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Grégoire Bosselut, Jean-Philippe Heuzé, Mark A. Eys, Paul Fontayne and Philippe Sarrazin

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between athletes’ perceptions of role ambiguity and two theoretically derived dimensions of coaching competency (i.e., game strategy and technique competencies). A total of 243 players from 26 teams representing various interdependent sports completed French versions of the Role Ambiguity Scale and the Coaching Competency Scale. Multilevel analyses supported the existence of relationships between the four dimensions of role ambiguity and the two dimensions of coaching competency at both individual and team levels. When the levels were considered jointly, athletes perceiving greater ambiguity in their role in both offensive and defensive contexts were more critical of their coach’s capacities to lead their team during competitions and to diagnose or formulate instructions during training sessions. The results also indicated that the dimension of scope of responsibilities was the main contributor to the relationship with coaching competency at an individual level, whereas role evaluation was the main contributor to this relationship at a group level. Findings are discussed in relation to the role episode model, the role ambiguity dimensions involved in the relationships according to the level of analysis considered, and the salience of ambiguity perceptions in the offensive context.

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Fuzhong Li, K. John Fisher and Ross C. Brownson

The article reports on a multilevel analysis conducted to examine change in neighborhood walking activity over a 12-month period in a community-based sample of 28 neighborhoods of 303 older adults age 65 and over. The study employed a multilevel (residents nested within neighborhoods) and longitudinal (4 repeated measures over 1 year) design and a multilevel analysis of change and predictors of change in neighborhood walking activity. Results indicated a significant neighborhood effect, with neighborhood-level walking characterized by a downward trajectory over time. Inclusion of baseline variables using selected perceived neighborhood-level social- and physical-environment measures indicated that neighborhoods with safe walking environments and access to physical activity facilities had lower rates of decline in walking activity. The findings provide preliminary evidence of neighborhood-level change and predictors of change in walking activity in older adults. They also suggest the importance of analyzing change in physical activity in older adults from a multilevel or macrolevel framework.

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K. John Fisher, Fuzhong Li, Yvonne Michael and Minot Cleveland

There is a need for greater understanding of setting-specific influences on physical activity to complement the predominant research paradigm of individual-centered influences on physical activity. In this study, the authors used a cross-sectional multilevel analysis to examine a range of neighborhood-level characteristics and the extent to which they were associated with variation in self-reported physical activity among older adults. The sample consisted of 582 community-dwelling residents age 65 years and older (M = 73.99 years, SD = 6.25) recruited from 56 neighborhoods in Portland, OR. Information collected from participants and neighborhood data from objective sources formed a two-level data structure. These hierarchical data (i.e., individuals nested within neighborhoods) were subjected to multilevel structural-equation-modeling analyses. Results showed that neighborhood social cohesion, in conjunction with other neighborhood-level factors, was significantly associated with increased levels of neighborhood physical activity. Overall, neighborhood-level variables jointly accounted for a substantial variation in neighborhood physical activity when controlling for individual-level variables.

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Susan C. Duncan, Terry E. Duncan, Lisa A. Strycker and Nigel R. Chaumeton

Typical studies of youth physical activity ignore the dependence among family members, examining only individual levels of data rather than individual and family levels. The current study examined physical activity among siblings (mean age = 12.2 years), using hierarchical linear modeling. Individual-and family-level covariates of physical activity were included in the model. Data from 930 siblings nested within 371 families were analyzed in a four-level multilevel design. Results indicated that siblings were similar in their levels of physical activity, and that levels of physical activity varied across families. At the individual level, age was a significant predictor of physical activity. At the family level, higher levels of family support were related to higher levels of sibling physical activity, as were single-parent status and higher income. Perceptions of neighborhood opportunities and observed neighborhood physical activity facilities were negatively related to family levels of physical activity.

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Fuzhong Li, K. John Fisher, Adrian Bauman, Marcia G. Ory, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Peter Harmer, Mark Bosworth and Minot Cleveland

Over the past few years, attention has been drawn to the importance of neighborhood influences on physical activity behavior and the need to consider a multilevel analysis involving not only individual-level variables but also social-and physical-environment variables at the neighborhood level in explaining individual differences in physical activity outcomes. This new paradigm raises a series of issues concerning systems of influence observed at different hierarchical levels (e.g., individuals, neighborhoods) and variables that can be defined at each level. This article reviews research literature and discusses substantive, operational, and statistical issues in studies involving multilevel influences on middle-aged and older adults’ physical activity. To encourage multilevel research, the authors propose a model that focuses attention on multiple levels of influence and the interaction among variables characterizing individuals, among variables characterizing neighborhoods, and across both levels. They conclude that a multilevel perspective is needed to increase understanding of the multiple influences on physical activity.

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Nicola D. Ridgers, Stuart J. Fairclough and Gareth Stratton

Background:

Recess is an opportunity for children to engage in daily physical activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the 12-month effects of a playground intervention on children’s moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) and vigorous physical activity (VPA) during morning and lunchtime recess.

Methods:

Four hundred and seventy children (232 boys, 238 girls) from 26 elementary schools participated in the study. Fifteen schools redesigned the playground environment using playground markings and physical structures. Eleven schools served as socioeconomic matched controls. Physical activity levels were quantified using heart rate and accelerometry at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months post-intervention. A 3-level (time, pupil, and school) multilevel analysis was used to determine the effects of the intervention across time on MVPA and VPA.

Results:

Positive yet nonsignificant intervention effects were found for MVPA and VPA during morning and lunchtime recess. Intervention children were more active during recess than control children. Interactions revealed that the intervention effect was stronger at 6 months than 12 months post-intervention.

Conclusions:

A playground markings and physical structures intervention had a positive effect on intervention children’s morning and lunchtime MVPA and VPA when assessed using heart rate and accelerometry, but this effect is strongest 6-months post-intervention and decreased between 6 months and 12 months.

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Chia-Yuan Yu, Ayoung Woo, Christopher Hawkins and Sara Iman

biased results; applying a multilevel analysis would be more appropriate. The findings indicated that African Americans and Hispanics living in counties with high levels of isolation, dissimilarity, and concentration were more likely to be obese; these relationships did not hold true for Whites and

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Jooyeon Jin and Joonkoo Yun

The purpose of this study was to examine three frameworks, (a) process-product, (b) student mediation, and (c) classroom ecology, to understand physical activity (PA) behavior of adolescents with and without disabilities in middle school inclusive physical education (PE). A total of 13 physical educators teaching inclusive PE and their 503 students, including 22 students with different disabilities, participated in this study. A series of multilevel regression analyses indicated that physical educators’ teaching behavior and students’ implementation intentions play important roles in promoting the students’ PA in middle school inclusive PE settings when gender, disability, lesson content, instructional model, and class location are considered simultaneously. The findings suggest that the ecological framework should be considered to effectively promote PA of adolescents with and without disabilities in middle school PE classes.

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John C. Spence, Chris M. Blanchard, Marianne Clark, Ronald C. Plotnikoff, Kate E. Storey and Linda McCargar

Background:

The purposes of this study were to determine if a) gender moderated the relationship between self-efficacy and physical activity (PA) among youth in Alberta, Canada, and, alternatively b) if self-efficacy mediated the relationship between gender and PA.

Methods:

A novel web-based tool was used to survey a regionally diverse sample of 4779 students (boys = 2222, girls = 2557) from 117 schools in grades 7 to 10 (mean age = 13.64 yrs.). Among other variables, students were asked about their PA and self-efficacy for participating in PA.

Results:

Based upon a series of multilevel analyses, self-efficacy was found to be a significantly stronger correlate of PA for girls. But, boys had significantly higher self-efficacy compared with girls, which resulted in significantly more PA.

Conclusions:

Findings suggest self-efficacy is an important correlate of PA among adolescent girls but that boys are more physically active because they have more self-efficacy for PA.

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Julien P. Chanal, Herbert W. Marsh, Philippe G. Sarrazin and Julien E. Bois

In sport/exercise contexts, individuals use the performances of others to evaluate their own competence. In big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE) in educational settings, academic self-concept is positively predicted by one’s academic achievement but negatively predicted by the average achievement of others in one’s school or class. Participation in programs for academically gifted students leads to lower self-concept. In apparently the first test of the BFLPE in the physical domain, multilevel models of responses by 405 participants in 20 gymnastics classes supported these predictions. Gymnastics self-concept was positively predicted by individual gymnastics skills, but negatively predicted by class-average gymnastics skills. The size of this negative BFLPE grew larger during the 10-week training program (as participants had more exposure to the relative performances of others in their class), but did not vary as a function of gender, age, or initial gymnastics skills.