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Sara Wilcox

There is strong evidence that older adults greatly benefit from regular physical activity. Yet, older age is consistently associated with lower levels of aerobic physical activity and strength training and higher levels of sedentary behavior, underscoring the need to better understand physical activity behavior in this population. Reviews of interventions to increase physical activity have overall yielded promising results. Interventions based on behavior theory appear to be more effective than non-theory-based interventions, yet strategies from these theories are underutilized in both research and practice. This paper discusses the importance of behavioral interventions, cites findings from the Active for Life initiative to illustrate several key concepts, and provides recommendations to address significant gaps in the literature, including the use of theory, mediation analyses, physical activity maintenance, diversity of participants, and dissemination and translational research.

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Genevieve F. Dunton, Michael Cousineau and Kim D. Reynolds

Background:

Policy strategies aimed at modifying aspects of the social, physical, economic, and educational environments have been proposed as potential solutions to the growing problem of physical inactivity. To develop effective physical activity policies in these and other areas, greater understanding of how and why policies successfully impact behavior change is needed.

Methods:

The current paper proposes a conceptual framework explaining how policy strategies map onto health behavior theoretical variables and processes thought to lead to physical activity change. This framework is used to make hypotheses about the potential effectiveness of different policy strategies.

Results:

Health behavior theories suggest that policies providing information may be particularly useful for individuals who are not yet considering or have only recently begun to consider becoming more physically active. Policies that provide opportunities may be less effective for individuals who do not find physical activity to be inherently fun and interesting. Policies that offer incentives or require the behavior may not be particularly useful at promoting long-term changes in physical activity.

Conclusion:

Exploring possible connections between policy strategies and theoretical constructs can help to clarify how each approach might work and for whom it may be the most appropriate to implement.

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Walter E. Davis and Allen W. Burton

A new approach to task analysis is presented based upon an ecological theory of perception and current motor development and control theories. The ecological task analysis (ETA) approach stands in sharp contrast to more traditional approaches and offers procedures equally applicable to instruction and assessment of movement performance as well as to applied research. The strengths of the ETA approach lie in (a) its grounding in current motor development and control theories, (b) its linking of the task requirements, environmental conditions, and performer characteristics, (c) its application of a functional and dynamic approach to instruction and assessment, and (d) its integration of instruction and assessment procedures. Following a discussion of the traditional approach and ecological theory, four concepts are presented that emanate from Gibson’s theory of affordances. From these concepts ETA procedures are derived. Applied research questions relating to task analysis are also implied from the ecological approach and are presented in the final section.

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Yannis Theodorakis, Konstantinos Bagiatis and Marios Goudas

The aim of this study was to examine attitudes and intentions of physical education students toward teaching individuals with disabilities. The planned behavior model and two exogenous variables (attitude strength and role identity) were used to examine antecedents of students’ intentions for teaching individuals with disabilities in the future. The sample consisted of 99 university students taking adapted physical education courses. Structural equation modeling analysis showed that the role identity and attitude strength variables mediated the effects of subjective norms and attitudes toward behavior on intention. Also, perceived behavioral control was not a direct determinant of intention but affected the attitude strength variable. Findings are discussed in terms of theoretical as well as practical implications for understanding attitude-behavior relationships in physical education for special populations. It seems that professionals’ intentions to work with individuals with disabilities are formed as part of their role identity in the society and are affected by professionals’ attitude confidence toward teaching individuals with disabilities.

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Martin Kudláèek, Hana Válková, Claudine Sherrill, Bettye Myers and Ron French

The purpose was to provide validity evidence for an attitude survey that will predict the intention of Czech prospective teachers to include students with physical disabilities in general physical education (GPE). Based on the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991, 2000), the Czech Attitude Toward Teaching Individuals with Physical Disabilities in Physical Education (ATIPDPE) contained statements of intention and of behavioral, normative, and control beliefs. Attitude was inferred from behavioral beliefs. Content validity evidence was established by experts in two countries and by pilot studies utilizing 96 university students to elicit accessible beliefs and intentions. Construct validity evidence was derived from data collected from 145 GPE and 47 adapted PE prospective teachers enrolled in three universities in the Czech Republic. Bivariate correlations, hierarchical regression analysis, and ANOVA examination of known group difference provided good validity evidence for the ATIPDPE. Alpha coefficients ranged from .71 to .94.

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Geneviève Rail

This paper suggests the usefulness of a general theoretical framework based on the model of strategic analysis elaborated by Crazier and Friedberg (1977/1980). This sociological theory allows for the understanding of complex sport organizations by the study of strategies and power relationships within them. The theory is linked to a restricted phenomenological method that can be used to discover the material, structural, and human conditions that limit and define the rationality of organizational actors, and thereby the meaning of their observable behaviors. Theory and method are explicated, and the paper concludes with an empirical example of the use of strategic analysis for the study of amateur sport federations.

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Olav Krigolson, Jon Bell, Courtney M. Kent, Matthew Heath and Clay B. Holroyd

We used the event-related potential (ERP) methodology to examine differences in neural processing between visually and memory-guided reaches. Consistent with previous findings (e.g., Westwood, Heath, & Roy, 2003), memory-guided reaches undershot veridical target location to a greater extent than their visually guided counterparts. Analysis of the ERP data revealed that memory-guided reaches were associated with reduced potentials over medial-frontal cortex at target presentation and following movement onset. Further, we found that the amplitudes of the potentials over medial-frontal cortex for visually and memory-guided reaches were significantly correlated with the peak accelerations and decelerations of the reaching movements. Our results suggest that memory-guided reaches are mediated by a motor plan that is generated while a target is visible, and then stored in memory until needed—a result counter to recent behavioral theories asserting that memory-guided reaches are planned just before movement onset via a stored, sensory-based target representation.

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April Tripp and Claudine Sherrill

This paper emphasizes that attitude research in adapted physical education must become increasingly theory oriented. Likewise, teacher training must broaden to include scholarly study in relation to social psychology and attitude theory. To facilitate progress in this direction, nine attitude theories have been abstracted from the literature and reviewed under four general headings: learning-behavior theories, cognitive integration theories, consistency theories, and reasoned action theory. Individual theories presented are (a) contact, (b) mediated generalization, (c) assimilation-contrast or persuasive communication, (d) stigma, (e) interpersonal relations, (f) group dynamics, (g) cognitive dissonance, and (h) reasoned action. Illustrations of how each theory applies to selected studies in adapted physical education research and practice are offered, and a lengthy reference list provides both primary and secondary sources for the further study of attitudes.

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Jill R. Reed, Paul Estabrooks, Bunny Pozehl, Kate Heelan and Christopher Wichman

Background: Most rural adults do not meet current guidelines for physical activity (PA). A 12-week feasibility study tested the effectiveness of using the 5A’s model for PA counseling on rural adults’ PA behaviors. Methods: Inactive rural adults recruited from a primary care clinic were randomized to an intervention (n = 30) or control (n = 29) group. All subjects wore a Fitbit to track steps and active minutes. The intervention group completed action plans to improve self-regulatory PA strategies and received weekly motivational text messages to improve PA behaviors. Theory of planned behavior constructs and self-regulatory strategies of planning, goal setting, and tracking (steps and active minutes) were measured with both groups. The control group received the Fitbit only. Results: All individuals became more physically active; however, no significant differences between groups in active minutes or steps were found. All subjects, regardless of group, increased steps (P > .05). There were no statistically significant differences between groups on any of the theoretical variables. Conclusions: It is vitally important to continue to find ways to make PA a priority to improve the overall health and well-being of rural adults. Future research warrants adjusting the intervention dose and strategies to increase PA that can be maintained long term.

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Boris Cheval, Philippe Sarrazin, Luc Pelletier and Malte Friese

Background:

Promoting regular physical activity (PA) and lessening sedentary behaviors (SB) constitute a public health priority. Recent evidence suggests that PA and SB are not only related to reflective processes (eg, behavioral intentions), but also to impulsive approach-avoidance tendencies (IAAT). This study aims to test the effect of a computerized IAAT intervention on an exercise task.

Methods:

Participants (N = 115) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions, in which they were either trained to approach PA and avoid SB (ApPA-AvSB condition), to approach SB and avoid PA (ApSB-AvPA condition), or to approach and avoid PA and SB equally often (active control condition). The main outcome variable was the time spent carrying out a moderate intensity exercise task.

Results:

IAAT toward PA decreased in the ApSB-AvPA condition, tended to increase in the ApPA-AvSB condition, and remained stable in the control condition. Most importantly, the ApPA-AvSB manipulation led to more time spent exercising than the ApSB-AvPA condition. Sensitivity analyses excluding individuals who were highly physically active further revealed that participants in the ApPA-AvSB condition spent more time exercising than participants in the control condition.

Conclusions:

These findings provide preliminary evidence that a single intervention session can successfully change impulsive approach tendencies toward PA and can increase the time devoted to an exercise task, especially among individuals who need to be more physically active. Potential implications for health behavior theories and behavior change interventions are outlined.