• Implementing the OPTIMAL model : the impact on students' motivation in an elementary school games environment

      Sheppard, Joanna C.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2005-05-21)
      Optimal challenge occurs when an individual perceives the challenge of the task to be equaled or matched by his or her own skill level (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). The purpose of this study was to test the impact of the OPTIMAL model on physical education students' motivation and perceptions of optimal challenge across four games categories (i. e. target, batting/fielding, net/wall, invasion). Enjoyment, competence, student goal orientation and activity level were examined in relation to the OPTIMAL model. A total of 22 (17 M; 5 F) students and their parents provided informed consent to take part in the study and were taught four OPTIMAL lessons and four non-OPTIMAL lessons ranging across the four different games categories by their own teacher. All students completed the Task and Ego in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ; Duda & Whitehead, 1998), the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI; McAuley, Duncan, & Tanmien, 1987) and the Children's Perception of Optimal Challenge Instrument (CPOCI; Mandigo, 2001). Sixteen students (two each lesson) were observed by using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time tool (SOFTT; McKenzie, 2002). As well, they participated in a structured interview which took place after each lesson was completed. Quantitative results concluded that no overall significant difference was found in motivational outcomes when comparing OPTIMAL and non-OPTIMAL lessons. However, when the lessons were broken down into games categories, significant differences emerged. Levels of perceived competence were found to be higher in non-OPTIMAL batting/fielding lessons compared to OPTIMAL lessons, whereas levels of enjoyment and perceived competence were found to be higher in OPTIMAL invasion lessons in comparison to non-OPTIMAL invasion lessons. Qualitative results revealed significance in feehngs of skill/challenge balance, enjoyment and competence in the OPTIMAL lessons. Moreover, a significance of practically twice the active movement time percentage was found in OPTIMAL lessons in comparison to non-OPTIMAL lessons.
    • The nature experiences of wilderness recreation leaders : throwing a stone

      Grimwood, Bryan S. R.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2005-05-21)
      Through this descriptive exploratory study, the ways that wilderness recreation leaders experience nature are illuminated, deconstructing the assumed environmental benefits of and practices used in outdoor recreation (Haluza-Delay, 2001). This study also offers a foundation for advancing an environmental ethic among wilderness recreation leaders, participants, and organizations. With the continued degradation of and threats to natural environments, and the rising popularity of outdoor recreation participation, the outdoor recreation professional can be a leader in promoting human reconnections to the Earth (Henderson, 1999). Leaders of outdoor recreation experiences play an important role in encouraging these revived relationships to natural settings and can contribute to the necessary environmental consciousness shift needed within Western society (Hanna, 1995; Jordan, 1996). The purpose of this research was to describe the lived-experience in nature of wilderness recreation leaders. Specifically, a phenomenological method of inquiry was used to describe the meaning of nature, the connections and relationships to nature, and the behaviours and emotions experienced in nature by a group of wilderness canoe trip leaders employed by a residential summer camp. In addition to the implications of this research, achieving this outcome provides a rich descriptive understanding of wilderness leaders' experiences—a basis from which to extend future research endeavours and programmatic practices that promote effective environmental outcomes of outdoor recreation participation. Each of the five study participants was employed in the summer of 2003 by an Ontario residential summer camp organization that sponsors extended wilderness river canoe trips for youth. Two in-depth and semi-structured interviews were performed with each participant, asking them to reflect on the canoe trip that they led for the summer camp organization during 2003. Phenomenological data was analyzed according to Colaizzi's (1978) thematic analysis process. Consistent with van Manen's (1997) emphasis on phenomenological writing, the final result presents the essence of the nature experiences of wilderness recreation leaders in the format of a narrative description. This narrative piece is the culmination of this research effort. Throughout the journey, however, various foundations within the outdoor recreation field, such as minimum impact principles, environmentally responsible behaviours, anthropocentric and ecocentric worldviews, and effective leadership are deconstructed and discussed.
    • Effects of isometric elbow flexion on electromyographic spike analysis

      Lester, Steven M.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2005-06-15)
      The main objective of this research was to examine the relationship between surface electromyographic (SEMG) spike activity and force. The secondary objective was to determine to what extent subcutaneous tissue impacts the high frequency component of the signal, as well as, examining the relationship between measures of SEMG spike shape and their traditional time and frequency analogues. A total of96 participants (46 males and 50 females) ranging in age (18-35 years), generated three 5-second isometric step contractions at each force level of 40, 60, 80, and 100 percent of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). The presentation of the contractions was balanced across subjects. The right arm of the subject was positioned in the sagittal plane, with the shoulder and elbow flexed to 90 degrees. The elbow rested on a support in a neutral position (mid pronation/mid supination) and placed within a wrist cuff, fastened below the styloid process. The wrist cuff was attached to a load cell (JR3 Inc., Woodland, CA) recording the force produced. Biceps brachii activity was monitored with a pair of Ag/AgCI recording electrodes (Grass F-E9, Astro-Med Inc., West Warwick, RI) placed in a bipolar configuration, with an interelectrode distance (lED) of 2cm distal to the motor point. Data analysis was performed on a I second window of data in the middle of the 5-second contraction. The results indicated that all spike shape measures exhibited significant (p < 0.01) differences as force increase~ from 40 to 100% MVC. The spike shape measures suggest that increased motor unit (MU) recruitment was responsible for increasing force up to 80% MVC. The results suggested that further increases in force relied on MU III synchronization. The results also revealed that the subcutaneous tissue (skin fold thickness) had no relationship (r = 0.02; P > 0.05) with the mean number of peaks per spike (MNPPS), which was the high frequency component of the signal. Mean spike amplitude (MSA) and mean spike frequency (MSF) were highly correlated with their traditional measures root mean square (RMS) and mean power frequency (MPF), respectively (r = 0.99; r = 0.97; P < 0.01).
    • The influence of drug-induced dyskinesias on manual tracking in Parkinson's disease

      Lemieux, Sarah.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2005-06-15)
      The influence of peak-dose drug-induced dyskinesia (DID) on manual tracking (MT) was examined in 10 dyskinetic patients (OPO), and compared to 10 age/gendermatched non-dyskinetic patients (NDPD) and 10 healthy controls. Whole body movement (WBM) and MT were recorded with a 6-degrees of freedom magnetic motion tracker and forearm rotation sensors, respectively. Subjects were asked to match the length of a computer-generated line with a line controlled via wrist rotation. Results show that OPO patients had greater WBM displacement and velocity than other groups. All groups displayed increased WBM from rest to MT, but only DPD and NDPO patients demonstrated a significant increase in WBM displacement and velocity. In addition, OPO patients exhibited excessive increase in WBM suggesting overflow DID. When two distinct target pace segments were examined (FAST/SLOW), all groups had slight increases in WBM displacement and velocity from SLOW to FAST, but only OPO patients showed significantly increased WBM displacement and velocity from SLOW to FAST. Therefore, it can be suggested that overflow DID was further increased with increased task speed. OPO patients also showed significantly greater ERROR matching target velocity, but no significant difference in ERROR in displacement, indicating that significantly greater WBM displacement in the OPO group did not have a direct influence on tracking performance. Individual target and performance traces demonstrated this relatively good tracking performance with the exception of distinct deviations from the target trace that occurred suddenly, followed by quick returns to the target coherent in time with increased performance velocity. In addition, performance hand velocity was not correlated with WBM velocity in DPO patients, suggesting that increased ERROR in velocity was not a direct result of WBM velocity. In conclusion, we propose that over-excitation of motor cortical areas, reported to be present in DPO patients, resulted in overflow DID during voluntary movement. Furthermore, we propose that the increased ERROR in velocity was the result of hypermetric voluntary movements also originating from the over-excitation of motor cortical areas.
    • Enhancing pnemonia surveillance in acute care facilities in post SARS era : a Canadian hospital surveillance study, 2003-2004 influenza season

      Feltrin, Carla Fiocca.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2005-06-15)
      A retrospective study of patients hospitalized with influenza and/or pneumonia in a Niagara area community hospital for the influenza season 2003-04 was designed with the main goal of enhancing pneumonia surveillance in acute care facilities and the following specific objectives: 1) identify etiologies, factors, and clinical presentation associated with pneumonia; 2) assess the ODIN score on ICU patients to predict outcomes of severe pneumonia; 3) identify the frequency of pneumonia and influenza in a hospital setting; and 4) develop a hospital pneumonia electronic surveillance tool. A total of 172 patients' charts (50% females) were reviewed and classified into two groups: those with diagnosis of pneumonia (n=132) and those without pneumonia (n=40). The latter group consisted mainly of patients with influenza (85%). Most patients were young (<10yrs) or elderly (>71yrs). Presenting body temperature <38°C, cough symptoms, respiratory and cardiac precomorbidities were common in both groups. Pneumonia was more frequent in males (p= .032) and more likely community-acquired (98%) than nosocomial (2%). No evidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia was found. Microbiology testing in 72% of cases detected 19 different pathogens. In pneumonia patients the most common organisms were Streptococcus pneumoniae (3%), Respiratory syncytial virus (4%), and Influenza A virus (2%). Conversely, Influenza A virus was identified in 73% of non-pneumonia patients. Community-acquired influenza was more common (80%) than nosocomial influenza (20%). The ODIN score was a good predictor of mortality and the new electronic surveillance tool was an effective prototype to monitor patients in acute care, especially during influenza season. The results of this study provided baseline data on respiratory illness surveillance and demonstrated that future research, including prospective studies, is warranted in acute care facilities.
    • Migrations and gradations : reappraising the health profile of immigrants to Canada

      Hawes, Robert Alexander.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2005-06-15)
      New immigrants to Canada typically have a more favourable health profile than the non-immigrant population. This phenomenon, known as the 'healthy immigrant effect', has been attributed to both the socioeconomic advantage (ie. educational attainment, occupational opportunity) of non-refugee immigrants and existing screening protocols that admit only the healthiest of persons to Canada. It has been suggested that this health advantage diminishes as the time of residence in Canada increases, due in part to the adoption of health-risk behaviours such as alcohol and cigarette use, an increase in excess body weight, and declining rates of physical activity. However, the majority of health research concerning immigrants to Canada has been limited to cross-sectional studies (Dunn & Dyck, 2000; Newbold & Danforth, 2003), which may mask an immigrant-specific cohort effect. Furthermore, the practice of aggregating foreign-bom persons by geographical regions or treating all immigrants as a homogeneous group may also obfuscate intra-immigrant differences in health. Accordingly, this study uses the Canadian National Population Health Surveys (NPHS) and data from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to prospectively evaluate factors that predict health status among immigrants to Canada. Each immigrant in the NPHS was linked to the UNDP Human Development Index of their country of birth, which uses a combined measure of health, education, and per capita income of the populace. The six-year change in health function, psychological distress, and self-rated health were considered from a population health perspective (Evans, 1994), using generalized-estimating equations (GEE) to examine the compounding effect of past and recent predictors of health. Demographic
    • The impact of drug-induced dyskinesias on rapid alternating movements in patients with Parkinson's disease

      Ghassemi, Mehrdad Marco.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2005-06-15)
      We investigated the likelihood that hypokinesia/bradykinesia coexist with druginduced dyskinesias (DID) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). The influence of dyskinesias on rapid alternating movements (RAM) was investigated in ten dyskinetic patients (DPD). Their motor performance was compared to that of ten age/gendermatched non-dyskinetic patients (NDPD) and ten healthy control subjects. Whole-body magnitude (WBM) and fast pronation-supination at the wrist were recorded using 6- degrees of freedom magnetic motion tracker and forearm rotational sensors, respectively. Subjects were asked to pronate-supinate their dominant hand for 10s. Pre- and postmeasures were taken in a neutral position for 20s. RANGE (measure of hypokinesia), DURATION (measure of bradykinesia). VELOCITY (measure of bradykinesia) and IRREGULARITY (measure of fluctuations in movement amplitude) were used to assess RAM performance. Results showed that DPD patients had greater WBM than NDPD and control groups during rest and RAM performance. There were no differences in performance between NDPD and DPD groups for RANGE, DURATION and VELOCITY, despite significant longer disease duration for the DPD group (DPD = 15.5 ± 6.2 years versus NDPD = 6.6 ± 2.6 years). However, both the NDPD and DPD groups showed lower RANGE, longer DURATION, and reduced VELOCITY compared to controls,, suggesting the presence of bradykinesia and hypokinesia. In the case of IRREGULARITY, DPD patients showed clear fluctuations in movement amplitude compared to the NDPD and control groups. However, the lack of correlation between WBM and IRREGULARITY within the DPD group (Spearman's rank order, Rho - 0.31, p > 0.05), suggests that DID was not the primary cause of the fluctuating movementamplitude observed in that group. In conclusion, these findings suggest that DID may coexists with bradykinesia and hypokinesia, but that they are not inevitably accompanied with worsening motor performance.
    • The roles of ERK1/2 and PI3K in abnormal vascular functions in angiotensin II-infused hypertensive rats

      Ding, Lili.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2005-06-29)
      Background: Ang II plays a major role in cardiovascular regulation. Recently, it has become apparent that vascular superoxide anion may play an important role in hypertension development. Treatment with antisense NAD(P)H oxidase or SOD decreased BP in Ang II-infused rats. Wang et al recently reported mice which lack one of the subunits of NAD(P)H oxidase developed hypertension at a much lower extent when compared to the wild type animals infused with Ang II, indicating that superoxide anion contributes to elevation in BP in the Ang II-infused hypertensive model. In the Ang II-infused hypertensive model, altered reactivity of blood vessels is often associated with the elevation of systolic blood pressure. We have observed abnormal tension development and impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation in the isolated aorta of Ang II-infused and DOCA-salt hypertensive rats. Recently, several other cellular signal molecules, including ERK1I2 and PI3K, have been determined to play important roles in the regulation of smooth muscle contraction and relaxation. ERKl/2 and PI3K pathways are also reported to contribute to Ang II induced cell growth, hypertrophy, remodeling and contraction. Moreover, these signaling pathways have shown ROS-sensitive properties. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to investigate the roles of ERKl12 and PI3K in vascular oxidative stress, spontaneous tone and impaired endothelium relaxation in Ang II-infused hypertensive model. Hypothesis: We hypothesize that the activation of ERKl12 and PI3K are elevated in response to an Ang II infusion for 6 days. The elevated activation of phospho-ERKl/2 and PI3K mediated the increased level of vascular superoxide anion, the abnormal vascular contraction and impaired endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation in Ang II-infused hypertensive rats. Methods: Vascular superoxide anion level is measured by lucigenin chemiluminescence. Spontaneous tone and ACh-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation was measured by isometric tension recording in organ chamber. The activity of ERK pathway will be measured by its Western blot of phosphorylation of ERK. PI3K activity was evaluated indirectly by Western blot of the phosphorylation of PDKl, a downstream protein of PI3K signaling pathway. The role of each pathway was also addressed via comparing the responses to the specific inhibitors. Results: Superoxide anion was markedly increased in the isolated thoracic aorta from Ang II-infused rats. There was spontaneous tone developed in rings from Ang II-induced hypertensive but not sham-operated normotensive rats. ACh-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation function is impaired in Ang II-infused hypertensive rats. Superoxide dismutase and NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitor, apocynin, inhibited the abnormal spontaneous tone and ameliorated impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation. The expression of phopho-ERKII2 was enhanced in Ang II-infused rats, indicating the activity of ERK1I2 could be increased. MEK1I2 inhibitors, PD98059 and U126, but not their inactive analogues, SB203580 and U124, significantly reduced the vascular superoxide anion in aortas from Ang II-infused rats. The MEK1I2 inhibitors reduced the spontaneous tone and improved the impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation in aorta of hypertension. These findings supported the role of ERKII2 signaling pathway in vascular oxidative stress, spontaneous tone and impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation in Ang II-infused hypertensive rats. The amount of phospho-PDK, a downstream protein of PI3K was increased in Ang II rats indicating the activity of PI3K activity was elevated. Strikingly, PI3K significantly inhibited the increase of superoxide anion level, abnormal spontaneous tone and restored endothelium-dependent relaxation in Ang II-infused hypertensive rats. These findings indicated the important role of PI3K in Ang II-infused hypertensive rats. Conclusion: ERKII2 and PI3K signaling pathways are sustained activated in Ang II-infused hypertensive rats. The activated ERKII2 and PI3K mediate the increase of vascular superoxide anion level, vascular abnormal spontaneous tone and impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation.
    • Self-presentational motives in eating disorders : a known groups difference approach

      Strong, Heather.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2005-07-14)
      Self-presentation reflects the processes by which individuals attempt to monitor and control the impressions others form of them (Schlenker & Leary, 1982). Concerns over impressions conveyed have been linked to numerous health behaviors (Crawford & Eklund, 1994; Martin, Leary, & O'Brien, 2001). The present study investigated the role of cognitive manifestations of dispositional and situational self presentational motivation (SPM) in 131 females with known groups differences on a measure of eating disorders. Participants were classified as in-treatment (IN = 39); at risk (AT = 46); and not at risk (NOT = 46) for eating disordered behaviour. Each participant completed The Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (FNE; Leary, 1983), the Public Self-Consciousness Scale (PSC; Fenigstein, Sheier, & Buss, 1975), and the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPA; Hart, Leary, & Rejeski, 1989), as measures of dispositional SPM. Situational SPM was assessed through Self-Presentational Efficacy (SPE; Gammage, Hall, & Martin, 2004), and the Exercise Motivation Inventory-2 (Markland & Ingeldew, 1997). Significant differences emerged on the measure of eating disorder behaviour between AT and NOT. To determine if group differences existed on measures of trait SPM an ANOVA was conducted. Results indicated that the NOT group experienced less FNE, PSC and SPA than the IN and AT groups, and the AT group experienced less FNE and PSC than the IN group. Pearson bivariate correlations were conducted on measures of trait SPM and EMI-2 subscales theoretically linked to SPM. It was found that FNE, PSC and SPA were all positively correlated with weight management for the NOT group. To determine if group differences existed on selfpresentational exercise motives independent samples I-tests were conducted. Results revealed that the AT group was more motivated to exercise for weight management, and appearance, and social recognition than the NOT group. To determine if group differences existed on the state measure of self-presentational efficacy a series of ANOVA's were conducted. Results revealed that the NOT group experienced significantly greater self-presentational efficacy expectancy and self-presentational outcome value than the AT group. Finally, a discriminant function analysis was conducted to determine if trait SPM would predict group membership. Results revealed that 63.4% of participants were correctly classified, with SPA, PSC, and FNE differentiating the NOT group from the AT and IN groups and FNE and PSC differentiating the AT group from the IN group. Thus self-presentation motivation appears to have an influence on females who have an eating disorder and those at risk for an eating disorder. Potential applications of the influence of self-presentational motives on eating disorders and future research directions are discussed.
    • A constructivist grounded theory of firefighter perceptions of stress, coping and the relationship to health

      Hunter, Sara B.G.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2005-07-14)
      This qualitative research was a constructivist grounded theory designed to develop an understanding of how firefighters perceive and cope with stressful situations and the impact this has on their perceptions of health. This study was framed in a social ecological perspective with the community of firefighting providing the environment within which to explore stress and coping. Of particular concern here are the stressors associated with firefighting. Prior research with firefighters has often been epidemiological and statistical in nature, focusing on measures of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression (Baker & Williams, 2001 ; Brown et al., 2002; Murphy et al.,1999; Regehr et al., 2002; Regehr et al., 2003). Qualitative research examining the perception of stress among firefighters that includes personal stories allows firefighters the opportunity to describe what it is like to be met with physically and mentally challenging situations on a daily basis. Twelve in-depth, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with a brief questionnaire were conducted with firefighters from a Southern Ontario Fire Department. Four main themes emerged describing the persona of the firefighter, the stressors of firefighters, coping strategies of firefighters, and firefighters' perceptions of health. Stressors include requirements of the job, traumatic calls, tensions with co-workers, the struggle between the family at home and the family at work, political stressors with the City, and the inner struggle. Avoidance coping, approach coping, and gaining perspective emerged as the three coping styles of firefighters. Health was defined as including physical, mental, social and spiritual aspects. A model of the findings is provided that depicts the cyclical nature of the stress-coping-health relationship among firefighters.
    • Biological effects of resveratrol on skeletal muscle cells

      Breen, Danna M.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2005-11-04)
      Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, has been reported to have antithrombotic, antiatherogenic, and anticancer properties both in vitro and III VIVO. However, possible antidiabetic properties of resveratrol have not been examined. The objective of this study was to investigate the direct effects of resveratrol on basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and to elucidate its mechanism of action in skeletal muscle cells. In addition, the effects of resveratrol on basal and insulin- stimulated amino acid transport and mitogenesis were also examined. Fully differentiated L6 rat skeletal muscle cells were incubated with resveratrol concentrations ranging from 1 to 250 IlM for 15 to 120 min. Maximum stimulation, 201 ± 8.90% of untreated control, (p<0.001), of2eH] deoxy- D- glucose (2DG) uptake was seen with 100 IlM resveratrol after 120 min. Acute, 30 min, exposure of the cells to 100 nM insulin stimulated 2DG uptake to 226 ± 12.52% of untreated control (p<0.001). This appears to be a specific property of resveratrol that is not shared by structurally similar antioxidants such as quercetin and rutin, both of which did not have any stimulatory effect. Resveratrol increased the response of the cells to submaximal insulin concentrations but did not alter the maximum insulin response. Resveratrol action did not require insulin and was not blocked by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. L Y294002 and wortmannin, inhibitors of PI3K, abolished both insulin and resveratrolstimulated glucose uptake while phosphorylation of AktlPKB, ERK1I2, JNK1I2, and p38 MAPK were not increased by resveratrol. Resveratrol did not stimulate GLUT4 transporter translocation in GLUT4cmyc overexpressing cells, in contrast to the significant translocation observed with insulin. Furthermore, resveratrol- stimulated glucose transport was not blocked by the presence of the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors BIMI and G06983. Despite that, resveratrol- induced glucose transport required an intact actin network, similar to insulin. In contrast to the stimulatory effect seen with resveratrol for glucose transport, e4C]methylaminoisobutyric acid (MeAIB) transport was inhibited. Significant reduction of MeAIB uptake was seen only with 100uM resveratrol (74.2 ± 6.55% of untreated control, p<0.05), which appeared to be maximum. In parallel experiments, insulin (100 nM, 30 min) increased MeAIB transport by 147 ± 5.77% (p<0.00l) compared to untreated control. In addition, resveratrol (100 JlM, 120 min) completely abolished insulin- stimulated amino acid transport (103 ± 7.35% of untreated control,p>0.05). Resveratrol also inhibited cell proliferation in L6 myoblasts with maximal inhibition of eH]thymidine incorporation observed with resveratrol at 50 J.LM after 24 hours (8 ± 1.59% of untreated control, p<O.OOI). Insulin (100 nM, 24 h) significantly increased thymidine incorporation (280 ± 9.92% of untreated control, p<O.OOI) and media containing 10% FBS resulted in stimulation of thymidine incorporation to 691 ± 36.92% of untreated control, p<O.OO1. Resveratrol (50JlM) completely abolished both insulin- (11 ± 1.26% of untreated control,p<O.OOI) and FBS- stimulated (36 ± 5.16% of untreated control, p<0.05) cell proliferation. These results suggest that resveratrol increases glucose transport in L6 skeletal muscle cells by a mechanism that is in4ependent of insulin and protein synthesis. Resveratrol- stimulated glucose uptake may be PI3K and actin cytoskeleton- dependent and independent of AktIPKB, PKC, ERK1I2, JNK1I2, p38 MAPK, and GLUT4 translocation. However, unlike glucose transport, resveratrol inhibits both basal and insulin- stimulated amino acid transport and mitogenesis.
    • The influence of physical attractiveness and gender on perceived competence of sportscasters

      Davies, Emma.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-05-19)
      The media tends to represent female athletes as women first and athletes second (Koivula, 1 999). The present study investigated whether this same trend was present for female sportscasters, using a self-presentational framework. Self-presentation is the process by which people try to control how others see them (Leary, 1995). One factor that may influence the type of image they try to project is their roles held in society, including gender roles. The gender roles for a man include dominance, assertiveness, and masculinity, while the gender roles for a woman include nurturer, femininity, and attractiveness (Deaux & Major, 1 987). By contrast, sports broadcasters are expected to be knowledgeable, assertive, and competent. Research suggests that female sports broadcasters are seen as less competent and less persuasive than male sports broadcasters (Mitrook & Dorr, 2001; Ordman & Zillmann, 1994, Toro, 2005). One reason for this difference may be that the gender roles for a man are much more similar to those of a sportscaster, compared to those of a woman. Thus, there may be a conflict between the two roles for women. The present study investigated whether the gender and perceived attractiveness of sportscasters influenced the audience's perceptions of the level of competence that a sportscaster demonstrates. Two hundred and four male (n =75) and female (n =129) undergraduate students were recruited from a southern Ontario university to participate in the study. The average age of the male participants was 21 .23 years {SD =1 .60), and the average age for female participants was 20.67 years {SD = 1 .31). The age range for all participants was from 19 to 30 years {M = 20.87 years, SD = 1 .45). Af^er providing informed consent, participants randomly received one of four possible questionnaire packages. The participants answered the demographic questionnaire, and then proceeded to view the picture and read the script of a sports newscast. Next, based on the picture and script, the participants answered the competence questionnaire, assessing the general, sport specific, and overall competence of the sportscaster. Once participants had finished, they returned the package to the researcher and were thanked for their time. Data was analyzed using an ANOVA to determine if general sport competence differs with respect to gender and attractiveness of the sportscaster. Overall, the ANOVA was non-significant (p > .05), indicating no differences on the dependent variable based on gender (F (3, 194) = .631, p = .426), attractiveness (F (3, 194) = .070, p = .791), or the interaction of the two {F (3, 194) = .043,/? = .836). Although none of the study hypotheses were supported, the study provided some insight to the perceived competence of female sportscasters. It is possible that female sportscasters are now seen as competent in the area of sports. Sample characteristics could also have influenced these results; the participants in the current study were primarily physical education and kinesiology students, who had experience participating in physical activity with both men and women. Future research should investigate this issue further by using a video sportscast. It is possible that delivery characteristics such as voice quality or eye contact may also impact perceptions of sportscasters.
    • Exploring the experiences of youth in a development program with integrated physical activity in Costa Rica

      Barreda, Gemma J.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-05-19)
      National governments, the United Nations, and other organizations have deemed sport and other means of physical activity such as recreation, games and play for development a useful means for addressing a wide range of problems in communities and more specifically, providing youth with an opportunity to experience the benefits of physical activity. There is a need for research that furthers our understanding of how participants experience these programs. Specifically, the purpose of this study, was to better understand the lived experiences of the participants in a YMCA camp program that integrated physical activity and play for the specific development of poor youth street workers. A phenomenological approach infonned by a critical perspective (Creswell, 2003; Rossman & Rallis, 2003) was used. The study took place through the Asociaci6n Cristiana de J6venes de Costa Rica (ACJ) in Central America. The focus was on a camp program and the lived experiences of six purposefully chosen, youth street workers between the ages of 13-17. Their experiences were explored through semi-structured interviews. Other data that fonn the study include: field notes, observations, a reflexive journal and document analysis. The findings that emerged from the data include main themes of relationships, poverty, personal change and empowennent. For many youth, the ACJ is a relatively safe place to play, to "detach," their minds, to "distract" and "disorient" themselves from their dysfunctional families, violent neighbourhood, the poverty they live in, and from the necessity of having to work in the street to supplement the family income. Although many studies have shown that programs that include physical activity, play and/or sport have a positive impact on youth with regard to healthy development and improvements in well-being, there has been little work done to address the voices and experiences of the youth that participate in these programs. Using an interpretive-critical approach, this study focused on the participants' personal backgrounds, their experiences within the program and their critical reflections on the program. This study draws from a phenomenological philosophy and method to report findings from participants in an ACJ program in Costa Rica. This research shows how these youth were given the opportunity to use the program and the ACJ property as a relatively safe place to play, to behave like the youth they are, to establish and maintain their friendship networks, and develop empathy and conflict resolution skills. The fmdings from this study reveal how by participating in the ACJ program they each described a personal change, wherein they felt empowered to learn they could positivel y control themselves and as a result positively affect their own futures. These fmdings contribute knowledge surrounding the lived experiences of youth in developmental programs that use physical activity.
    • Capacity and transformational development within the 2005 Canada Summer Games host society

      Marunchak, Katrusia.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-05-19)
      Although capacity has been used in recent federal government accords and policies related to the voluntary and amateur sport sectors, there is little consensus over the meaning of the term. Consequently, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the concept of organizational capacity within a temporary voluntary sport organization. Specifically, the nature of organizational capacity was examined within the case of the Volunteers Division of the 2005 Canada Summer Games (CSG) Host Society. Data were collected from executive planning and middle management CSG volunteers through the use of a variety of methods: verbal journals, interviews, observations, documents and a focus group. Findings indicated several challenges associated with the volunteer management model utilized by the host society, varying levels of importance among six elements of capacity, and key aspects of the relationship between organizational capacity and transformational development. Implications focused upon the importance of highlighting individuals rather than the organizational as a whole in order to build capacity, and utilizing a brain or hybrid brain-machine organizational form to enhance capacity. Recommendations are provided for both the Canada Games Council and Canada Games host societies.
    • The role of self-presentation in adolescent health risk behaviours

      Roth, Kelly.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-05-19)
      Self-presentation has been identified as playing a key role in the perfonnance of various potentially hazardous health behaviours such as substance abuse, eating disorders and reckless behaviours (Leary, Tchividjian, & Kraxberger, 1994; Martin & Leary, 2001; Martin, Leary, & O'Brien, 2001). The present study investigated the role of selfpresentation on adolescent health-risk behaviours. Specifically, this study examined the prevalence of adolescent identified health-risk behaviours rooted in self-presentational motives in youths aged 13-18 years. The current study also identified the specific images associated with these behaviours desired by youth, and the targets of these behaviours. Also, the relationship between these behaviours, and several trait measures (social physique anxiety, public-self consciousness, fear of negative evaluations, selfpresentational efficacy) of self-presentation were examined. Finally, the gender differences in health risk behaviours and self-presentational concerns were examined. Participants in the present study were 96 adolescent students, 34 male and 62 female, recruited from various private schools across Southern Ontario. Students ranged in age from 13 to 18 years for both males (M age = 15.81 years, SD = 1.49) and females (M age = 14.89 years, SD = 1.17) and ranged from grades 8 through 13. Results of the current study suggested that Canadian adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 years participated in health risk behaviours for self-presentational purposes. Drinking alcohol, skipping school, and performing stunts and dares were identified as the most common health risk behaviours performed for self-presentational purposes by both males and females. Appearing fun and cool were the most commonly reported desired images while appearing brave and mature were the least reported. The most desired target group cited was same sex friends, followed by other sex friends. Trait measures of self-presentational concerns identified females as being higher in public self-consciousness, and social physique anxiety than males. Males were found to be higher in self-presentational efficacy than females. The total number of health risk behaviours was predicted by selfpresentational efficacy and social physique anxiety for males, and social physique anxiety for females. Findings of the current study suggest that Canadian adolescents' health risk behaviours are rooted, in part, in self-presentational motives. Thus far, an educational approach to health interventions has been favoured and/or adopted by teachers, health promoters, and educators (Jessor, 1992). Implications of the current study suggest that although educational interventions are beneficial in presenting the associated risks with certain activities and/or behaviours, one reason this type of approach may be ineffective in changing adolescent behaviour over the long run is that it does not address the strong and prominent influences of interpersonal motives on health damaging behaviour. It is evident that social acceptance and public image are of importance to adolescents, and the desire to make the "right" impression and to achieve peer approval and acceptance often override health and safety concerns (Jessor, 1992). Thus, a self-presentational approach focusing on changing the images associated with the behaviours may be more successful at deterring adolescent health risk behaviours.
    • Understanding value congruence : a sport organization case study

      Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-05-19)
      With the recent growth in cultural complexity, many organizations are faced with increasingly diverse employee pools. Gaining a greater understanding of the values that employees possess is the first step in effectively satisfying their needs and achieving a more productive workforce (lung & Avolio, 2000). Values playa significant role in influencing individual behaviours. It is therefore necessary to assess the qualities of employee value systems and directly link them to the values of the organization. The importance of values and value congruence has been emphasized by many organizational behaviour researchers (cf. Adkins & Caldwell, 2004; Erdogan, Kraimer, & Liden, 2004; Jung & Avolio, 2000; Rokeach, 1973); however the emphasis on value studies remains fairly stagnant within the sport industry (Amis, Slack, & Hinings, 2002). In order to examine the realities that were constructed by the participants in this study a holistic view of the impact of values within a specific sport organization were provided. The purpose of this case study was to examine organizational and employee values to understand the effects of values and value congruence on employee behaviours within the context of a large Canadian sport organization. A mUltiple methods case study approach was adopted in order to fully serve the purpose and provide a comprehensive view of the organization being examined. Document analysis, observations, surveys, as well as semi-structured interviews were conducted. The process allowed for triangulation and confirmability of the findings. Each method functioned to create an overarching understanding of the values and value congruence within this organization. The analysis of the findings was divided into qualitative and quantitative sections. The qualitative documents were analyzed twice, once manually by the researcher and once via AtIas.ti Version 4 (1998). The a priori and emergent coding that took place was based on triangulating the findings and uncovering common themes throughout the data. The Rokeach Value Survey (1973) that was incorporated into the survey design of the study was analyzed using descriptive statistics, as well as Mann-Whitney U, and Kruskal Wallis formulas. These were deemed appropriate for analysis given the non-parametric nature of the survey instrument (Kinnear & Gray, 2004). The quantitative survey served to help define the values and value congruence that was then holistically examined through the qualitative interviews, document analyses, and observations. The results of the study indicated incongruent value levels between employees and those stated or perceived as the organization's values. Each finding demonstrated that varying levels of congruence may have diverse affects on individual behaviours. These behaviours range from production levels to interactions with fellow employees to turnover. In addition to the findings pertaining to the research questions, a number of other key issues were uncovered regarding departmentalization, communication, and board relations. Each has contributed to a greater understanding of the organization and has created direction for further research within this area of study.
    • Organizational commitment and perceived relatedness as correlates of the intention to continue officiating in track and field

      Gray, Casey.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-05-19)
      The objectives of the present study were to explore three components of organizational commitment (affective [AC], normative [NC] and continuance [CC] commitment; Allen & Meyer, 1991), perceived relatedness (Oeci & Ryan, 1985; 2002), and behavioural intention (Ajzen, 2002) within the context of volunteer track and field officiating. The objectives were examined in a 2-phase study. Ouring phase 1, experts (N = 10) with domain familiarity assessed the item content relevance and representation of modified organizational commitment (OC; Meyer, Allen & Smith, 1993) and perceived relatedness (La Guardia, Oeci, Ryan & Couchman, 2000) items. Fourteen of 26 (p < .05) items were relevant (Aiken's coefficient V) and NC (M = 3.88, SO = .64), CC (M = 3.63, SD = .52), and relatedness (M = 4.00, SD = .93) items had mean item content-representation ratings of either "good" or "very good" while AC (M = 2.50, SD = 0.58) was rated "fair". Participants in phase 2 (N = 80) responded to items measuring demographic variables, perceptions of OC to Athletics Canada, perceived relatedness to other track and field officials, and a measure of intention (yiu, Au & Tang, 2001) to continue officiating. Internal consistency reliability estimates (Cronbach's (1951) coefficient alpha) were as follows: (a) AC = .78, (b) CC = .85, (c) NC = .80 (d) perceived relatedness = .70 and, (e) intention = .92 in the present sample. Results suggest that the track and field officials felt only minimally committed to Athletics Canada (AC M = 3.90, SD = 1.23; NC M = 2.47, SD = 1.25; CC M = 3.32; SD = 1.34) and that their relationships with other track and field officials were strongly endorsed (M = 5.86, SD = 0.74). Bivariate correlations (Pearson r) indicated that perceived relatedness to other track and field officials demonstrated the strongest relationship with intention to continue officiating (r = .346, p < .05), while dimensions of OC were not significantly related to intention (all p's > .05). Together perceived relatedness (j3 = .339, p = .004), affective commitment (j3 = -.1 53, p = .308), normative commitment (j3 = -.024, p = .864) and continuance commitment (j3 = .186, P = .287) contribute to the prediction of intention to continued officiating (K = .139). These relationships remained unaffected by the inclusion of demographic (j3age = -.02; P years with Athletics Canada = -.13; bothp's > .05) or alternative commitment (j3sport = -.19; P role = .15; Pathletes = .20; all p' s > .05) considerations. Three open-ended questions elicited qualitative responses regarding participants' reasons for officiating. Responses reflecting initial reasons for officiating formed these higher order themes: convenience, helping reasons, extension of role, and intrinsic reasons. Responses reflecting reasons for continuing to officiate formed these higher order themes: track and field, to help, and personal benefits. Responses reflecting changes that would influence continued involvement were: political, organizational/structural, and personal. These results corroborate the findings of previous investigations which state that the reasons underpinning volunteer motivations change over time (Cuskelly et al., 2002). Overall, the results of this study suggest that track and field officials feel minimal commitment to the organization of Athletics Canada but a stronger bond with their fellow officials. Moreover, the degree to which track and field officials feel meaningfully connected to one another appears to exert a positive influence on their intentions to continue officiating. As such, it is suggested that in order to promote continued involvement, Athletics Canada increases its focus on fostering environments promoting positive interactions among officials.
    • A physical activity intervention in a workplace setting

      Francoeur, Chera.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-05-19)
      Physical inactivity poses a huge burden on Canada's health care system and is detrimental to the health of Canadians (Katzmarzyk & Janssen, 2004). Walking is a viable option for individuals to become physically active on a daily basis and is in fact the most commonly reported leisure time physical activity. It has been associated with many health benefits including weight loss/weight control, reduced risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes, lowered blood pressure, and improved psychological wellbeing (Brisson & Tudor-Locke, 2004). Specifically, individuals' stage of change, selfefficacy and health related quality of life (HRQL) are three psychological constructs that can be greatly improved with increased physical activity (Dishman, 1991; Penedo & Dahn, 2005; Poag & McAuley, 1992). Public health physical activity recommendations exist but many individuals find these difficult to meet due to overly busy lifestyles (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2003). Pedometers are inexpensive devices that can monitor individual bouts of walking so that the incorporation of physical activity into one's daily life is more plausible. They are also excellent tools for motivation, goalsetting, and immediate feedback (Brisson & Tudor-Locke, 2004). Since many people spend a large proportion of their time at their places of employment, workplaces have begun to be a common site for the development of physical activity interventions. These programs have been growing in popUlarity and have shown numerous benefits for both employees and employers (Voit, 2001). The purpose of the current study was to implement and evaluate the use of a pedometer-based physical activity intervention incorporating goal-setting and physical activity logs in a workplace setting, and to examine the relationship between different types of self-efficacy (task, barrier, and scheduling) and different phases of the intervention. Twenty male participants from a local steel manufacturing plant who exhibited health risk factors (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, etc.) were assigned to one of two groups (group A or group B). All participants were asked to wear pedometers on their waists, record their daily steps, set goals that were outlined on a step-tracking sheet (detennined by their baseline number of steps), and keep track of their work days, wakelbed time, sedentary time, and time spent doing other physical activity. Group A began the intervention immediately following the baseline measures, whereas group B continued with their regular routine for 4 weeks before beginning. Physiological measures (height, weight, blood pressure, relative body fat, waist and hip circumference, and body mass index) were taken and a battery of questionnaires that assessed barrier, task and scheduling self-efficacy, HRQL, and stage of change administered at baseline, week 5 (end of intervention for group A), week 9 (end of intervention for group B; follow-up for group A) and week 13 (follow-up for both groups). Results showed that this workplace physical activity intervention was successful at increasing the participants' daily steps, that task self-efficacy is a significant predictor of participants' exercise adherence during the initial stages of participation (intervention phase), and that the participants felt that this intervention was effective. Finally, further exploratory analyses showed that this intervention was effective for all participants, but most valuable for participants most in need of improvement - that is, those who were most sedentary prior to the intervention. This intervention is an inexpensive use of simple and effective tools (e.g. pedometers), has the potential to attract a wide variety of participants and become a pennanent part of any health promotion initiative.
    • The effectiveness of interpretive methods in informal educational facilities : an experimental study with reference to marine parks

      Jiang, Yixing.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-05-21)
      Interpretation has been used in many tourism sectors as a technique in achieving building hannony between resources and human needs. The objectives of this study are to identify the types of the interpretive methods used, and to evaluate their effectiveness, in marine parks. This study reviews the design principles of an effective interpretation for marine wildlife tourism, and adopts Drams' five design principles (1997) into a conceptual framework. Enjoyment increase, knowledge gain, attitude and intention change, and behaviour modification were used as key indicators in the assessment of the interpretive effectiveness of the Vancouver Aquarium (VA) and Marineland Canada (MC). Since on-site research is unavailable, a virtual tour is created to represent the interpretive experiences in the two study sites. Self-administered questionnaires are used to measure responses. Through comparing responses to the questionnaires (pre-, post-virtual tours and follow-up), this study found that interpretation increased enjoyment and added to respondents' knowledge. Although the changes in attitudes and intentions are not significant, the findings indicate that attitude and intention changes did occur as a result of interpretation, but only to a limited extent. Overall results suggest that more techniques should be added to enhance the effectiveness of the interpretation in marine parks or self-guiding tours, and with careful design, virtual tours are the innovative interpretation techniques for marine parks or informal educational facilities.
    • A critical examination of the involvement of Canadian high-performance athletes in the development of anti-doping policy

      Jackson, Gregory R.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-05-21)
      The use of certain perfonnance enhancing substances and methods has been defined as a major ethical breach by parties involved in the governance of highperfonnance sport. As a result, elite athletes worldwide are subject to rules and regulations set out in international and national anti-doping policies. Existing literature on the development of policies such as the World Anti-Doping Code and The Canadian antiDoping Program suggests a sport system in which athletes are rarely meaningfully involved in policy development (Houlihan, 2004a). Additionally, it is suggested that this lack of involvement is reflective of a similar lack of involvement in other areas of governance concerning athletes' lives. The purpose ofthis thesis is to examine the history and current state of athletes' involvement in the anti-doping policy process in Canada's high-perfonnance sport system. It includes discussion and analysis of recently conducted interviews with those involved in the policy process as well as an analysis of relevant documents, including anti-doping policies. The findings demonstrate that Canadian athletes have not been significantly involved in the creation of recently developed antidoping policies and that a re-evaluation of current policies is necessary to more fully recognize the reality of athletes' lives in Canada's high-perfonnance sport system and their rights within that system.