender Binary. Implications of these themes are discussed.

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Iain Lindsey and Jimmy O’Gorman

This paper examines the potential benefits of an alternative type of engagement with sport than is commonly considered in the literature on sport and international development. The research explored the extent to which students from one UK and two Ghanaian universities were empowered through working together to identify proposals for sports equipment in Ghana. A multimethod research design used video diaries and e-mail, text message, verbal and focus group interviews. The findings indicate a number of project design factors that constrained the empowerment of Ghanaian students. However, both Ghanaian and UK students were strongly motivated by, and developed new skills because of, the innovative nature of the project. Similar projects in the future can contribute further to the empowerment of young adults, if designed appropriately.

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Tamela McNulty Eitle and David J. Eitle

Recent research has explored the relationship between sports participation in high school and the sexual and reproductive behavior of females. Evidence has accumulated that playing sports is associated with a lowered risk of pregnancy among adolescents and positively associated with the use of contraceptives, but little evidence has been uncovered as to whether such associations endure into young adulthood. Using data from a representative community sample, we examined whether differences in high school sports participation has an association with the sexual and reproductive activities of young adult women after high school (n = 679). Results of multivariate analyses suggest that high school sports involvement is a predictor of the likelihood of childbirth outside of marriage and lifetime number of sex partners but is not a predictor of condom use during sex.

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Marie Hardin and Erin Elizabeth Whiteside

This study examines narratives by young adults about sport and gender in relation to equality. Specifically, we explore how focus-group participants used small stories to situate male and female athletes and Title IX. The U.S. law has been credited for increasing opportunities for girls and women but is considered a source of tension for gender relations. Our findings suggest that participants’ stories ultimately did not support emancipatory goals for girls and women because they positioned equality as a right women had not earned. We argue that feminists cannot underestimate the need to inject counternarratives into public discourse at every level, including stories shared with children about sport. These narratives must address misconceptions about equality and gender equity and, ultimately, challenge gender ideology.

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Nienke Van der Meij, Paul Darby and Katie Liston

The burgeoning number of football academies in Africa are widely understood by young aspiring players and their family members as a conduit for transnational migration and a professional career in the game. However, for the vast majority of academy recruits the stark reality is involuntary immobility. While there is a growing literature on African football migration, the experiences of young players from the continent who are unable to translate their academy training into a professional career overseas has been neglected. This article addresses this lacuna by focusing on how this process is experienced and navigated by a cohort of former Ghanaian academy players. These experiences are positioned within the context of the intergenerational contract, a pervasive social norm in West Africa that places considerable expectations on young adults to reciprocate materially to their household. The analyses here are based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Ghana totalling 12 months, conducted between January 2008 and July 2015.

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Jennifer Y. Mak and Chong Kim

Leadership development is important for society, and participating in athletics and student organizations has provided opportunities for young adults to develop and display leadership qualities (Dobosz & Beaty, 1999; Knoppers, 2011; Todd & Kent, 2004; Williams, Roberts, & Bosselman, 2011). The empirical research examining the leadership development through athletics and student organizations involvement has, unfortunately, been limited. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify and investigate the relationship among gender, athletic involvement, and student organization involvement in relation to transformational leadership skills. Stratified random sampling and the Salant and Dillman (1994) survey methodology procedure were adopted for data collection. Data were collected from 992 college students (493 females and 495 males) in a Mid-Atlantic university. The Transformational Leadership Scale (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2004) was used as the instrument to measure the variables. Descriptive statistics and factorial ANOVA were used for data analysis. Results showed significant differences existed among gender, athletic involvement, and student organization involvement in relation to transformational leadership skills. Females, athletes, and student officers received significantly higher scores than males, nonathletes and nonstudent officers in transformational leadership.

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Darlene A. Sedlock

This study is a comparison of both the magnitude and duration of excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) between women and men. Eighteen (9 women, 9 men) physically active, young adult volunteers performed a moderate exercise in the early morning after having refrained from any strenuous activity for the previous 36-48 hr. Baseline oxygen uptake (VO2) and heart rate (HR) were measured for the last 15 min of a 45 min seated rest. The 30 min cycle ergometer exercise was performed at 60% of each subject’s previously determined peak VO2. Subjects sat quietly in a chair during recovery until VO2 returned to baseline. The women had a significantly lower (t=4.22, p<0.01) resting VO2(0.22±0.03 L min−1) than the men (0.31±0.06 L min−1), however no significant difference was observed when resting VO2 was expressed relative to body weight. VO2 values during exercise were also significantly lower in the women compared to the men (t=4.85, p<0.01). Duration of EPOC was similar between the two groups (women=27.6±15.6, men=28.2±15.9 min). The 38% difference in magnitude of EPOC between the women (9.4±4.7 kcal) and men (13.0±4.6 kcal) was not statistically significant and approximated 5% of the exercise energy expenditure in each group. It was concluded that there was no sex difference in EPOC duration following moderate exercise conditions. Magnitude of EPOC was small for both groups, with women having a slightly lower value.