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Kimberlee Bethany Bonura and Gershon Tenenbaum

Background:

The objective of this study was to assess the effect of a yoga intervention on psychological health in older adults.

Method:

A randomized controlled trial study, conducted at 2 North Florida facilities for older adults. Subjects were 98 older adults, ages 65 to 92. Participants were randomly assigned to chair yoga, chair exercise, and control groups and assessed preintervention, postintervention, and 1-month follow-up on the State Anger Expression Inventory, State Anxiety Inventory, Geriatric Depression Scale, Lawton’s PGC Morale Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, Chronic Disease Self-Efficacy Scales, and Self- Control Schedule.

Results:

Yoga participants improved more than both exercise and control participants in anger (Cohen’s d = 0.89 for yoga versus exercise, and 0.90 for yoga versus control, pretest to posttest; and d = 0.90 and 0.72, pretest to follow-up), anxiety (d = 0.27, 0.39 and 0.62, 0.63), depression (d = 0.47, 0.49 and 0.53, 0.51), well-being (d = 0.14, 0.49 and 0.25, 0.61), general self-efficacy (d = 0.63, 1.10 and 0.30, 0.85), and self-efficacy for daily living (d = 0.52, 0.81 and 0.27, 0.42). Changes in self-control moderated changes in psychological health.

Conclusions:

Over a 6-week period, our findings indicate yoga’s potential for improving psychological health in older adults.

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J. D. DeFreese and Alan L. Smith

Social support and negative social interactions have implications for athlete psychological health, with potential to influence the links of stress-related experiences with burnout and well-being over time. Using a longitudinal design, perceived social support and negative social interactions were examined as potential moderators of the temporal stress–burnout and burnout–well-being relationships. American collegiate athletes (N = 465) completed reliable and valid online assessments of study variables at four time points during the competitive season. After controlling for dispositional and conceptually important variables, social support and negative social interactions did not moderate the stress–burnout or burnout–well-being relationships, respectively, but did simultaneously contribute to burnout and well-being across the competitive season. The results showcase the importance of sport-related social perceptions to athlete psychological outcomes over time and inform development of socially driven interventions to improve the psychological health of competitive athletes.

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Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, Joan M. Fair, William L. Haskell, Ann N. Varady, Carlos Iribarren, Mark A. Hlatky, Alan S. Go and Stephen P. Fortmann

Background:

This study examined the construct validity and reliability of the new 2-item Stanford Brief Activity Survey (SBAS).

Methods:

Secondary analysis was conducted using data collected from the healthy older controls (n = 1023) enrolled in the Atherosclerotic Disease Vascular Function and Genetic Epidemiology (ADVANCE) study. Construct validity was examined by regression analyses to evaluate significant trends (P ≤ .05) across the SBAS activity categories for the selected psychological health factors measured at baseline and year 2, adjusted for gender, ethnicity and education level. Test-retest reliability was performed using Spearman’s rank correlation.

Results:

At baseline, subjects were 66 ± 2.8 years old, 38% female, 77% married, 61% retired, 24% college graduate, and 68% Caucasian. At baseline, lower self-reported stress, anxiety, depression, and cynical distrust, and higher self-reported mental and physical well-being were significantly associated with higher levels of physical activity (p trend ≤ 0.01). These associations held at year 2. The test-retest reliability of the SBAS was statistically significant (rs= 0.62, P < .001).

Conclusion:

These results provide evidence of the construct validity and reliability of the SBAS in older adults. We also found a strong dose-response relationship between regular physical activity and psychological health in older adults, independent of gender, education level and ethnicity.

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Edward MeAuley and Kerry S. Courneya

This paper documents the development and validation of the three-factor Subjective Exercise Experiences Scale (SEES), a measure of global psychological responses to the stimulus properties of exercise. Two of these factors correspond to the positive and negative poles associated with psychological health, Positive Weil-Being and Psychological Distress, whereas the third factor represents subjective indicants of Fatigue. The three-factor structure originally established by exploratory factor analysis using young adults was also supported in middle-aged exercising adults using confirmatory factor analytic techniques. Moreover, convergent and discriminant validity for the SEES subscales was demonstrated by examining relations with measures of affect regularly employed in exercise domain. The SEES may represent a useful starting point for more thoroughly examining exercise and subjective responses at the global level, and these dimensions of the scale may represent possible antecedents of specific affective responsivity.

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Edward McAuley and David Rudolph

This review examines the effects of exercise and physical activity on the psychological well-being of older adults. Unlike most of the literature in this area, this review focuses primarily on those psychosocial outcomes that are generally positive in nature. As well as considering the overall effects of physical activity, the roles of program length, subject sex, age, physical fitness, and measurement are considered. Overall, the results of the 38 studies reviewed are overwhelmingly positive, with the majority reporting positive associations between physical activity and psychological well-being. This relationship appears to be moderated by the length of the exercise programs; longer programs consistently report more positive results. There is little evidence that exercise has differential psychological effects on men and women or on individuals of differing ages. Whereas training protocols seem to result in significant changes in physical fitness and well-being, such improvements appear to be unrelated. The review concludes with a brief discussion of possible mechanisms underlying the physical activity/psychological health relationship, and several directions are recommended for future research.

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John W. Mahoney, Daniel F. Gucciardi, Nikos Ntoumanis and Cliff J. Mallet

We argue that basic psychological needs theory (BPNT) offers impetus to the value of mental toughness as a mechanism for optimizing human functioning. We hypothesized that psychological needs satisfaction (thwarting) would be associated with higher (lower) levels of mental toughness, positive affect, and performance and lower (higher) levels of negative affect. We also expected that mental toughness would be associated with higher levels of positive affect and performance and lower levels of negative affect. Further, we predicted that coaching environments would be related to mental toughness indirectly through psychological needs and that psychological needs would indirectly relate with performance and affect through mental toughness. Adolescent cross-country runners (136 male and 85 female, M age = 14.36) completed questionnaires pertaining to BPNT variables, mental toughness, and affect. Race times were also collected. Our findings supported our hypotheses. We concluded that BPNT is generative in understanding some of the antecedents and consequences of mental toughness and is a novel framework useful for understanding mental toughness.

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Shaunna M. Burke, Jennifer Brunet, Amanda Wurz, Christina Butler and Andrea Utley

The benefits of informal physical activity during recovery from childhood cancer have rarely been investigated. This study adopted a multiple case study approach to explore the impact of recreational cycling on childhood cancer survivors’ experiences of well- and ill-being. Three semistructured interviews were conducted over a 3-month period with four survivors to explore their experiences of physical, psychological, and social well- and ill-being. Within-case analysis followed by cross-case analysis identified three themes that captured their well- and ill-being experiences with recreational cycling and cancer: (a) cultivating feelings and emotions, (b) experiencing physical changes, and (c) encountering positive and negative social interactions. The results from this study show that recreational cycling may be a useful adjunct to conventional treatments for the self-management of multiple domains of well- and ill-being during recovery from childhood cancer.

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Shannon L. Mihalko and Edward McAuley

The purpose of the present investigation was to examine (a) the effects of upper body high-intensity strength training on muscular strength, activities of daily living (ADLs), and subjective well-being within an aging population, and (b) whether changes in strength were related to subsequent changes in subjective well-being and ADLs. The main effects of the training program were significant for all five individual muscle groups examined, indicating that subjects who participated in the strength program had greater increases in muscular strength than did controls. There was limited support for the contention that strength training enhances subjective well-being and ADLs in older adults. Strength gains were related to moderate reductions in negative affect, greater satisfaction with life, and higher ADLs. Findings are discussed in terms of design and measurement improvements, the need to focus research efforts on multiple components of fitness in relation to subjective well-being, and relations among strength and ADLs in the elderly.

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Melissa Moore, Jeni Warburton, Paul D. O’Halloran, Nora Shields and Kingsley

The purpose of this systematic review was to assess the characteristics and effectiveness of community-based interventions designed to increase physical activity participation in older adults (aged 65 years or more) living in rural or regional areas. Relevant peer-reviewed literature was obtained, using four primary electronic search engines, in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. The initial search identified 4,690 articles. After removal of duplicates and excluded articles, seven articles were included in the review. Few consistencies existed between intervention types, duration, outcome measures, and follow-up. Results provide some evidence to support the effectiveness of community-based interventions that include low- to moderate-intensity exercise to increase physical activity, physical function, and psychological state. However, without more rigorous studies it is difficult to identify the most critical characteristics of community-based interventions for older adults in rural and regional settings.