Category Archives: Behavioral Science

Gao and advisees publish in Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy

LaVoi publishes essay on women coaches in Contexts

In honor of Title IX’s 45th year, Contexts magazine publishes a piece “title ix at xlv” with several viewpoints on this topic. Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, contributed the essay “Woman Want to Coach“.

Other essays in this article are “Title IX at 45” by Cheryl Cooky, “Where All Kids Can Compete” by Erin Buzuvis, and “Union Busting and the Title IX Straw Man” by Ellen J. Staurowsky.

Contexts magazine’s goal is to make cutting-edge social research accessible to general readers.

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Center’s “Media Coverage and Female Athletes” video rebroadcast

Media Coverage and Female Athletes
Media Coverage & Female Athletes

The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport is proud to announce several new airings of its groundbreaking video, “Media Coverage and Female Athletes.”

tpt statewide digital MNChannel
Friday, September 8, 2017 at 5:00 AM
Friday, September 8, 2017 at 11:00 AM
Friday, September 8, 2017 at 5:00 PM
Friday, September 8, 2017 at 11:00 PM

The video builds on a research-based examination of the amount and type of coverage given to female athletes with commentary from expert scholars and award winning coaches and athletes who discuss this timely issue from a variety of perspectives as they help dispel the common—but untrue—myths that “sex sells” women’s sport, and no one is interested in it anyway. Effective strategies for increasing media coverage and creating images which reflect the reality of women’s sports participation and why this is so important are also discussed.

To view the entire program online now, click here. For more information on upcoming broadcasts, click here.

Gao selected as Chinese high-end foreign expert and Foreign Outstanding Instructor for Hunan Province in summer 2017

Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), was reappointed as a high-end foreign expert on Physical Activity and Health by the People’s Republic of China for summer 2017. During his appointment tenure, Gao was based at Hunan Normal University (Changsha, China) and stayed in China for one month over the summer.

Gao at Hunan Normal University

During his stay, Gao delivered a series of lectures on physical activity and health, helped the university establish the discipline in physical activity and health, offered a number of workshops to faculty and students, as well as trained the faculty and graduate students in conducting a cutting-edge research project. Gao is an alumnus of Hunan Normal University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in physical education.

In addition, Gao was selected as the Foreign Outstanding Instructor by Hunan Province of China in summer 2017. He was based at Huaihua University, where he delivered a course titled “Advances in Physical Activity and Health,” as well as mentored the faculty and students in conducting two research projects in the university and local rural communities. Gao’s lectures have been well-received by the students and faculty members at Huaihua University.

Gao lecturing at Huaihua University
Gao consulting on research project

 

 

 

 

 

LaVoi publishes commentary on women coaches in SportsBusiness Journal

Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center, published an article on the importance of increasing the number of women coaching women’s sport teams in SportsBusiness Journal. While the number of women playing college sports has increased dramatically since the passage of Title IX in 1972, the number of women coaching them has decreased, from 90% in 1974 to 40% today.

“One hundred percent of male athletes have had a male coaching role model during their athletic careers, to their benefit,” writes LaVoi. “Young women likewise need and deserve more same sex role models.”

LaVoi helps produce the annual Women in College Coaching Report Card, which gives conferences and sports a grade of A through F for the percentage of women head coaches for women’s teams. She states that the Report Card provides accountability, creates awareness and helps stimulate a national dialogue on women in the coaching profession.

 

 

 

LaVoi opinion piece on leadership in SportsBusiness Journal

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, has written an opinion piece for the SportsBusiness Journal entitled, “Leadership on the sidelines should not be defined by gender” on women leaders and obstacles they face. The piece invites “leaders in athletics and business who are passionate about increasing the percentage of women in coaching to get involved.”

Pope hired as adjunct instructor in Exercise Physiology at Bethel University

Zachary Pope, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Kinesiology and advised by Kinesiology associate professor Zan Gao, Ph.D., was recently hired as an adjunct instructor at Bethel University teaching exercise physiology and assessment. Bethel University is a private Christian liberal arts institution with an enrollment of approximately 6,000 students.

While Pope’s current research interests center around the use of technology to promote physical activity and nutritious eating behaviors, with improved physiological and psychosocial health outcome the ultimate goal, Pope previously spent six years exclusively studying and/or teaching exercise physiology. Further, since 2012, Pope has been an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist and coordinated the Human Performance Laboratory at Boise State University while earning his master’s degree.

Christian Science Monitor quotes LaVoi on women coaches

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, is quoted in a Christian Science Monitor piece, “Why there’s been a big drop in women coaches under Title IX” on the phenomena and its logical outcome.

 

Tucker Center benefactor, Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker, passes away

portrait image of Dorothy McNeill TuckerWe have recently learned of the passing of Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker, our founder and benefactor. The Tucker Center was established in 1993 due to her incredible and ongoing support and generosity. Dr. Tucker graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1945, majoring in Recreation Leadership. She went on to earn a doctorate in Counseling Pyschology at UCLA. As a pioneer in many aspects of her life, Dr. Tucker became the first woman to be tenured as a faculty member at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

“I am sure I have received more from the gift than has the University. The joy of giving is increased tremendously when you can see how your gift is being used during your lifetime.”
— Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker (December, 1996)

Because of her vision and commitment, the Tucker Center has conducted groundbreaking research and mentored the “best and the brightest” students from around the world who have come to the U of M to do their own research at the Tucker Center.

We have shared our research and educational initiatives with scholars, educators, policymakers, parents, administrators and female athletes. Dr. Tucker’s vision became a reality and, as a result, she truly made a difference in the lives of countless young girls and women, their families and communities.

Dr. Tucker’s contributions and commitments to the University of Minnesota extended beyond her support of the Tucker Center. She served with distinction for 12 years on the U of M Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and in 2006, she was named one of the 100 Most Distinguished Alumni of the College of Education and Human Development.

“Dr. Tucker’s commitment to and passion for the Tucker Center were unparalleled. We are able to achieve our goals and fulfill our mission because of her generous financial support and pioneering spirit. On behalf of every member of the Tucker Team, all of our Affiliated Scholars at the U of M and around the globe, as well as our current and former students, we are forever in her debt. Rest in peace, Dr. Tucker.”
— Professor Mary Jo Kane, Director

“I and so many others will be forever grateful to the vision and commitment of Dr. Tucker and for her founding gift to make the Tucker Center a reality. Her gift is an example of how one individual can truly have a remarkable impact, and the Tucker Team is privileged to carry on her legacy in making a difference in the lives of girls and women in sport.”
— Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, Co-Director

“The School of Kinesiology is incredibly grateful for Dr. Tucker’s support of the Tucker Center.  Her tremendous gifts to the Tucker Center have been instrumental for conducting important research and community outreach on girls and women in sport.  I look forward to seeing the Tucker Center continue its great work for decades to come thanks to Dr. Tucker’s support.”
— Professor Beth Lewis, Director of the School of Kinesiology

— See also an obituary in the Star Tribune.

National evaluation study of Girls on the Run by Kinesiology professor Maureen Weiss reveals the program transforms young girls’ lives

An independent evaluation study by Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, shows that Girls on the Run, a national physical activity-based positive youth development program for elementary-age girls, has a profound and lasting positive impact on girls’ confidence, competence, connection to others, character, caring, and life skills.

Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization that uses running as a vehicle for teaching life skills to girls in third through fifth grades. The intentional life skills curriculum and mandatory annual coach training set Girls on the Run apart from other activity programs. The three-part curriculum teaches understanding of self, valuing relationships and teamwork, and exploring one’s connection to the world.

Weiss’s study revealed that:

  • Girls on the Run participants were significantly more likely than girls in organized sport and physical education to learn and use life skills including managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others or making intentional decisions.
  • 97% of girls said they learned critical life skills at Girls on the Run that they are using at home, at school and with their friends
  • Girls who began the program with below-average scores dramatically improved from pre- to post-season on all outcomes—competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring. This shows that girls who might need a positive youth development program benefited most from their participation.
  • Girls who were the least active before Girls on the Run increased their physical activity level by 40% from pre- to post-season and maintained this increased level beyond the program’s end.

The video and the website illuminate the study findings through an interactive format. The study has also been publicized on Globe Newswire.

“Girls on the Run participants scored higher in managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others, and making intentional decisions than participants in organized sport or physical education,” said Weiss.  “Being able to generalize skills learned in the program to other situations such as at school or at home is a distinguishing feature of Girls on the Run compared to traditional youth sports and school PE, and suggests that the intentional life skills curriculum and coach-training program can serve as exemplars for other youth programs.”

This study got also mentioned in The Daily Iowan.

The Sportsman article quotes LaVoi on starting athletes at a young age

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, is quoted in an article in The Sportsman, “How Other Sports Have Elevated Roger Federer And Rafael Nadal To The Top Of Their Game.” LaVoi speaks briefly on the efficacy of starting players at a young age.

LaVoi quoted on women coaches in collegiate sports in Online Athens

Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, was quoted in an article in Online Athens discussing the South Carolina women’s basketball team, coached by Dawn Staley, which won this year’s national championship. “Female coaches are underrepresented in the power five,” she commented.  “That number has been very stagnant over the last 12 years.”

LaVoi went on to describe the challenges women coaches face in a field dominated by men in the Southeastern Conference and elsewhere.  Read the full article here.

 

 

LaVoi quoted in article on female coaches for The Atlantic

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, was quoted in an online article in The Atlantic, “The Field Where Men Still Call the Shots,” on the reasoning behind the lack of female coaches in youth sports making lasting impressions on boys and girls.

The article discusses the decline of female coaches in both collegiate and youth sports, and how their absence affects youth that are involved. LaVoi is specifically quoted about research that has found that girls who are coached by men were less likely to pursue coaching careers than those led by women, saying, “When you only see men in positions of power, you conclude ‘sports are not for me.'” LaVoi organized and was a speaker at the 2017 Women Coaches Symposium.

 

 

Wiese-Bjornstal shares research in video interview with Halmstad University, Sweden

Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor and director of the Sports Medicine Psychology Lab (SMPL) in the School of Kinesiology, attended and presented at the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) 14th World Congress Sevilla 2017, held July 10-14 in Seville, Spain. While attending the conference, Dr. Wiese-Bjornstal was interviewed by Sweden’s Halmstad University for a series of research chats.

In the interview, Wiese-Bjornstal discusses her SMPL research on religiosity and spirituality in coping with sport injuries.

Zeng, Pope, and adviser Gao publish in Liebert Open Access

School of Kinesiology Ph.D. student Nan Zeng and Ph.D. candidate Zachary Pope have published the article “Acute Effect of Virtual Reality Exercise Bike Games on College Students’ Physiological and Psychological Outcomes” with their adviser, Zan Gao, Ph.D., in the online publication Liebert OpenAcess. Dr. Gao is associate professor of kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory. The article discusses the results of a pilot study that compared physiological and psychological responses following exercise on a virtual reality-based exercise bike (VirZoom) and traditional stationary exercise bike.

Nan Zeng
Zachary Pope
Zan Gao

 

Barr-Anderson is lead author on article in Journal of Adolescent Health

Dahiea Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory, is lead Daheia J Barr-Andersonauthor on an article published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. “The Modifying Effects of Race/Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status on the Change in Physical Activity From Elementary to Middle School” examines whether the association between the change in individual, interpersonal, and environmental factors and the change in physical activity is modified by race/ethnicity or SES.

 

 

Barr-Anderson quoted in Highlights Magazine online

Dr. Barr-Anderson
Dr. Barr-Anderson

Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Lab, was quoted in two online magazine articles for Highlights Magazine online. Barr-Anderson’s research interests focus on physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and obesity prevention in children and adolescents, and she used her expertise to answer questions and advise parents on how to aid their children in living an active lifestyle and combat the couch-potato culture.

Barr-Anderson is cited in two articles, titled “Struggle-Free Tips to Get Your Couch-Potato Kid Moving,” and “Why’s My Kid a Couch Potato: Is he Lazy…or Something Else?“. These pieces are part of the journal’s series “Smart Answers to Parents’ Toughest Questions”, which offers insight on what keeps children from being active, and tips on how to be active together.

“You can’t underestimate the importance of going outside together to throw around a ball or start a garden,” says Barr-Anderson. “You get movement and activity, and time spent together.”

 

Wiese-Bjornstal presenting at ISSP 14th World Congress in Seville, Spain

Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor and director of the Sports Medicine Psychology Lab (SMPL) in the School of Kinesiology, will present a paper July 13 at the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) 14th World Congress Sevilla 2017, held July 10-14 in Seville, Spain.

The paper represents Wiese-Bjornstal’s collaborative work with student authors from the U of M, including SMPL graduate students (Kristin Wood, Andrew White) and SMPL former undergraduate student (Amanda Wambach), as well as 2016 U of M visiting Fulbright scholar Professor Victor Rubio from the University of Autonoma, Madrid.

The paper being presented is:  Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M., Wood, K. N., White, A. C., Wambach, A. J., & Rubio, V. J. (accepted for 2017, July). Exploring religiosity and spirituality in coping with sport injuries. In V. J. Rubio (Chair), Coping, resilience and personal growth following a sport injury.

Gao delivers keynote at 2017 China-America Summit Forum on Breast Cancer

Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), gave a keynote address at the 2017 China-America Summit Forum on Breast Cancer in Guangzhou, a major city of over 20 million in southern China, on June 18th, 2017. He delivered a 30-minute,  well-received presentation titled “Disease Management and Improvement of Quality of Life Among Breast Cancer Survivors” to over 200 conference attendees.

Lewis is co-investigator on NIH/National Institute of Nursing grant

Beth Lewis, Ph.D., School of Kinesiology director and professor, is a co-investigator on an NIH/National Institute of Nursing grant (R01 NR016705-01), “Community-based intervention effects of older adults’ physical activity and falls.” The purpose of this study is to identify behavioral change strategies that lead to increased physical activity and in turn lead to a reduction in falls and improved quality of life (QOL) among older adults. She will be working with PI Siobhan McMahon and other co-investigators to refine and consult on the intervention implementation and physical activity assessment. The grant will run through January, 2022.

Lewis served as a faculty mentor for Dr. McMahon’s KL2 Scholars Career Development Program for assistant professors conducting clinical or translational research.