Category Archives: PASS Lab

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

 

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.”

 

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.

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.

 

 

Tucker Center Title IX anniversary report cited in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

The recent study, Gender, Race & LGBT Inclusion of Head Coaches of Women’s Teams: A Report on Select NCAA Division I Conferences for the 45th Anniversary of Title IX, June 2017, co-produced by LGBT SportSafe, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida, and the Tucker Center, was cited June 16 in the  publication Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The article, Women of Color Remain Invisible in Leading College Athletics, discusses the ongoing issue of the lack of diversity, particularly for women of color, in coaching college sports.

“A recent study of the eight major American collegiate sports conferences revealed that 88 percent of head coaches of women’s college teams are White and 57 percent are male,” the article points out. “For the NCAA athletic directors, this number is even more dismal as there are more than 1,200 collegiate schools across the nation.”

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

Barr-Anderson appears on “Public Health Minute with Dr. William Latimer”

Daheia J Barr-AndersonDahiea Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology, appeared on the Public Health Minute with Dr. William Latimer, presented by the School of Health Sciences, Human Services, and Nursing at Lehman College, CUNY, Bronx, NY, on a segment titled “Physical Activity and Healthy Eating“.

The Public Health Minute is a one-minute audio segment in which the creator and host, Dr. William Latimer, interviews researchers and medical professionals about a wide variety of public health topics and is designed to get practical health advice informed by cutting- edge research to the public.

LaVoi quoted on reasons for bias in hiring women soccer coaches

In the past, high school and college women’s soccer teams were coached overwhelmingly  by women. After Title IX was passed in 1972 and women’s sports began attaining greater support and prestige, more men became interested in coaching women’s sports teams. Their numbers grew dramatically while women coaches’ numbers declined.  Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, was quoted in an online article in SBNation, “Soccer’s ugly sexism is keeping women from coaching the beautiful game,” on reasons for the bias in hiring. Lavoi gave a presentation on women coaches in soccer at the 2017 NSCAA convention last January.

 

Kane quoted in Newsday article comparing women athletes to male athletes

Dr. Mary Jo KaneA June 27 article in Newsday ,“Female athletes don’t have to beat men to be the best in their sport”, discusses tennis star John McEnroe comparing world-class talent Serena Williams with male players. He called her the greatest woman to play tennis, “but if she had to just play… the men’s circuit that would be an entirely different story.”

In the article, Mary Jo Kane, Ph.D., School of Kinesiology professor and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, weighs in on the prevalence of comparing women athletes to male counterparts. “The broad issue is why can’t great female athletes simply be great without the constant comparison to men?” she says in the article. ““When North Carolina wins the NCAA Tournament, people don’t demand they go beat Cleveland or the Golden State Warriors. In boxing, you don’t ask the middleweight champion to beat the heavyweight.” When we compare men to women, she says, “it takes away from their greatness. They aren’t allowed to be great on their own.”

Tucker Center report cited in ESPN online

image of report coverIn an online article, “Study: Majority of women’s college coaches are white, male,” ESPN.com cited the Tucker Center’s  new report, “Gender, Race & LGBT Inclusion of Head Coaches of Women’s Team.” The article provides a summary look at the numbers from the report, produced in honor of the 45th anniversary of Title IX and in partnership with LGBT SportSafe and The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida.

Tucker Center releases report honoring 45th anniversary of Title IX

image of report coverThe Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport has released a report, “Gender, Race & LGBT Inclusion of Head Coaches of Women’s Teams: A Report on Select NCAA Division I Conferences for the 45th Anniversary of Title IX,” in honor of the 45th anniversary of Title IX. This special report is a partnership among LGBT SportSafe, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida, and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota.

Race and gender data for head coaches of women’s teams were collected for eight select NCAA Division I conferences including: American Athletic Conference (AAC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, the Ivy League, Pacific-12 (Pac-12), and Southeastern Conference (SEC). The conferences selected for this study were chosen to include the “Power 5” (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC). Conferences were assigned a grade for race, a separate grade for gender, and recognition was included for LGBT inclusion practices at the institutional and conference level.

See also:

Mary Jo Kane interviewed on MPR for the 45th anniversary of Title IX

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane,  Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, will be interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio host Tom Weber on Thursday, June 22, at 11:00 a.m. on 91.1 FM.

Kane will be discussing the 45th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the social and cultural impact of the law, progress made in the last four decades, and areas of improvement still needed in the world of women’s sports.

Listen to the interview from June 22, 2017: 45 years of Title IX: what’s changed?

Lewis’s research cited in Reuters feature on benefits of exercise on postpartum depression

Beth Lewis, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology with a research focus on behavioral aspects of physical activity, was recently cited in a story published by Reuters.  The Health News feature, titled “Exercise may stave off postpartum depression,” discussed an article recently published by researchers from Spain and Chile. Their findings align with Lewis’s research outcome that regular, low-intensity exercise has a positive effect on postpartum depression.

The study authors didn’t draw conclusions or provide recommendations about the type or length of exercise that would be most beneficial, but suggested that future studies should include more data about the types of physical activity programs that could reduce depression.

Lewis and her colleagues currently are conducting a randomized trial that analyzes home-based exercise and home-based wellness programs among 450 mothers with a history of depression. In another study, they’re analyzing exercise programs among low-income women at risk for postpartum depression.

“Exercise is often the first thing that gets crossed off the list when there’s a new baby,” Lewis said in the article. “It’s important to take care of yourself through exercise to keep that wellbeing high.”

The story also appeared on the English language media outlet, Channel NewsAsia, based in Singapore.

 

 

 

Weiss and legacy of students present research at NASPSPA

image of Dr. Maureen Weiss and her students at NASPSPA 2017Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, and 12 graduate students spanning 30 years and three institutions, presented research studies and convened for an “academic family dinner” at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) in San Diego held on June 3-7, 2017.

The photo shows Weiss with former and current students at the University of Oregon, University of Virginia, and University of Minnesota. Students from the University of Minnesota include Alison Phillips (Ph.D., 2015) and Lindsay Kipp (Ph.D., 2012) in the front row, and Nicole Bolter (Ph.D., 2010), Hailee Moehnke (current M.S. student), and Sarah Espinoza (current Ph.D. student) in the back row. Weiss was president of NASPSPA in 2005-2006 and just completed a 5-year term on the Executive Committee as Past-President’s Liaison.