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Joshua Woods

studying low-prevalence, hidden, or hard-to-reach populations by using social media sites for data collection ( Bhutta, 2012 ; Genoe, Liechty, Marston, & Sutherland, 2016 ; King, O’Rourke, & DeLongis, 2014 ; Rife, Cate, Kosinski, & Stillwell, 2016 ; Schneider, Burke-Garcia, & Thomas, 2015 ). However

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Laura J. Houghton and Zoe R. Knowles

The purpose of this case study is to offer reflections on the personal experiences, processes of behavioral change; and subsequent outcomes of designing and implementing a collaborative exercise psychology intervention. The intervention, based on Bandura’s (1977) Self Efficacy Theory and using self-efficacy related behavior change techniques (Michie et al., 2015), aimed to provide families affected by health inequalities with opportunities to enhance their understanding of health and make positive behavioral changes. This case is based around one female client aged 48 years of age who took part in the project with her ten-year-old daughter. Pre-intervention the client was engaging in minimal levels of weekly physical activity and reported poor self-rated mental well-being. Through improvements in self-efficacy, achieved through opportunities on the project, the client was able to make notable improvements to her physical activity levels leading to significant weight loss and improvements in mental well-being. From the practitioners’ perspective, reflection on areas for future work within the field of exercise psychology, particularly guidance on developing effective client-practitioner relationships with ‘hard-to-reach’ individuals and groups is warranted. More consideration for the suitability of the PA guidelines for individuals with poor physical and mental health is also required.

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Robert Weinberg, Thomas Stitcher, and Peggy Richardson

The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the effects of a specific goal-setting program on physical performance over the course of a competitive athletic season. Subjects were 24 members of an NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse team who were matched on ability and playing position and then randomly assigned to either a goal-setting or do-your-best control group. The experimenter met with each athlete at the beginning of the season to provide goals, as well as during the season to reevaluate the goals, if necessary. Performance was measured on offensive assists, offensive ground balls, defensive ground balls, and defensive clears. Manipulation checks revealed that players accepted their goals, felt their goals were realistic, and tried hard to reach their goals. Although statistical tests indicated no significant performance differences, the magnitude, direction, and consistency of the differences in favor of the goal group offers some support for the effectiveness of specific goals across an athletic season.

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Robert J. Schinke, Alain P. Gauthier, Nicole G. Dubuc, and Troy Crowder

The study of adaptation in elite sport delineates the adjustment strategies of amateur and professional athletes during career transitions (e.g., promotion, relocation). Fiske (2004) recently identified 5 core motives as the vehicles to adaptation: belonging, understanding, controlling, self-enhancement, and trusting. The goal was to verify and contextualize these core motives with 2 respondent groups of professional athletes from the National Hockey League. The groups consisted of those experiencing rookie adaptation and veteran adaptation. A total of 58 athletes were divided into groups representing the Canadian mainstream, Canadian Aboriginal culture, and Europe. There were 175 newspaper articles that were retrieved using online and library resources. The similarities and discrepancies in and across groups provides insight into this hard-to-reach population.

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John W. Hayton

This research explores the emotional labour of university students whilst volunteering on the Sport Universities North East England (SUNEE) sports-based outreach project. Using data from semi-structured interviews with students (n = 40) this paper draws on the work of Arlie Hochschild (1983, 2012) to explore the feeling, display and regulation of emotion by this cohort of volunteers throughout their involvement on the SUNEE project. The findings suggest that students’ emotional labour is influenced by a variety of challenging attitudes and situations that they encounter when attempting to coach “hard to reach” groups. To perform such emotional labour, students often chose to transmute emotion, separating their actual emotions from their outward display to convey a demeanour necessitated by the perceived feeling rules of the coaching context.

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Kristin M. Mills, Anita L. Stewart, Barbara Y. McLellan, Carol J. Verboncoeur, Abby C. King, and Byron W. Brown

Health-promotion programs’ success depends on their ability to enroll representative samples of the target population, particularly those who are hard to reach and those who can benefit the most from such programs. This article evaluates enrollment bias in the recruitment process, examines the usefulness of a 2-phased recruitment strategy in enrolling representative proportions of eligible individuals in a physical-activity-promotion program for older adults, and explores predictors of enrollment. Of 1,381 randomly selected Medicare HMO members. 519 were eligible. Of these, 54% attended an informational meeting and 33% enrolled in the program. Relative to the target population, a representative proportion of women was enrolled, but those who enrolled were slightly younger. Of those who were eligible, a representative proportion of sedentary participants was recruited, those who were overweight were overrep-resented, and the oldest old, less educated, ethnic minorities, and precontem-plators of physical activity were underrepresented. Modifiable predictors of enrollment included interest in health, previous health-class attendance, and having had a physician recommend exercise.

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Robert P. Mooney and Nanette Mutrie

The present study examines the effects of goal specificity and goal difficulty on performance in a sports setting for children while attempting to control for the effects of social comparison. Participants (N = 46) were matched on their baseline performance on two badminton tasks (underhand serve and drop shot) and then randomly assigned to one of three goal setting conditions: (a) easy goals, (b) difficult goals, and (c) do-your-best goals. Results suggest that the easy and difficult groups showed a significant improvement in performance for both experimental tasks, whereas the do-your-best group did not display any improvement. However, no significant differences were found between easy goals and difficult goals. Further analyses reveal that age effects were not significant. Manipulation checks indicate that all children accepted their assigned goals and intended to try extremely hard to reach them. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of Locke’s (18) goal setting theory as well as previous research in physical activity settings. Future directions for research are suggested.

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Jeffrey J. VanWormer, Jennifer A. Linde, Lisa J. Harnack, Steven D. Stovitz, and Robert W. Jeffery


Some evidence suggests that physical activity programs mainly attract employees who are already active. This study examined the degree to which baseline physical activity was associated with enrollment in worksite walking clubs.


All variables were measured at baseline. Walking club participation was measured over 2 years. There were 642 individuals from 3 worksites with complete data available for logistic regression analyses.


Baseline physical activity [OR (95% CI) = 1.00 (0.99, 1.01)] was not a significant predictor of walking club participation. Participants who were older [OR = 1.03 (1.01, 1.04)] or indicated more social support for physical activity [OR = 1.13 (1.02, 1.25)] had significantly higher odds of participation relative to those who were younger or indicated less social support, respectively. In addition, men [OR = –0.25 (0.18, 0.36)] and employees from the second worksite [OR = –0.41 (0.25, 0.67)] had significantly lower odds of participation relative to women and employees from the first or third worksites, respectively. Sensitivity analyses arrived at similar conclusions.


Worksite walking clubs were appealing across varying levels of physical activity. Future research should improve marketing and program design to engage harder-to-reach segments of the workforce, particularly young men and those with limited social support.

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Robert Weinberg, Curt Fowler, Allen Jackson, Jamie Bagnall, and Lawrence Bruya

The purpose of this investigation was to determine if setting unrealistic goals would produce any significant decreases in motivation and performance. To add external validity to the findings, two experiments were conducted; one used an endurance task with children, and the other used a basketball-shooting task with college students. Subjects were matched on baseline assessments and randomly assigned to one of several goal-setting conditions—from goals that were easy to those that were unrealistic and virtually impossible. A do-your-best control condition was employed in each experiment. Results from both experiments revealed no significant between-group differences for either the sit-up task or the 3-minute shooting task. Questionnaire results indicated that subjects accepted their goals and tried hard to reach them. Although subjects placed in unrealistic-goal conditions did perceive their goal as being more difficult, this did not produce any decrements in their motivation. Results are discussed in terms of previous research in sport and industrial settings concerning the goal-attainability notion.

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Robert Weinberg, Lawrence Bruya, Janice Longino, and Allen Jackson

The purpose of this investigation was to test the effects of goal proximity and goal specificity on endurance performance of young children. Subjects were 130 boys and 125 girls from the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. Children were matched on baseline performance of the 2-min sit-up test and then randomly assigned to one of the following goal setting conditions: (a) short-term goal improvement of 4% each test trial, (b) long-term goal of 20% improvement over the course of the 10-week study, (c) short-term plus long-term goal, and (d) do your best. Subjects practiced sit-ups in class every day with practice tests once a week and actual scored tests once every other week. No significant differences between goal-setting conditions were found on baseline performance and thus a 4 × 3 × 2 × 5 (Goal × Grade × Gender × Trials) ANOVA was conducted. Results produced significant gender and grade main effects, with boys and sixth graders exhibiting the best performance. More important, a significant goal-condition-by-trials interaction revealed there were no differences on Trials 1 and 2, but on Trials 3, 4, and 5 the specific goal groups performed significantly better than the do-your-best group. A postexperimental questionnaire revealed that children were highly committed to their goals and tried extremely hard to reach their goals. Results are discussed in terms of Locke's goal-setting theory as well as recent empirical goal-setting studies conducted in physical activity settings.