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Putting “Participatory” into Participatory Forms of Action Research

Wendy Frisby, Colleen J. Reid, Sydney Millar, and Larena Hoeber

Although there has been a rise in calls for participatory forms of research, there is little literature on the challenges of involving research participants in all phases of the research process. Actively involving research participants requires new strategies, new researcher and research-participant roles, and consideration of a number of ethical dilemmas. We analyzed the strategies employed and challenges encountered based on our experiences conducting feminist participatory action research with a marginalized population and a variety of community partners over 3 years. Five phases of the research process were considered including developing the research questions, building trust, collecting data, analyzing data, and communicating the results for action. Our goals were to demonstrate the relevance of a participatory approach to sport management research, while at the same time acknowledging some of the realities of engaging in this type of research.

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Bridging Research and Practice in Kinesiology: A Case for Concept Mapping

Brian J. Souza

Enhancing translational research in kinesiology requires utilizing diverse research methods. Concept mapping (CM), an applied, participatory research method, brings together stakeholders to address problems. CM involves preparing a project, generating answers to a problem, then structuring, rating, analyzing, representing, and interpreting the data. The results are visual depictions of the stakeholders’ collective thinking about a problem that help facilitate decision-making. In this paper, I describe CM, review CM physical activity projects, discuss opportunities for CM in kinesiology, and detail the limitations of CM. Professionals from the kinesiology subdisciplines can implement CM to facilitate collaboration and generate real-world solutions to real-world problems.

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The Birth of the Stars: A Participatory and Appreciative Action and Reflection Investigation into the Leadership and Development of a New Superleague Netball Club

Anita Navin, Don Vinson, Alison Croad, Jennifer Turnnidge, and Jean Côté

This Participatory and Appreciative Action and Reflection (PAAR; Ghaye et al., 2008 ) investigation concerns the first author’s leadership of a new Superleague Netball club in the United Kingdom. Principally, this investigation aimed to report the initial steps through which the authorship team

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Reflections on Participatory Action Research: The Case of Low-Income Women Accessing Local Physical Activity services

Wendy Frisby, Susan Crawford, and Therese Dorer

In contrast to traditional approaches to research, participatory action research calls for the active involvement of the community—including both the beneficiaries and providers of sport services—in defining research problems, executing interventions, interpreting results, and designing strategies to change existing power structures. The purpose of this paper was to analyze a participatory action research project designed to increase the access of women living below the poverty line and their families to local physical activity services. A framework developed by Green et al. (1995) formed the basis of the analysis. To place the analysis in context, the historical origins and theoretical assumptions underlying participatory action research were addressed. The case of the Women's Action Project demonstrated how the process can result in a more inclusive local sport system and, at the same time, provide a rich setting for examining organizational dynamics including collaborative decision-making, community partnerships, power imbalances, resource control, resistance to change, and nonhierarchical structures.

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“Stop Photoshopping!”: A Visual Participatory Inquiry Into Students’ Responses to a Body Curriculum

Laura Azzarito, Mara Simon, and Risto Marttinen

In today’s school climate of accountability, researchers in Physical Education (PE) pedagogy have contested current fitness curricula that aim to manage, control, and normalize young people’s bodies. This participatory visual research incorporated a Body Curriculum into a fitness unit in a secondary school (a) to assist young people critically deal with the media narratives of perfect bodies they consume in their daily lives, and (b) to examine how participants responded to a Body Curriculum. It was found that while participants rejected media fabrications of the “ideal body” and the “unhealthy” ideals they circulate in society, they recognized the difficulty of not being “caught up” in media storytelling. Participants’ views of their own bodies, however, were not malleable, but rooted in narrow, fixed heteronormative white ideals of “looking a certain way” to “fit” society norms of physical appearance and attractiveness. The benefits and limitations of implementing a Body Curriculum are recognized.

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Playing Together: The Physical Activity Beliefs and Behaviors of Urban Aboriginal Youth

Serene Kerpan and Louise Humbert

Background:

Urban Aboriginal youth are a rapidly growing segment of the Canadian population that unfortunately bears a disproportionate level of illness. One way to improve the health of urban Aboriginal youth is to increase their physical activity. It is important to understand what this group’s beliefs and behaviors are on physical activity so that programs that meet their needs can be developed.

Methods:

This ethnographic study engaged 15 urban Aboriginal youth to understand what their physical activity beliefs and behaviors were.

Results:

Results revealed 4 themes: “group physical activity preference,” “focus on the family,” “traditional physical activity,” and “location of residence as a barrier.” These themes illustrated that urban Aboriginal youth have a preference for group physical activity and enjoy traditional Aboriginal forms of activity. Results also showed that the family plays a critical role in their physical activity patterns. Lastly, participants in this study believed that their location of residence was a barrier to physical activity.

Conclusion:

Community leaders need to be sensitive to the barriers that this cultural group faces and build on the strengths that are present among this group when developing physical activity programming.

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Participatory Research to Promote Physical Activity at Congregate-Meal Sites

Paul A. Estabrooks, Elizabeth H. Fox, Shawna E. Doerksen, Michael H. Bradshaw, and Abby C. King

The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of an on-site physical activity (PA) program offered with congregate meals. Study 1 surveyed meal-site users on their likelihood to participate. Study 2 used meal-site-manager interviews and site visits to determine organizational feasibility. Study 3, a controlled pilot study, randomized meal sites to a 12-week group-based social-cognitive (GBSC) intervention or a standard-care control. Studies 1 and 2 indicated that most meal-site users would participate in an on-site PA program, and meal sites had well-suited physical resources and strong organizational support for this type of program. In Study 3, GBSC participants increased their weekly PA over those in the control condition (p < .05, ES = .79). Results indicated that changes in task cohesion might have mediated intervention effectiveness. These studies demonstrate that a PA program offered in this venue is feasible, is effective in promoting PA, and could have a strong public health impact.

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Anti-Racist Research Methods in Sport-Based Youth Development

Jennifer E. McGarry, Kolin Ebron, Jesse Mala, Michael Corral, Nneka Arinze, Kerry Mattson, and Khalil Griffith

In recent years, critical Sport for Development (SfD) scholars have emphasized utilizing participatory research methodologies both to challenge traditional representations of program participants, and as a means to engage youth in articulating their own experiences ( Darnell & Hayhurst, 2011

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A Controlled Evaluation of a CBPR Intervention’s Effects on Physical Activity and the Related Psychosocial Constructs Among Minority Children in an Underserved Community

Kara C. Hamilton, Mark T. Richardson, Shanda McGraw, Teirdre Owens, and John C. Higginbotham

implementing an intervention also has been shown to improve the sustainability of desired outcomes, even among low SES populations. 22 Equitably involving both the community and investigators in the research process is an approach that is referred to as Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). 22

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Constructing Diaspora Space and Consciousness Through Sport and Livelihoods in Kampala, Uganda

Mitchell McSweeney

, access resources for employment, and engage in income-generating activities for the purposes of becoming self-reliant (i.e., not depending on humanitarian assistance or NGO support). In the next section, the methods used in this study are outlined. Methods A participatory action research (PAR) approach