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Pedro Teques, Luís Calmeiro, Henrique Martins, Daniel Duarte and Nicholas L. Holt

, and it will be positively related with desirable parental sideline verbal behaviors (i.e., praise/encouragement) and negatively with undesirable parental sideline verbal behaviors (i.e., performance-contingent feedback, instruction, striking a balance, negative comments, and derogatory comments

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Hans van der Mars

The effects of specific verbal praise by an experienced male physical education specialist on off-task behavior of three second-grade students were studied. A multiple baseline research design across subjects was used to assess the intervention, consisting of teacher praise aimed at the subjects’ class conduct and motor skill performance. To ensure that (a) the intervention would be implemented, and (b) that the praise would be contingent upon appropriate student conduct and skill performance, audio-cues were provided by way of prerecorded cues on microcassettes. Two boys and one girl in a second-grade class served as subjects. Off-task behavior and teacher praise data were collected from videotapes of 15 regular physical education classes. Results showed that the baseline levels of off-task levels were reduced significantly after introduction of the intervention for each subject. Specific verbal praise was effective in reducing off-task behavior of second-grade students in physical education.

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Hans van der Mars

Audiocueing by way of a microcassette recorder was used to change a female student teacher’s (S1) use of verbal praise of students’ overall class behavior. A second student teacher’s (S2) behavior teaching in the same setting was used as concurrent baseline measure. Both subjects taught K-3 classes at a rural elementary school. An ABAB reversal design was used to determine the relationship between the intervention and dependent variables. Results showed that when audiocues were introduced, verbal praise rate increased significantly. Upon removal of the audiocues, the rate of verbal praise decreased gradually. Percentage of specific verbal praise also increased upon presentation of audiocues. Experimental significance found through visual inspection of graphic data was supported statistically by f-test results. Findings of the exit interview with S1 are included. Suggestions for further research are provided.

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Robert G. Osterhoudt

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Andre Koka and Heino Sildala

relationships with students’ maladaptive outcomes. Specifically, Hein and co-workers found that dimensions of perceived controlling behavior such as negative conditional regard and intimidation, but not controlling use of praise and excessive controlling behavior from teachers, had significant positive

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Lisa M. Silliman and Ron French

The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of preferred verbal praise and music reinforcement on improving the soccer kick performances of youths with profound mental retardation (PMR). Subjects (N = 15) were randomly assigned to three groups. Based on visual inspection and the split-middle technique, all three groups (i.e., control, verbal praise, and music reinforcer) improved performances in their kicking accuracy. Comparison of graphed mean data of the three groups, by visual inspection and the split-middle technique, showed that the verbal praise and music reinforcement groups had higher scores than the control group. Visual inspection of 2-week follow-up data revealed that both experimental groups maintained higher scores than the control group. In addition, all of the subjects had the ability to generalize this kicking skill into a physical recreation environment.

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Bryan E. Denham, Andrew C. Billings and Kelby K. Halone

A consistent finding in studies surrounding sports commentary on white and black athletes is that (a) white athletes are frequently praised for their perceived “intellect” and “leadership capacity,” while (b) black athletes are often praised for being “naturally talented” (Davis & Harris, 1998). A mediated conclusion that one could derive from such findings is that black athletes are expected to succeed athletically; conversely, white athletes are expected to have an innate ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to accomplish their athletic stature. This study examined the broadcast commentary surrounding white and black athletes at the 2000 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four College Basketball Tournaments. The content analysis of 1,118 descriptors embedded in commentator discourse revealed that, while black athletes continue to be praised for their athleticism and physicality, they also are receiving a greater number of comments about their intelligence and ability to lead.

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Joanna L. Morrissey, Phyllis J. Wenthe, Elena M. Letuchy, Steven M. Levy and Kathleen F. Janz

In a sample of 291 adolescents (mean age 13 yr), seven psychosocial factors, including family support, were examined in relation to accelerometry-derived physical activity (PA) measured after school and during the weekend. Gender-specific stepwise linear regression analyses determined which combinations of factors explained the variance in nonschool moderate to vigorous PA and nonschool total PA after adjusting for % BF, age, and maturity (p ≤ 0.05). Being praised by a family member and % BF explained 13% of the variance in female nonschool MVPA, while being praised and maturity explained 13% of the variance in nonschool total PA. Having a family member watch him participate, % BF, and age explained 11.5% of the variance in male nonschool MVPA, while having a family member participate with him explained 6.4% of the variance in nonschool total PA. Despite adolescents’ growing independence, family support continues to influence PA levels.

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M. Patricia Giebink and Thomas L. McKenzie

This article reports two related studies designed to examine the effects of three intervention strategies (instructions and praise, modeling, and a point system) on children’s sportsmanship in physical education class and in a recreation setting. Four target boys (mean age 12.3 years) were monitored during 22 physical education class Softball games and during 21 recreational basketball games. In softball, an ABCDA reversal design indicated that while the effects on individual children varied, all three interventions increased sportsmanship and decreased unsportsmanlike behaviors. The improved sportsmanship behavior of the softball class did not transfer to basketball, however, and further interventions were implemented in that setting. Here, an ABAC reversal design revealed that instructions and praise intervention were effective in reducing unsportsmanlike behavior but it had little effect on increasing sportsmanship. In both settings, the point system with contingent back-up reinforcers was the most effective intervention.

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Christy Halbert and Melissa Latimer

In this study, we examine how sports commentators minimized women’s athletic participation, abilities, and achievements in the 1992 televised “Battle of the Champions” tennis competition between Martina Navratilova and Jimmy Connors. Using content analysis, we found clear differences in naming practices, adjective and adverb use, amount and type of praise and criticism, and character flaws attributed to the players. In the unique case of male versus female athletic competition it also becomes apparent that commentators “gender” the athletic event. Although women have made great strides in sport, their achievements will continue to be meaningless as long as sports broadcasters undermine, trivialize, and minimize women’s performances through biased commentaries.