In this paper, the experiences of nine AASP-certified sport psychology consultants (SPCs) working with athletes who invoke spirituality in their consulting sessions are described. After a brief review of terms and literature, consultants’ own words from interview transcripts are used to illustrate four major themes. These were: (a) SPC definitions of spirituality; (b) SPC definitions of faith: (c) SPC perceived challenges; and (d) spirituality implementation within consulting session. We conclude by addressing why we believe that spirituality is a cultural competence component and why sport psychology consultants should engage with the ongoing development of cultural competency.
AASP-Certified Consultants’ Experiences of Spirituality within Sport Psychology Consultation
Trevor J. Egli, Leslee A. Fisher, and Noah Gentner
8 Steps to Fitness: A Faith-Based, Behavior Change Physical Activity Intervention for African Americans
Melissa Bopp, Sara Wilcox, Marilyn Laken, Steven P. Hooker, Deborah Parra-Medina, Ruth Saunders, Kimberly Butler, Elizabeth A. Fallon, and Lottie McClorin
Physical activity (PA) participation offers many benefits especially among ethnic groups that experience health disparities. Partnering with faith-based organizations allows for a more culturally tailored approach to changing health behaviors.
8 Steps to Fitness was a faith-based behavior-change intervention promoting PA among members of African American churches. A quasi-experimental design was used to examine differences between the intervention group (n=72) and comparison group (n = 74). Health (resting blood pressure, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, fasting blood glucose), psycho-social (PA self-efficacy, social support, enjoyment, self-regulation, depression), and behavioral variables (PA, diet) were assessed at baseline, 3- and 6-months. Repeated measures ANCOVAs tested changes across time between groups.
At 3-months, the intervention group showed significantly more favorable changes in body mass index, waist circumference and social support than the control group. At 6-months, the intervention group showed significantly more favorable changes in hip circumference, waist to hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, and depressive symptoms. There was notable attrition from both the intervention (36%) and the comparison group (58%).
This study was conducted in a real-world setting, and provided insight into how to deliver a culturally-tailored PA intervention program for African Americans with a potential for dissemination.
Predictors of Weight Loss for African-American Women in the Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN) Study
Rebecca Kyryliuk, Meghan Baruth, and Sara Wilcox
Understanding predictors of weight loss can assist in developing targeted evidence-based programs to reduce obesity in faith-based settings. The purpose of this study was to examine predictors of weight loss for a sample of African-American women taking part in in a church-based study.
Participants (N = 350) completed physical assessments and comprehensive surveys at baseline and 15 months later. Analyses examined baseline variables and change in variables from baseline to posttest, as predictors of ≥ 5% weight loss at posttest. Demographic, health-related, and behavioral variables were examined.
Lower baseline stress predicted greater likelihood of weight loss. Increased leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) from baseline to posttest was predictive of greater weight loss. The odds of ≥ 5% weight loss was 38% lower for every 1-point increase in baseline stress (OR = 0.62, CI = 0.39, 0.98, P = .04) and 6% greater for every 1-hour increase in posttest LTPA (OR = 1.06, CI = 1.0, 1.12, P = .049).
Increased LTPA appears to be an independent predictor of modest but meaningful reductions in weight among African-American women. African-American women reporting higher levels of stress at baseline may require more intense strategies emphasizing increased LTPA to lose weight.
The Effects of Swim Training on Respiratory Aspects of Speech Production in Adolescents With Down Syndrome
Amanda Faith Casey and Claudia Emes
Reduced respiratory muscle strength in individuals with Down syndrome (DS) may affect speech respiratory variables such as maximum phonation duration (MPD), initiation volume, and expired mean airflow. Researchers randomly assigned adolescents with DS (N = 28) to either 12 weeks of swim training (DS-ST) or a control group (DS-NT). Repeated measures MANOVA demonstrated a significant increase in MPD for DS-ST participants from pretest to posttest, t(11) = –3.44, p = 0.006, that was not maintained at follow-up, t(11) = 6.680, p < .001. No significant change was observed for DS-NT participants across time, F(2, 11) = 4.20, p = 0.044. The lack of long-term change in DS-ST participants may be related to the relatively short training period.
Virtual Umra: An Interdisciplinary Faith-Based Pedometer Intervention for Increasing Steps at School
David Kahan and Virginie Nicaise
Curriculum interventions aimed at increasing physical activity in schools may prove useful in contexts where changes in policy/environment are not feasible. Design/evaluation of interventions targeting minority groups is important in light of well-publicized health disparities. Religious minorities represent a special subset that may positively respond to interventions tailored to their unique beliefs, which to date have been relatively underreported.
Muslim American youth (n = 45) attending a parochial middle school participated in a religiously- and culturally-tailored 8-wk, interdisciplinary pedometer intervention. School-time ambulatory activity was quantified using a delayed multiple-baseline across subjects ABA design. Visual analysis of graphic data as well as repeated-measures ANOVA and ANCOVA and post hoc contrasts were used to analyze step counts including the moderating effects of day type (PE, no-PE), gender, BMI classification, grade, and time.
The intervention elicited modest increases in males’ steps only with effect decay beginning midintervention. BMI classification and grade were not associated with changes in steps.
Full curricular integration by affected classroom teachers, staff modeling of PA behavior, and alternative curriculum for girls’ PE classes may further potentiate the intervention.
Physical Activity During the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order in Active Older Adults: A Qualitative Study
Maria E. Damewood, Savannah-Faith Clark, and Ashley L. Artese
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, in March of 2020, the state of Virginia issued a stay-at-home order requiring fitness center closures for 2.4 months. The purpose of this study was to explore how the fitness center closures influenced physical activity (PA) in older adults who previously participated in the centers’ exercise classes. Eleven older adults (69.0 ± 6.6 years) completed semistructured interviews, which were transcribed and analyzed to identify emergent themes. Ten participants reported engaging in PA during the stay-at-home order; four participants maintained/increased PA compared to prepandemic levels. Four themes emerged regarding PA are as follows: recognition of the value of PA, high self-efficacy in regard to PA, adaptation to circumstances, and functional limitations. Findings suggest that prior exercise class participation positively influenced PA. While most participants did not maintain prepandemic PA levels, they remained active because they recognized the benefits of PA, had high self-efficacy for exercise, and adapted to their circumstances.
Examining the Impact of Body Satisfaction and Physical Activity Change on Postpartum Depressive Symptoms
Rebecca A. Schlaff, Meghan Baruth, Faith C. LaFramboise, and Samantha J. Deere
Background: Relationships among moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), body satisfaction, and postpartum depressive symptoms are not well understood. The purpose of this study is to examine the (1) impact of postpartum body satisfaction and changes in MVPA on postpartum depressive symptoms and (2) moderating effect of changes in MVPA over time on the relationship between postpartum body satisfaction and depressive symptoms. Methods: Participants (N = 269) self-reported body satisfaction, MVPA (prepregnancy through postpartum), and postpartum depressive symptoms. Differences in MVPA at 3 time points (prepregnancy, third trimester, and postpartum) were calculated to create change scores. Main effects and interactions (body satisfaction × MVPA change) were examined using multiple regression. Results: A majority of the sample did not meet MVPA recommendations at all time points. All body satisfaction measures were inversely related to postpartum depressive symptoms (P = .01 to <.001). MVPA change did not predict postpartum depressive symptoms (P = .43–.90) or moderate the relationship between body satisfaction and postpartum depressive symptoms (P = .14–.94). Conclusions: Given the relationship between postpartum body satisfaction and depressive symptoms, intervention research should include strategies that promote positive postpartum body image; clinicians should consider screening for body dissatisfaction. Although not a predictor or moderator, pregnancy and postpartum MVPA promotion should continue, as it has numerous other benefits.
Barriers to Exercise Behavior among Older Adults: A Focus-Group Study
Faith D. Lees, Phillip G. Clark, Claudio R. Nigg, and Phillip Newman
Longer life expectancy, rapid population growth, and low exercise-participation rates of adults 65 and older justify the need for better understanding of older adults’ exercise behavior. The objectives of this focus-group study were to determine barriers to the exercise behavior of older adults. Six focus groups, three with exercisers and three with nonexercisers, were conducted at various sites throughout Rhode Island. The majority (n = 57) of the 66 individuals who participated were women, and all stated that they were 65 and older. Results from the focus-group data identified 13 barriers to exercise behavior. The most significant barriers mentioned by nonexercisers were fear of falling, inertia, and negative affect. Exercisers identified inertia, time constraints, and physical ailments as being the most significant barriers to exercise. Implications from these focus-group data can be useful in the development of exercise interventions for older adults, which could increase exercise participation.
Recovering From the Houston Astros’ Sign-Stealing Scandal: A Case Study on Protecting a Professional Sport Organization’s Reputation Through Crisis Communication
, 2019 ). The Major League Baseball Players Association not only represents players in good faith surrounding matters, such as salary arbitration and grievances, but also informs players regarding a crisis and how it impacts them. In the event where players are involved in a crisis, the player and the
A Phenomenological Study: Experiencing the Unexpected Death of a Teammate
Duncan Simpson and Lauren P. Elberty
major themes (see Table 2 ). The structure resulted in six major themes; Emotional Response, Behavioral Response, Faith, Social Support, Team Cohesion, and Change in Life Perspective. Table 2 Higher and Lower Order Themes of Participants’ Experience of the Death of a Teammate and Sample Representative