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Effects of a wrestling season on body composition, strength, power, and training status in high school and collegiate wrestlers.


Abstract and Figures

Although there is some documented evidence that a wrestler is physically impacted by the rigors of a season, findings for characteristics such as body composition, strength, and power in collegiate and high school wrestlers vary widely. Despite significant weight losses, some authors report increases in performance, others find decreases, and some no changes at all. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to examine the extant literature and provide a rationale for the differences in wrestler strength-to-weight (STW) ratios and physical effects of weight loss. The review suggests that there are alternative explanations for decreases in performance found in the literature such as overtraining and a lack of quality strength and conditioning programming. To that end, it is recommended that coaches implement well-designed nutritional and strength and conditioning plans to maximize their athletes’ performance.
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April 2013 Volume 48 Number 1
April 2013 Arkansas Journal Volume 48 Number 1
News and Information
Award Qualifications . . . . . . . 3
Message from the President. . . . . . . 4
ArkAHPERD Board of Directors. . . . . . 5
Application of Transtheoretical Model to Address Weight
Management in Adults: A Theoretical Approach
- Sameera Karnik and Amar Kanekar . . . . . . 6
Effects of Wrestling Season on Body Composition, Strength,
Power and Training Status in High School and Collegiate Wrestlers
- Max Wood & Timothy Baghurst . . . . . . 15
The Effect of Progressive Relaxation Techniques on
State Anxiety and Free Throw Performance
-Abby Davis and Shelia L. Jackson . . . . . . 22
What Makes for Effective Leadership?
Claudia Benavides-Espinoza. . . . . . . . 32
Teamwork Training Builds Collaboration and Cohesiveness
within a Professional Family
- Deb Walter. . . . . . . . . . 36
Improving Fruit and Vegetable Intake Using the Health Belief
Model and Transtheoretical Model
- Sarah Rush, Lori Turner and Sharon Hunt. . . . . 40
ArkAHPERD 2013 State Convention
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prior to the nomination.
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members who have retired from professional work
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Candidate must meet the following qualifications:
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integrity who by their leadership and industry
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Any ArkAHPERD member may submit nominations
by sending a copy of the candidate’s qualifications to
Stephen Burks,
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I am so honored to serve the Arkansas Association of
Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
Association as incoming President. I am so grateful that
the professionals in the field of health, physical
education, recreation, and dance felt that I could lead
them. I want to serve them well. John F. Kennedy once
said, Physical fitness is not only one of the most
important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of
dynamic and creative intellectual activity”. My goal is to continue the good work
of our past presidents and focus on the challenges that are before us. I want our
focus to be on taking care of our membership, and maintaining the goals of this
professional association. Those goals are:
1. Promote an intelligent interest in the allied fields of HPERD.
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development and well-being of children, youth, and adults.
Let's continue to make strides in the fight for our professionals in the field and
share in service to ArkAHPERD. Please do not hesitate to contact me
( I hope everyone will join me at our State Convention on
November 7-8, 2013 in Little Rock, AR.
Thank you,
Bennie Prince,
Message from the President
ArkAHPERD Board of Directors
Bennie Prince President
Brett Stone President-elect
Mitch Mathis Past-President
Janet Forbess Program Coordinator
Andy Mooneyhan Executive Director
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Division Vice Presidents / VP-elects
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William Torrence Research
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Standing Committee Chairs
Andy Mooneyhan Constitution
Mitch Mathis District Organization
Rockie Pederson Scholarships
Stephen Burks Higher Educator of the Year
Janet Forbess Honor Award
Angela Smith-Nix Necrology
Jamie Oitker Teacher Awards
A Peer Reviewed Article
Congratulations to our 2012 Honor Award Winner
Mitch Mathis!!!
A Peer Reviewed Article
Application of Transtheoretical Model to Address Weight
Management in Adults: A Theoretical Approach
Sameera Karnik and Amar Kanekar
Obesity has become a public health concern in the United States. Data show that one third of
U.S. adults are obese, hence it is a national epidemic. There are various factors causing obesity
such as environmental, behavioral, genetics, drugs and diseases. Obesity can lead to various
health problems like cardiac problems, type- 2 diabetes, and many other chronic conditions. One
of the ways to manage weight is by regular physical activity and a balanced diet. It is crucial for
individuals to manage their weight and live a healthy lifestyle. The objective of this paper is to
assess the problem of adult obesity, and examine and explain the stages of change of the trans
theoretical model for effective weight management interventions. The process of behavioral
change as explained by the constructs of the transtheoretical model is being used to explain and
examine weight management intervention in adults. The five stages of transtheoretical model
will be used to alter the experiences and environment of individuals to help them move along the
path of change, from intention to change, followed by adoption of healthy behavior to
maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Literature review shows that stages of change when effectively
used in an intervention can provide beneficial behavior changes, and can motivate people to
manage and maintain healthy lifestyle. There are various efforts being made by the government
to address adult obesity, such as providing adults with many resources to manage their weight
and lead a healthy life. Self-efficacy plays a key role in making individuals aware of their obese
status and motivating them to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Obesity has become a common, serious and an expensive public health concern (Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, 2010c). It has a significant effect on quality of people’s health.
In the United States, obesity has reached national epidemic proportions. It is a major risk factor
for various diseases and many other health problems (CDC, 2010c). Overall, obesity has become
a global epidemic. Energy imbalance is one of the factors leading to obesity in adults. Weight
management is disturbed when the number of calories a person consumes does not equal the
number of calories a person expends (CDC, 2011b). Weight management is not just about
inducing weight loss but about having healthy weight. This healthy weight cannot be achieved
by short term goals; it requires change in one’s behavior to maintain healthy weight throughout
one’s life. (CDC, 2011b).
Obesity is considered to occur as a result of addictive behaviors (Corsica, & Pelchat, 2010;
Liu, Von Deneen, Kobeissy, & Gold, 2010). Obese individuals face stigmatization and are
discriminated due to their obese status. The stigmatized individuals have problems with their
body image and show less psychosocial functioning. Stigmatization not only leads to physical
problems but also many psychosocial problems such as depression, and social withdrawal
leading to over eating (Bannon, Hunter-Reel, Wilson, & Karlin, 2009). Hence, there is a need for
intervention programs working towards changing individual behaviors and encouraging people
to lead a healthy lifestyle.
One way that obesity can be measured is via body mass index calculation. Body mass index
provides a correlation to amount of body fat in a person. According to CDC, 2010a, “an adult
who has BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese” (Table 1). BMI is not a direct measure of fats,
and BMI calculation gives the correlation with amount of body fat. Another measure (if the
person is having higher risk of developing obesity associated problem) involves measuring the
person’s waist line (CDC, 2010a). Weight management is about managing the equation of
calories in, with calories out (CDC, 2011a).
There are various factors leading to obesity in adults. Some of them are:
(a) Behavioral factors: Obesity is believed to be an addictive behavior linked to over eating and
binge eating.
(b) Environmental factors: People are influenced by their environment such as surroundings,
communities and social networks. Surroundings such as having sidewalks, good parks encourage
people to have a healthy lifestyle. Communities’ organizing fresh produce and fruit distribution
and market availability help people to have healthy nutritious food options. Social networks like
home setting can influence healthy weight management strategies by getting more involved in
physical activity inside the house. Some of the physical environment settings such as office
settings give workers more encouragement to adopt exercise routine while an additional strategy
would be nutritional food availability in cafeterias (CDC, 2011a).
(c) Genetic factors: Genetics of individuals can play a crucial role in determining obesity.
Disorders like Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome may contribute to causing
obesity (CDC, 2011a).
(d) Other factors: Some drugs like steroids and diseases like Cushing’s disease may lead to
excess weight in turn leading to obesity in individuals (CDC, 2011a).
Consequences due to obesity at the physical level are: cardiac diseases, type 2 diabetes,
hypertension, stroke, certain types of cancers, osteoarthritis, liver and gallbladder problems, and
sleep and respiratory problems (CDC, 2011a). At the psychological level, stigmatization due to
obesity may lead to depression and disturb the social wellbeing of an individual (Bannon,
Hunter-Reel, Wilson, & Karlin, 2009).
Magnitude of the Problem
The statistics and data provided by CDC, 2012, show that obesity is common and serious and
affects more than one third (35.7 %) of U.S adults. The Healthy People 2010 goal of lowering
the obesity prevalence to 15 % has not been achieved by any of the states in the U.S. (CDC,
2012). Obesity prevalence has been highest in the south (29.4%), followed by Midwest (29.0%),
Northeast (25.3%) and West (24.3%) (CDC, 2012). The prevalence of self-reported obesity
among adults as per the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Study in the state of Arkansas is 30.9
(CDC, 2011c)
Obesity is causing a significant economic impact on obese individuals as well as the economy
of the nation (CDC, 2012). Economic consequences of obesity stems from the fact that medical
costs paid by obese individuals exceeds that of normal weight people. The data collected so far
suggest that weight management programs for obese adults are not developed effectively and are
insufficiently evaluated (Lyle et al., 2008; Morton, McElhone,& White, 2011; Sales, & Walker,
2011). Hence, there is a need for additional programs targeting not only weight management but
development of healthy and sustainable lifestyles and behavior changes with proper social and
emotional support. Along with this, there is a need of good obesity prevention program
evaluation studies to create a lasting evidence-base for research.
Explanation about Transtheoretical Model
This model was constructed by James O. Prochaska and colleagues (Glanz, Rimer, &
Viswanath, 2008). It has a wide range of applicability in health conditions such as HIV/AIDS,
obesity, alcohol, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, cancer screening, and
medication compliance (Glanz, Rimer, & Viswanath, 2008). It is a model of intentional behavior
change. The stages of change in this model describe how people adopt a healthy behavior change
or modify health risk behaviors (DiClemente, Salazar, & Crosby, 2012). The constructs of this
model are called stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and
maintenance and in case of smoking and substance abuse, termination (DiClemente, Salazar, &
Crosby, 2012).
In the precontemplation stage, individuals have no intention to change their behavior and may
not be even aware that the behavior they are engaging in is a problem. Individuals determined to
change their behavior then proceed to the contemplation stage. In this stage individuals are asked
to make a decision by weighing the pros and cons of adopting the change. This stage is followed
by the preparation stage in which individuals are given a plan of action which includes guidance
and counseling along with information and knowledge, by joining health education related
classes or workshops or by meeting with a physician. They are then encouraged to move forward
to the action stage. When individuals decide to change the problem behavior they proceed to the
action stage where they actually take visible efforts to modify their behavior. This stage is
followed by maintenance stage where individuals try to maintain their behavior change and
avoid relapse. This stage in some cases like substance abuse behaviors is followed by the
termination stage. In this stage there is no temptation to go back to the problem behavior and
good self-efficacy for the particular behavior is observed (Glanz, Rimer, & Viswanath, 2008).
Application of Transtheoretical Model
In the current hypothetical scenario as shown in Fig 1, processes of change, explained by the
constructs of the transtheoretical model, are being used to improve physical activity and fruits
and vegetable consumption for managing weight among adults. ‘Stage tailoring’ will be used to
demonstrate the tailoring of activities to the readiness stage of the participants (Simons-Morton,
Mcleroy, & Wendel, 2012).The five stages of the transtheoretical model will be used to alter the
experiences and environment of an individual to help him/her move along the path of change
from intention to change, followed by adoption of healthy behavior to maintain a healthy
lifestyle (Dishman, Vandenberg, Motl, & Nigg, 2010). A sample of 100 adults enrolled in a
weight management program will be asked to complete and sign an informed consent form. The
structure of this program will be evaluating the process for change based on transtheoretical
model over a 6 month period.
Although the authors presume this to be applicable to groups, for this scenario stage tailoring at
an individual basis will be discussed. A questionnaire will be provided to the participant which
asks questions related to demographics and constructs of the transtheoretical model. The
precontemplation stage of the transtheoretical model will assess if the participant wants or has an
intention to lose weight (Seals, 2007). Questions like ‘how many servings of fruits and vegetable
do you take daily? How much time do you spend exercising?’ will be asked (Chung, Hoerr,
Levine, & Coleman, 2006). This process will be reinforced by raising consciousness(one of
the processes of change) of the participant to lose weight or manage weight and adopt a healthy
behavior (Dishman, Vandenberg, Motl, & Nigg, 2010; Simons-Morton, Mcleroy, & Wendel,
2012). ). If the participant is positive about managing weight then he/ she can proceed to the
contemplation stage or if they are taking recommended action to manage weight then they will
be encouraged and asked to maintain their regimen. The participant will be encouraged to weigh
the pros and cons of weight management and make a decision to change the behavior within 6
months or in the near future. Here, the participant will be encouraged to reinforce benefits and
overcome barriers of weight loss (Seals, 2007). This will be facilitated by the interventionist by
educating him/her about the benefits of weight management for example positives of maintaining
a healthy lifestyle, telling success stories and counseling and reinforcing the importance of
change in behavior.
The participant will then move to the preparation stage; in this stage the participant will be
provided with social support, with guidelines to follow a recommended exercise regime and
strategies to manage weight. Goals to lose weight will be reinforced and the participant will now
move to next stage of action. In this stage , the participant will be applying strategies (such as
consuming recommended fruits and vegetable intake and performing recommended exercise) to
reach his/her set goal (Seals, 2007). The action stage will be monitored by keeping a daily log
about the intake of fruits and vegetables and amount of time spent on physical activity as
recommended by the interventionist. This stage will also be guided by self-reevaluation, and
self-efficacy will be encouraged by support groups, for example taking a walk with the
participant (Dishman, Vandenberg, Molt, & Nigg, 2010). This stage will be followed by the
stage of maintenance where the participant will be encouraged to maintain his/her goal and a
healthy lifestyle. This multi stage program will help and support the participant to achieve
his/her weight management goal with adequate information and educational support.
Literature Review
One of the goals of this study is to relate the application of processes of change to the
consumption of fruits and vegetables, and to assess the participant’s readiness to change with
regards to their fruits and vegetable intake along with engagement in physical activity. A study
conducted among college women concluded that health educators should stress more on weight
management and explain the good benefits of consuming enough fruits and vegetables (Chung,
Hoerr, Levine, & Coleman, 2006).
Another study whose objective was to review literature regarding application of the
transtheoretical model with respect to use of specific skills or tools for pedometer based
interventions to explain the process of change of behavior for weight management, concluded
that pedometer based interventions have a significant impact on physical activity interventions to
maintain a healthy lifestyle. This study suggested that public health impact can be attained by the
interventionist using a theory based intervention to help people reach and maintain healthy
lifestyles and good health (Lutes & Steinbaugh, 2010).
Another interesting study demonstrated how nurse practitioners can use the stage specific
intervention based on the transtheoretical model to manage weight loss in obese and overweight
adults. This study incorporated behavioral aspects along with the physiological aspects in
managing weight in obese and overweight adults. The study concluded that nurse practitioners
with the help of a multidisciplinary team were able to manage the weight of obese and
overweight adults by successfully and safely implementing stage specific model intervention. It
is seen that a lifelong commitment and motivation is required by an individual to maintain
normal weight (Seals, 2007).
In a study which examined the relationship of lifestyle and stages of change of the
transtheoretical model with respect to weight management, a significant relationship was seen
between lifestyle attributes and various components of the transtheoretical model. This study
concluded that focusing on positive aspect of weight loss to gain recognition helps to maintain
positive change plan for weight loss. (Stoltz, Reysen, Wolff, & Kern, 2009).
The transtheoretical model will help to better define the problem of obesity. An individual’s
response to this tailored approach for obesity management along with preparation to accept the
situation and work towards adopting the desired change of action can be well explained in the
transtheoretical model. In this theory based intervention, an individual’s self-efficacy will be
channelized to help him/her gain health benefits by managing weight. The individual will be
supported with various tools like counseling, education, and psychosocial support from their
families and friends. These tools can inspire, motivate and guide them through the path of taking
action and maintaining the adopted healthy lifestyle.
The transtheoretical Model has been criticized pointing to its (a) arbitrary and discrete stages of
classifying individuals, (b) lack of predictive potential particularly when applied to substance
abuse behavior where it’s descriptive rather than predictive and (c) insufficient parsimony of
Some of the limitations of using the transtheoretical model applicable to this study are (a) it
will not weigh the severity of the problem (b) An effective intervention will be required in the
precontemplation stage to motivate people to change and understand their problem (c) The
participants have to be self-motivated to adapt to this change and (d) the decisional balance
counseling should be effective to motivate the participants to take action to manage their weight.
Governmental Actions for Managing Weight
Although the application of the transtheoretical model is effective on an individual based level,
on ecological levels obesity management should be approached by programs at community,
government and policy levels. The government is making every effort to increase awareness
about eating healthy and increasing physical activity. The officials are guiding people to take
small steps to improve daily routine like engaging in daily physical activity for at least 30
minutes (U.S Food and Drug Administration, 2009). They are trying to encourage people to
make a healthy choices by proving effective leadership and collaborating with organizations to
design healthy programs and campaigns. These programs include various strategies to encourage
healthy lifestyles including education, communication, intervention, diet and nutrition, physical
activity and fitness. The Obesity Working Group (OWG) is making efforts to promote and
protect public health (FDA, 2009). They have conducted workshops, public meetings and
collaborating with other governmental agencies.
The government, nonprofit organizations and industries are working together to increase the
consumption of fruits and vegetables through the National Fruits and Vegetable Program. This
program supports efforts to provide education and increase access to fruits and vegetables. This
program focuses on several aspects like community capacity and infrastructure to increase the
consumption of fruits and vegetables (CDC, n.d.).
The government has recommended community strategies to prevent obesity, such as improving
availability of healthier food and beverages, encouraging local farm production and distribution
of healthy food, and enhancing infrastructure supporting physical activity (CDC, 2009). It has
also provided people with website tools to guide them through healthy lifestyle changes
depending on age, and sex of that individual. has provided recommendations
and recipes to alter diet and activity with tools like super tracker (United States Department of
Agriculture, n.d.).
Regardless of the governmental policies and efforts, obesity rates are increasing. At present the
government is asking people to pay increased health insurance premiums due to their obese
status. There is an imminent need for health insurance to be the same for all individuals and it is
the duty of the government to understand the reasons behind rising obesity rates. The
government should make its policies more stringent in determining provisions for a health
insurance. Obese people should be asked to adopt healthy lifestyles by a mandatory involvement
in programs and interventions for managing healthy weight, instead of being penalized
economically. Instead of singling out and stigmatizing obese individuals, and in turn disturbing
their psychosocial wellbeing, the government should encourage healthy behavior by giving them
incentives to enroll in healthy programs (Harvard School of Public Health, 2012). Health
professionals should emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle at each patient visit to
prevent obesity.
Every individual has to make a conscious decision to adopt and implement these healthy
lifestyle approaches for themselves, their families, their communities and the nation. People can
get involved and take advantage of various programs, interventions and workshops conducted by
the government and communities to improve nutrition and physical activity. Every person needs
to be motivated to adopt a healthy lifestyle and can directly or indirectly encourage others
through their communities to take an initiative to a healthier tomorrow. If governmental efforts
are backed by general public efforts to make a lifestyle change, a healthy nation will emerge.
Acknowledgements This review was conducted without any funding sources and there are no
conflicts of interests involving the authors. The primary author, a graduate student, was involved
in conceptualizing, researching literature related to and writing the paper. The second author
assisted in revising some sections of the paper including the abstract and editing the paper to
meet the journal manuscript guidelines.
Bannon, K. L., Hunter-Reel, D., Wilson, G., & Karlin, R. A. (2009). The effects of causal beliefs
and binge eating on the stigmatization of obesity. International Journal Of Eating Disorders,
42(2), 118-124.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). (2009). Recommended community strategies
and measurements to prevent obesity in the United States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
Report, 58(RR07), 1-26. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). (2010a). Overweight and obesity, defining
overweight and obesity .Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). (2010b).Overweight and obesity, defining
overweight and obesity .Retrieved from (Table1)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010c). Vital signs. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). (2011a). Overweight and obesity, causes and
consequences. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2011b). Healthy weight- it’s not a diet, it’s a
lifestyle! Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2011c). Overweight and Obesity, adult
obesity facts. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). (2012). Overweight and obesity, data and
statistics. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). (n.d.). Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
every day. Retrieved from
Chung, S. J., Hoerr, S., Levine, R., & Coleman, G. (2006). Processes underlying young women’s
decisions to eat fruits and vegetables. J Hum Nutr Dietet, 19, 287298.
Corsica, J.A., & Pelchat, M.L. (2010). Food addiction: True or False? Current opinion in
Gastroenterology, 26 (2), 165-169.
DiClemente, R. J., Salazar, L.F., & Crosby, R.A. (2012). Health behavior theory for public
health. Burlington, MA: Jones& Bartlett Learning.
Dishman, R. K., Vandenberg, R. J., Motl, R. W., & Nigg, C. R. (2010). Using constructs of the
Transtheoretical Model to predict classes of change in regular physical activity: A Multi-
Ethnic Longitudinal Cohort Study. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 40(2), 150-163. doi:
Glanz, K., Rimer, B.K., & Viswanath, K. (2008). Health behavior and health education. San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Harvard School of Public Health (2013). Survey finds public support for legal interventions to
fight obesity, non-communicable diseases. Retrieved from
Liu, Y., Von Deneen, K., Kobeissy, F.H., & Gold, M.S. (2010). Food addiction & obesity:
Evidence from bench to bedside. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 42(2), 133-145.
Lutes, L. D., & Steinbaugh, E. K. (2010). Theoretical models for pedometer use in physical
activity interventions. Physical Therapy Reviews, 15(3), 143-153.
Lyle, D., Hobba, J., Lloyd, K., Bennett, D., George, T., Giddings, N., Griffin, N., Chew, P.,
Harris, M., & Heading, G. (2008). Mobilising a rural community to lose weight: Impact
evaluation of the Welling Tonne Challenge. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 16(2), 80-85.
Morton, D., McElhone, S., & White, H. (2011). The impact of weight loss competition in
workplace. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics, 24(3), 295-296.
Sales, S., & Walker, N. (2011). A systematic review of the effectiveness of weight management
interventions in adults with learning disabilities. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics,
24(3), 303.
Seals, J. (2007). Integrating the transtheoretical model into the management of overweight and
obese adults. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 19(2), 63-71.
Simons-Morton, B., Mcleroy, K.R., & Wendel, M.L. (2012). Behavior Theory in Health
Promotion Practice and Research. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
Stoltz, K. B., Reysen, R. H., Wolff, L. A., & Kern, R. M. (2009). Lifestyle and the stages of
change in weight loss. Journal of Individual Psychology, 65(1), 69-85.
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(2009). Combating the Nation’s Obesity Epidemic. Retrieved from
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Table I
Body Mass Index for overweight and obesity (CDC, 2010b)
Height Weight Range BMI Considered
124 lbs. or less Below 18.5 Underweight
5' 9" 125 lbs. to 168 lbs. 18.5 to 24.9 Healthy weights
169 lbs. to 202 lbs. 25.0 to 29.9 Overweight
203 lbs. or more 30 or higher Obese
Fig. 1. Conceptual Framework of application of Trans theoretical Model (Stages of change) for
Weight Management
How many servings of fruits and
vegetable do you take daily?
How much time do you spend exercising?
A Peer Reviewed Article
Effects of Wrestling Season on Body Composition, Strength, Power
and Training Status in High School and Collegiate Wrestlers
Max Wood & Timothy Baghurst
Although there is some documented evidence that a wrestler is physically impacted by the
rigors of a season, findings for characteristics such as body composition, strength, and power in
collegiate and high school wrestlers vary widely. Despite significant weight losses, some authors
report increases in performance, others find decreases, and some no changes at all. Therefore, the
purpose of this review is to examine the extant literature and provide a rationale for the
differences in wrestler strength-to-weight (STW) ratios and physical effects of weight loss. The
review suggests that there are alternative explanations for decreases in performance found in the
literature such as overtraining and a lack of quality strength and conditioning programming. To
that end, it is recommended that coaches implement well-designed nutritional and strength and
conditioning plans to maximize their athletes’ performance.
It is common practice for wrestlers to lose weight in order to compete in lower weight classes.
Before the Wrestling Weight Certification Program was established in 1998, collegiate wrestlers
regularly lost upwards of 10% of their bodyweight before a competition (Buford, Rossi, Smith,
O'Brien, & Pickering, 2006). Because fat mass and water weight are the primary losses,
performance should be preserved, thereby increasing the athletes’ strength-to-weight (STW)
ratio. This has been well documented (Buford, Smith, O'Brien, Warren, & Rossi, 2008;
Eckerson, Housh, Housh, & Johnson, 1994; Utter, Stone, O'Bryant, Summinski, & Ward, 1998).
However, others refute this theory (Ratamess, N. A., Hoffman, J. R., Kraemer, W. J., Ross, R.
E., Tranchina, C. P., Rashti, S. L., Faigenbaum, A. D. 2012; Roemmich & Sinning, 1996;
Roemmich & Sinning, 1997).
Although there is some documented evidence that a wrestler is physically impacted by the
rigors of a season, findings have varied. With respect to body composition, for instance, some
studies show that overall there is a decrease in total bodyweight, with the majority of the
reduction occurring in body fat (Buford et al., 2008). Other studies show that some wrestlers
lose both fat mass and fat-free mass (Utter et al., 1998). A small number of studies show that
some wrestlers actually gain weight over the course of a season (Shriver, Betts, & Payton, 2009).
Thus, it remains unclear how a season physically impacts a wrestler.
Creating a calorie deficit through severe dietary restriction seems to be the single, most
prevalent factor for making weight in wrestling (Shriver et al., 2009), although measures taken to
reduce body weight are often dangerous (Baghurst, 2012). The current literature indicates that
whenever athletes train and compete in calorie deficits, it is reasonable for them to expect a drop
in their performance (Ratamess et al., 2012; Roemmich & Sinning, 1996; Roemmich & Sinning,
1997). Although losing performance may occur through weight loss strategies, an athlete’s STW
ratio may still increase. Put another way, even if an athlete’s overall strength decreases, his or
her performance in a lower weight class may be better than if he or she had stayed in his or her
natural weight class due to the increase in STW ratio.
According to the current literature, a wrestler’s performance in characteristics such as strength
and power decreases over the duration of a wrestling season. These decreases are correlated with
the weight cutting these athletes undergo in an attempt to increase performance, which is
contrary to the desired outcome of weight cutting. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to (a)
report the current findings on body composition in wrestlers, how changes in body composition
affect strength and power, and the effects that severe dietary restriction have on a wrestler’s
performance and training status; and (b) to offer an alternative perspective of what may be
happening in regards to a wrestler’s performance that may lead to future research.
Body Composition
Weight class rules for wrestling established in 1998 have made it impossible for wrestlers to
compete if their body fat is under 7% in high school or 5% in college (Contreras, 1998; Ratamess
et al., 2012). However, there is a general consensus in the body of research that says this is an
extreme minimum, and optimal wrestling performance will occur around a body fat level of 8-
9%. Yet methods for measuring body composition vary widely. Skinfold measurement, dual-
energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), underwater weighing (UWW), and bioelectrical
impedance analysis (BIA) were all used as methods of assessing body composition in the
reviewed studies (Buford et al., 2008; Eckerson et al., 1994; Kordi, Nourian, Rostami, &
Wallace, 2012; Ratamess et al., 2012; Roemmich & Sinning, 1996; Roemmich & Frappier, 1993;
Roemmich & Sinning, 1997; Shriver et al., 2009; Utter et al., 1998). Thus, gaining a true
measure of ideal body fat remains unclear.
Skinfold measurement is the most common method of body composition assessment in the
literature due to its portability and cost effectiveness. With a trained and experienced individual
administering the assessment, error can be minimized. The DEXA scanner is very accurate and
simple to use as a measure of both body fat and bone mineral density. Underwater weighing, like
DEXA, is used for its high accuracy. Bioelectrical impedance utilizes an electrical current to
assess total body water, which is used to calculate fat-free mass. The difference between body
mass (BM) and fat-free mass represents body fat.
Most of the studies reviewed found that BM does decrease over the course of a season;
however, there were three studies that found either no change or an increase in BM of the
wrestlers (Buford et al., 2008; Kelly et al., 1978; Shriver et al., 2009). Shriver et al. (2009)
reported an overall increase in BM over the season. Eckerson et al. (1994) measured a group of
wrestlers that chose to cut against a group which did not. The group that chose not to lose weight
actually gained weight over the course of the season, while the other group saw significant
changes coming only from fat mass (FM).
Of the studies that saw a drop in BM, two studies saw significant reductions in both fat-free
mass (FFM) and FM, with more weight loss coming from FM (Ratamess et al., 2012; Utter et al.,
1998). Ratamess et al. (2012) found that FFM recovers over the course of the season, while Utter
et al. (1998) found the opposite: as the season goes on FFM decreases. In both studies, however,
FM decreased more than FFM accounting for 67% and 56% of the weight lost, respectively.
Other studies found weight loss in wrestlers occured in FM only (Eckerson et al., 1994; Kelly et
al., 1978; Roemmich & Sinning, 1996; Roemmich & Sinning, 1997).
Interestingly, the group that saw weight loss in both FFM and FM was composed of collegiate
wrestlers only, while the group that preserved FFM and lost mostly FM was composed
predominantly of adolescents. This finding suggests that experience in weight cutting may not be
the determinant factor in amount of weight cut, and whether weight cut comes from FFM or FM.
Also, Ratamess et al. (2012) studied Division III wrestlers while Utter et al. (1998) investigated
Division I wrestlers. Thus, wrestlers who are in theoretically better wrestling programs may not
necessarily fare better when cutting weight or perhaps cut more weight in an effort to be able to
wrestle in more or even lower weight classes.
Strength and Power
Maximizing STW ratio is the driving factor for cutting weight in wrestlers. Generally, a
wrestler in a higher weight class possesses greater levels of strength and power than other
wrestlers in the weight classes below him or her, when comparing natural weights. So, if
performance can be maintained (or if decreases in performance can be minimized) while
dropping to a lower weight class, the wrestler develops an advantage over his or her opponent.
As cutting weight is such a widely practiced aspect of wrestling (Kordi et al., 2012; Oppliger,
Nelson Steen, & Scott, 2003; Shriver et al., 2009), it would seem that wrestlers who do not cut
weight are at a disadvantage, since they have not tried to maximize their STW ratio. In an effort
to test the validity of this theory, many researchers have examined the effects that a single
wrestling season has upon the strength and power of wrestlers, using various methods such as
isokinetic dynamometry and grip strength dynamometry for testing strength and Wingate and
vertical jump for testing power.
The differences found between the studies can be placed into two groups: decreases and no
change. The decrease group found reductions in many variables. For example, Ratamess et al.
(2012) found decreases in grip strength, vertical jump peak power, and Wingate peak power that
were all correlated with a decrease in BM and body fat percentage in collegiate wrestlers.
Although they found an improved fatigue rate for the Wingate test, this does not offset the
overall decrease in performance. Eckerson et al. (1994) found similar decreases in Wingate peak
power, and they also found decreases in torque production of the forearm and leg in adolescent
wrestlers. Roemmich and Sinning (1996; 1997) found that strength and power in adolescent
wrestlers are adversely affected by the effects of a wrestling season.
The no-change group found very interesting results compared to the previous group. All three
studies found either no decrease in performance, or slight, non-significant increases in
performance (Buford et al., 2008; Utter et al., 1998). Since Utter et al. (1998) found decreases in
bodyweight without measuring decreases in performance, their findings indicate that it is
possible to increase STW ratio, which is the desired outcome for wrestlers at any level of the
sport. Buford et al. (2008) did not report any significant differences in BM or peak torque over
the course of their study. However, at the end of the study, they measured an 11.5% increase in
peak torque relative to body mass. The end of their study coincided with the end of the regular
season, indicating that the athletes became stronger over the course of the season and thus
increased their STW ratio.
Overreaching and Overtraining
In their joint consensus statement, the European College of Sports Science (ECSS) and the
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defined overreaching and overtraining as
1. Overreaching: an accumulation of training and/or non-training stress resulting in short-
term decrement in performance capacity with or without related physiological and
psychological signs and symptoms of maladaptation in which restoration of performance
capacity may take from several days to several weeks.
2. Overtraining: an accumulation of training and/or non-training stress resulting in long-
term decrement in performance capacity with or without related physiological and
psychological signs and symptoms of maladaptation in which restoration of performance
capacity may take from several weeks to months. (Meeusen, R., Duclos, M., Foster, C.,
Fry, A., Gleeson, M., Nieman, D., Urhausen, A., 2013)
These states are achieved whenever training overload is not accompanied by adequate recovery
(Meeusen et al., 2013). This point becomes very pertinent in the context of wrestlers, as severe
dietary restriction can be the greatest contributor to the weight loss process in wrestlers (Shriver
et al., 2009). It is possible that wrestlers never achieve adequate recovery from their workouts
during the season because they maintain a state of caloric restriction throughout the season. As
such, they may be in a recurring state of overreaching, and some may crossover into a state of
overtraining. This is a possible alternative explanation aside from purely decreases in body
weight that may account for the reductions in performance seen by researchers.
Interestingly, some have posited that overtraining may be a better explanation than weight
cutting for a decrease in performance, and that decreases in BM are only correlations to this
explanation. Roemmich and Sinning (1996, 1997) assert that an overtraining effect may take
some responsibility for changes in muscular performance, suggesting that “[m]any of the
symptoms observed in overtrained individuals have been documented in wrestlers” (p.98).
Shriver et al. (2009) argue that inadequate carbohydrate consumption leads to increased protein
utilization, indicating a state of depleted glycogen. Whenever glycogen is depeleted, recovery is
impaired, making it difficult for the body to continue to meet the demands being placed upon it
(Eckerson et al., 1994). These are signigicant findings, as only 16% of the 741 collegiate
wrestlers that were surveyed by Oppliger et al. (2003) reported that they do not cut weight for
competition. This would mean that the vast majority of wrestlers are cutting weight in ways that
are not conducive to preserving performance.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The results of the no-change group were impressive in and of themselves, with results
indicating that it is indeed possible to increase an athlete’s STW ratio by reducing BM. In the
case of Utter et al. (1998), this is true even if the athletes show a marked decrease in FFM. Even
in the decrease group, the results, while at first seeming a little discouraging, may still be
supportive of the notion that cutting weight helps wrestlers perform better, even if overall
performance is decreased. Hypothetically, if a 150 lb. athlete can bench press 200 lb., he or she
has a STW ratio of 1.25 (bench press/BM). If that athlete was to drop down to the 139 lb. weight
class, but only loses 5 lb. on his or her bench press, the STW goes up to 1.4. These decreases
were similar to percentages found in the studies which reported decreases in performance
following a weight cutting regimen. However, because the authors only released the means and
not the individual data points with the published studies, it is difficult to calculate if this is what
is actually happening.
Ratamess et al. (2012) believe that strength and conditioning programs may play a large role in
preserving performance. In the aforementioned study, the authors mention that a lack of heavy
lifting could possibly have contributed to decreases in performance in high school wrestlers. To
support this notion, two studies (Buford et al., 2008; Utter et al., 1998) mention specifically that
they tailored strength and conditioning programs for their collegiate athletes in order to offset the
expected decreases in performance associated with the wrestling season. Both of these studies
are from the no-change group, which saw the greatest changes in STW ratio.
It is also worth noting that the three studies in the no-change group used exclusively collegiate
wrestlers in their samples. Colleges often have access to resources that high schools do not, such
as strength and conditioning coaches. The four studies in the decrease group were composed of
three samples of adolescent wrestlers, and one sample of collegiate wrestlers. However, the study
with the collegiate sample in the decrease group admitted that strength and conditioning had
been lacking over the course of the season. Thus, a well-designed strength and conditioning
program may contribute to a diminished detraining effect in wrestlers over the course of a
season, as does year-round training. This may be because the athletes are maintaining higher
levels of fitness and lower levels of body fat, which in turn decreases the severity of the weight
cuts they have to endure to stay competitive.
Future topics for research could include examining the effects of different strength and
conditioning protocols on the performance of adolescent and college wrestlers, examining weight
cutting and its effects on individual wrestler records (i.e., are the wrestlers who cut the most
weight the ones who win the most?), examining overtraining and its effects on wrestlers’ records
or performance (wrestlers who are meeting certain criteria for being diagnosed with Overtraining
Syndrome), and examining heavyweight wrestlers and their performance over a season as
compared to lower weight classes.
In the meantime, it seems that wrestling coaches should continue encouraging their athletes to
cut weight in order to stay competitive in their sport. However, several precautions should be
taken. Wrestlers should be monitored to ensure that they do not reach overtraining status. This
would entail that the athletes are encouraged to consume a diet that promotes recovery from
workouts while still allowing weight loss, or at least minimizing fat gain. Next, coaches should
implement strength and conditioning into their athletes’ training regimen, in order to diminish
any detraining effects that wrestlers might encounter during the season. Coaches should consult
qualified professionals for these two recommendations if they are not qualified in these areas.
These two applications of the research, based on the findings of this article, may help wrestlers
better maximize their performance.
Call for Presentations
For anyone wanting to present at the 2013 State Convention, the
proposal form is on the ArkAHPERD web page.
Baghurst, T. (2012). Wrestlers. In J. Reel (Ed.), Eating disorders: An encyclopedia of causes,
treatment and prevention. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Buford, T. W., Rossi, S. J., Smith, D. B., O'Brien, M. S., & Pickering, C. (2006). The effect of a
competitive wrestling season on body weight, hydration, and muscular performance in
collegiate wrestlers. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 20(3), 682-692.
Buford, T. W., Smith, D. B., O'Brien, M. S., Warren, A. J., & Rossi, S. J. (2008). Seasonal
changs in body mass, body composition, and miscular performance in collegiate wrestlers.
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 3, 176-184.
Contreras, P. (1998). Wrestling Minimum Weight Certification Program information. Retrieved
from University Interscholastic League:
Eckerson, J. M., Housh, D. J., Housh, T. J., & Johnson, G. O. (1994). Seasonal changes in body
composition, strength, and muscular power in high school wrestlers. Pediatric Exercise
Science, 6, 39-52.
Kordi, R., Nourian, R., Rostami, M., & Wallace, A. (2012). Percentage of body fat and weight
gain in participants in the Tehran High School Wrestling Championship. Asian Journal of
Sports Medicine, 3(2), 119-125.
Meeusen, R., Duclos, M., Foster, C., Fry, A., Gleeson, M., Nieman, D., Urhausen, A. (2013).
Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the overtraining syndrome: Joint consensus statement
of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS) and the American College of Sports
Medicine (ACSM). European Journal of Sport Science, 13(1), 1-24.
Oppliger, R. A., Nelson Steen, S. A., & Scott, J. R. (2003). Weight loss practices of college
wrestlers. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 13, 29-46.
Ratamess, N. A., Hoffman, J. R., Kraemer, W. J., Ross, R. E., Tranchina, C. P., Rashti, S. L.,
Faigenbaum, A. D. (2012). Effects of a competitive wrestling season on body composition,
endocrine markers, and anaerobic exercise performance in NCAA collegiate wrestlers.
European Journal of Applied Physiology. doi:10.1007/s00421-012-2520-8
Roemmich, J. N., & Frappier, J. P. (1993). Physiological determinants of wrestling success in
high school athletes. Pediatric Exercise Science, 5, 134-144.
Roemmich, J. N., & Sinning, W. E. (1996). Sport-seasonal changes in body composition,
growth, power, and strength of adolescent wrestlers. International Journal of Sports
Medicine, 17(2), 92-99.
Roemmich, J. N., & Sinning, W. E. (1997). Weight loss and wrestling training: effects on
nutrition, growth, maturation, body composition, and strength. Journal of Applied
Physiology, 82(6), 1751-1759.
Shriver, L., Betts, N., & Payton, M. E. (2009). Changes in body weight, body composition, and
eating attitudes in high school wrestlers. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and
Exercise Metabolism, 19, 424-432.
Utter, A., Stone, M., O'Bryant, H., Summinski, R., & Ward, B. (1998). Sport-seasonal changes in
body composition, strength, and power of college wrestlers. Journal of Strength and
Conditioning Research, 12(4), 266-271.
Table 1
Summary of Literature Findings
Body Comp Assessment
Buford, Smith,
O'Brien, Warren,
and Rossi
Isokinetic torque and
↔BM, ↔FM, ↑T,
Eckerson, Housh,
Housh, and
Isokinetic torque,
↓BM, ↓FM, ↔ FFM,
↓T, ↓PP, ↔MP
Kelly, Gorney,
and Kalm
Isokinetic torque and
endurance, VO2 max
↓BM,↓FM, ↔ FFM, ↓T,
Ratamess et al.
Grip strength, vertical
jump, modified Wingate
(1 min)
↓BM, ↓FM, ↓FFM, ↓PP,
↔MP, ↓Grip
Roemmich and
Grip strength, isokinetic
torque and power,
↓BM,↓ FM, ↔FFM, ↓T,
↔PP, ↔MP, ↔Grip
Roemmich and
Isokinetic torque
↓ BM, ↓FM, ↔FFM, ↓T
Shriver, Betts, and
↑ BM, ↔ FM
Utter et al.
Skinfold, UWW, BIA
Isometric clean pull,
vertical jump
↓BM, ↓FM, ↓FFM, ↔T,
BM = body mass, FM = fat mass, FFM = fat free mass, T = torque, PP = Peak power, MP = Mean power, Grip =
Grip strength, END= muscular endurance, ↑ = increase, ↓= decrease, ↔= no change
Call for Papers
The Research Section of ArkAHPERD invites members to present their
research at the 20132 State Convention. Submit a one page abstract with
title and author(s) to William Torrence,
A Peer Reviewed Article
The Effect of Progressive Relaxation Techniques on
State Anxiety and Free Throw Performance
Abby Davis and Shelia L. Jackson
The effect of progressive muscle relaxation techniques to reduce state anxiety and increase free
throw performance was studied. Six college students identified at a Hoops for Heart free throw
contest as having high state anxiety as measured by the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)
(Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, Vagg, Jacobs, 1983) volunteered to participate in the study.
Their state anxiety and free throw shooting performance was measured during two free throw
contests pre- and post their participation in six to nine progressive muscle relaxation sessions.
Two separate Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks t-tests were used to determine significance (p = .05).
Results of pre- and posttests indicated that state anxiety significantly decreased and free throw
performance significantly increased.
Can athletes perform significantly better at their sport without added physical workouts? Can
relaxation significantly enhance muscle rehabilitation? Can chronic and acute pain be managed
without medical intervention? Can listening to a tape reduce the anxiety and physiological stress
experienced by surgical patients? These questions were the focal point of research to help people
take control of their own bodies, and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) techniques was the
answer (Carroll & Seers, 1998a, 1998b; Dehdari, Heidarnia, Ramezankhani, Sadeghian, &
Ghofranipour, 2009; Fraser, Steffen & Elfessi, 2001; Griffiths, Steel, Vaccaro, & Karpmen,
1981; Jansen, Windau, Bonutti, & Brillhart, 1996; Ko & Lin, 2012; Lanning & Hisanaga, 1983;
Lin, Hsieh, Hsu, Fetzer, & Hsu, 2011).
Much of the research in sport psychology is associated with performance and the inverted-U
hypothesis proposed by Yerkes and Dodson (1908). According to the inverted-U hypothesis,
there is an optimal level of arousal needed for maximal performance. Any amount of arousal
above or below that level will result in inferior performance. As a result, progressive relaxation
techniques were introduced to help control over-arousal and anxiety levels prior to and during
competition. Most progressive relaxation techniques are variations of a technique outlined by
Jacobson (1938).
The goal of applied sport psychology is to bring theory and research into practice by educating
coaches, athletes, and parents on how to facilitate optimal sport involvement and performance.
This usually involves individual and/or group consulting and/or counseling. Specific concepts,
such as goal setting, relaxation, imagery, etc., may be utilized, but the primary goal is to teach
the mental skills necessary for athletes to reach their full potential both as individuals in society
and as athletes (Association for Applied Sport Psychology website, retrieved March 11, 2013,
With these factors in mind, the study was undertaken to determine if progressive relaxation
technique sessions would reduce state anxiety levels in participants of a free throw competition
and, therefore, improve performance.
Review of Related Literature
According to the inverted-U hypothesis, every type of behavior has an optimal level of arousal
that produces a maximum performance. Another aspect of the hypothesis is that as complexity of
the skill increases, the optimum level of arousal decreases. Therefore, fine motor skills require a
lesser degree of arousal than gross motor skills. Furthermore, arousal levels above or below the
optimum level produce inferior performance (Yerkes & Dodson, 1908). The inverted-U
hypothesis has been supported by a significant amount of empirical evidence (Cook, Gansneder,
Rotella, Malone, Bunker, & Owens, 1983; Klavora, 1979; Murphy, Woolfolk, & Budney, 1988;
Sonstroem & Bernardo, 1982). All of these researchers found a relationship between the levels of
arousal and performance.
The inverted-U hypothesis is based on state anxiety arousal. Martens (1977) defined state
anxiety as “an existing or current emotional state characterized by feelings of apprehension and
tension and associated with activation of the organism” (p. 4). Many researchers in sport
psychology have used state anxiety, also known as competition anxiety, to attempt to explain
why individuals made errors during competition (Abenza, Alarcón, Piñar, & Ureña, 2009; Cook,
Gansneder et al. 1983; Bird & Horn, 1990; Gould, Petlichkoff, Simons, & Vevera, 1987;
Griffiths, Steel et al. 1981; Horikawa & Yagi, 2012; Sonstroem & Bernardo, 1982; Weinberg &
Genuchi, 1980).
From research evidence, scientific literature, and empirical observation Oxendine (1979) made
the generalization that a high level of arousal was needed for optimal performance in gross motor
activities, while a low level of arousal was optimal for fine muscle movements, coordination,
precision, steadiness, and concentration. Gross motor movements were associated with activities
such as wrestling, some aspects of basketball, and running. Fine motor movements included golf,
some aspects of tennis, and pistol shooting. According to Zehra, Peynireioglu, Thompson, and
Tanielian (2000), free throw shooting was a predominantly fine motor skill that required high
cognitive demand on shooters to concentrate on the position of their bodies, the height, distance,
and size of the basket, the wrist action, and the strength needed to reach the basket.
Much of the research conducted in sport psychology prior to Martens (1977) was in a lab
setting. According to Martens (1979) and Alderman (1979), the anxiety-motor performance
relationship needed testing in the field in a more ego-involving setting. Some researchers tested
this relationship in a field setting and supplied the field of sport psychology with valuable
information concerning the anxiety/performance relationship (Cook, et al., 1983; Bird & Horn,
1990; Gould, et al., 1987; Griffiths, et al., 1981; Horikawa & Yagi, 2012; Sonstroem &
Bernardo, 1982; Weinberg & Genuchi, 1980).
Weinberg and Genuchi (1980) examined the competitive trait anxiety (CTA), state anxiety, and
performance of 30 male intercollegiate golfers. The results from the study indicated that low
CTA subjects performed significantly better than high CTA subjects during the golf tournament
(p< .05). In another study involving golf, Cook et al. (1983) examined 103 amateur golfers’
performance and state anxiety over three days. The findings indicated that lower precompetitive
state anxiety enhanced golf performance. These results support Oxendine’s hypothesis that low
levels of arousal are needed to perform fine motor movements associated with golf.
Sonstroem and Bernardo (1982) measured the competitive trait anxiety and pregame state
anxiety of 30 female collegiate basketball players. From the results of the study, it was indicated
that moderate levels of trait and state anxiety resulted in the highest levels of performance (p<
.01). In games where the subjects had high anxiety, their performance was lowest (p< .05). These
findings supported the inverted-U hypothesis.
Gould et al. (1987) used the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) to measure
anxiety levels before a pistol shooting competition. The researchers measured the cognitive and
somatic anxiety levels along with self-confidence and shooting performance of 39 subjects from
the University of Illinois Police Training Institute. The results of the study indicated that
cognitive anxiety did not have a significant impact on performance (p< .001), but that the
somatic and the performance relationship were best interpreted by the inverted-U hypothesis.
In a study involving 50 volunteer SCUBA students, Griffiths et al. (1981) found a negative
relationship between state anxiety and performance. Baseline measures of the STAI as well as
heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature hand frontalis muscle action potential were taken.
Participants were then assigned to a control, biofeedback relaxation group, or meditation group
for six meeting times over a three week period. The results indicated a significant negative
relationship between State Anxiety and performance (r =-.46, p< .05); however, relaxation did
not increase performance. A possible explanation for this was performance measures of state
anxiety did not exceed the norms for the STAI and therefore, the participants were not highly
anxious before the performance task.
Ziegler, Klinzing, and Williamson (1982) studied eight male collegiate cross-country runners
to determine the effects of two stress management programs on cardio respiratory efficiency.
Both treatment groups met with the researcher twice a week for 5.5 weeks and were taught
negative thought stopping, cueing, and received training in relaxation (EMG biofeedback
training. The second treatment group also received strategies to regain control after being
presented with a series of disastrous track-imagery situations. After the 5.5-week period, a
posttest was given. A statistical significance was reached between the control group (M=36.17)
and the two treatment groups (SIT M=33.16; SMT M=31.87) for oxygen consumption between
the first half (p< .01) and second half of the posttest (p< .05). No statistical significance was
found between the two treatment groups..
Lanning and Hisanaga (1983) measured the effects of PMR techniques on competitive anxiety
and service percentage of 24 female high school players in a volleyball game. The treatment
consisted of seven 30 minutes sessions of Jacobson’s PMR over a two and one half week period.
Following the treatment, two posttests were administered two weeks apart. From the results, the
researchers reported the treatment group’s competitive anxiety significantly decreased from
pretest to posttest (p< .005). The researchers also found that service performance significantly
increased from pretest to posttest (p< .005). This study supported previous research that
relaxation reduces anxiety, but it also revealed that relaxation may increase performance.
In a study involving 90 beginning university tennis players, Greer and Engs (1986) assigned
players to relaxation, hypnosis, and lecture/control groups. The treatment groups received
relaxation or hypnosis training every other class meeting for a four-week period during the
semester. All groups received the same amount of physical practice time. Treatment and control
groups significantly (p< .05) increased performance on the tennis rally test from pretest to
posttest; therefore, the researchers concluded that relaxation was not any more effective than
traditional lecture and practice.
In a study involving seven sub-elite long distance runners, Caird, McKenzie, and Sleivert
(1999) measured the effects of biofeedback and relaxation training on running economy. After
pretest measures were taken, runners were then told to continue with their normal training
routine for the next six weeks and received progressive muscle relaxation and centering training.
The researchers determined from posttest results that the use of a combined biofeedback and
relaxation program improved running economy (p< .05).
Forty-three males and forty-seven females from Midwestern University participated in a study
that involved indoor rock climbing and relaxation (Fraser et al., 2001). The control group met for
14 class days or 26 hours, and the treatment group met for 15 class days or 28 contact hours and
also went through a series of eight relaxation regimens for a total of 120 minutes. The
performance pretest and posttest were given during the second and eighth week respectively. The
results of the study indicated that there were no significant differences between the treatment and
control groups on the pretest and posttest (p> .05).
The inverted-U hypothesis is often used as an explanation for decrements in performance
resulting from over or under arousal levels. Researchers hypothesized that relaxation techniques
could reduce the state anxiety levels of overly anxious participants and thus improve
performance. The results of studies using relaxation techniques indicate that relaxation does
reduce state anxiety. However, not all studies that indicate a reduction in anxiety indicate an
improvement in performance. This study was undertaken to determine if improvements in
performance would result from the use of relaxation technique sessions.
Volunteers for the study were selected based on their participation in the American Heart
Association’s Hoops for Heart Free Throw Competition at a NCAA Division II university. Each
of the 47 participants signed Consent to Act as Research Subjects form. Eight participants
qualified for the next stage of the study by their scores on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory
(STAI). Participants scoring at least one half a standard deviation above the mean on the STAI
Norms for state anxiety for college students for their gender qualified for the study. One
participant was not reachable, and after seven relaxation techniques sessions, one participant did
not attend the posttest. A total of six participants completed the entire study. Five of the
participants were female and one was male. His scores were reported separately due to different
male and female norms. The six participants ranged in age from 18 to 28 years with a mean age
of 22. All of the participants had at least Jr. High basketball experience.
The first measure taken in the study was the number of free throws made for each participant
during the American Heart Association Hoops for Heart contest (American Heart Association,
retrieved March 11, 2013, from . Ten free throws
were shot from the regulation college free throw line, and the number of free throws made was
The second measure used in the study was the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)
(Spielberger, C. D., Gorsuch, R. L., Lushene, R., Vagg, P. R., & Jacobs, G. A. 1983), which
measured the amount of state and trait anxiety before an activity. This test was used because the
participants in this study were not athletes, and the norms for the STAI are based on the general
college student population. The questionnaire is self-administered and taken either alone or in
groups. The inventory has no time limits and takes about five to ten minutes to complete. The
state and trait anxiety portion of the test each consisted of 20 questions. The test was presented as
the Self-Evaluation Questionnaire to prevent the possibility of biased responses.
Participants served as their own control group for the study. The dependent variables were
measured by the number of free throws made by each participant during the competitions and
administering the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory after each competition.
Two separate Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks t-Tests (Bolding Computer Software, 1992) were used
to find the relationship between the variables and the probability. One Wilcoxon compared the
difference between the state anxiety scores of each participant from pretest to posttest. The other
Wilcoxon compared the difference between the numbers of free throws made from pretest to
posttest. The alpha level was set at .05 for both tests.
Permission to conduct research on human subjects was given by the institution’s Human
Subjects Committee. Pretesting took place during the spring semester at the university physical
education building gymnasium during the Hoops for Heart Free Throw competition. Those who
volunteered filled out Consent to Act as Research Subject’s form. They were then told to
remember to think about how they felt as they were walking up to shoot their first free throw.
They were also reminded to go to the adjacent area to take the STAI after they shot their ten free
throws. The test administrator of the STAI had a four-year degree in psychology which is a
requirement of persons administering this test. The participants were then dismissed.
Seven participants qualified and volunteered to continue with the study. The progressive
muscle relaxation technique sessions began the day after the competition. During the following
three weeks, participants met for a minimum of six times for 15-30 minutes for progressive
muscle relaxation sessions.
Three of the participants met for eight relaxation sessions, two met for nine relaxation sessions,
and one met for six relaxation sessions. The relaxation technique used in this study originated
from Jacobson (1938). For the first session, participants met with the investigator for thirty
minutes and were told that the relaxation technique consisted of tensing and relaxing muscle
groups. During the following sessions, participants met with the investigator fifteen to twenty
minutes in a quiet classroom in the physical education building where they could lay comfortably
on mats. After the first session, participants were told to say the cue word “relax” before starting
the relaxation.
The posttest was administered three weeks later at an intramural free throw contest. The last
relaxation technique session was administered twenty minutes prior to the free throw
competition. After the session, the participants were told that if they felt nervous before shooting
the first free throw to tell themselves to “relax” to trigger the relaxation response. They were also
told to remember how they felt prior to shooting the first free throw. The participants then went
to the gym and participated in the free throw competition.
After shooting the free throws, they again took the STAI and were reminded to answer the
questionnaire according to how they felt walking up to the free throw line to shoot the first free
throw. Only side A (state anxiety) was completed during the posttest because side B measured
trait anxiety (trait is relatively stable over time). After completing the STAI, the participants
were thanked for their participation and told the study was completed.
Congratulations to lance Bryant!!!
2012 Higher Educator of the Year
Raw scores for the male participant (#3) are shown in the table in Table 1. Because the STAI
provides separate norms for men and women, his scores were not factored into the Wilcoxon
For the STAI, the mean pretest score was 52.2, and the posttest score was significantly lower
(p< .05) at 33.3 as shown in Table 2. Also shown in Table 2 are the pretest and posttest mean
scores for free throw performance, ranges, and standard deviations.
Two separate Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks t-Tests were used to compare pretest and posttest State
Anxiety scores and free throws made. The results for the STAI scores and free throws made are
shown in Table 3.
A Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient was calculated to determine if a relationship existed
between the number of relaxation sessions attended and how much state anxiety scores decreased
from pre to posttest. The results indicated that a significant positive relationship existed between
the variables r = .729 (p< .005). Also, another Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient was
calculated to determine if a relationship existed between trait and pretest state anxiety scores.
The results indicated a positive relationship between the variables r = .614 (p> .05). Some of the
participants who had high state anxiety also had high trait anxiety.
There was a significance decrease in state anxiety from pretest to posttest (p< .05). In addition,
the more relaxation sessions the participants completed, the lower their state anxiety (r = .729)
(p< .05), and the participant whose state anxiety was reduced the least, only participated in six
relaxation sessions (r = .729).
Trait anxiety was measured along with state anxiety when the STAI was administered. Four of
the five females scored at least one standard deviation above the mean for trait anxiety. The fifth
female and the only male both scored one standard deviation below the mean for their respected
norms. These findings indicated that some participants who had high state anxiety also had high
trait anxiety (r = .614) (p> .05).
Finally, participants significantly improved their free throw percentage from pretest to posttest
There is a plethora of research in the field of sport psychology regarding relaxation techniques.
Relaxation techniques help reduce anxiety levels prior to competition (Caird, et al., 1999; Fraser,
et al., 2001; Greer & Engs, 1986; Griffiths, et al., 1981; Lanning & Hisanaga, 1983; Ryska,
1998; Ziegler, et al., 1982). The findings of this study are in agreement with previous studies in
that progressive muscle relaxation significantly reduced anxiety levels prior to performance (p<
Supporting the research of Caird, et al., (1999) and Lanning and Hisanaga, (1983),
investigators in this study found that free throw performance significantly increased from pretest
to posttest (p< .05). Oxendine (1979) stated that low levels of arousal were needed to perform
fine motor skill tasks. The low levels of arousal could have contributed to the increase in free
throw performance from pretest to posttest. Participants were highly anxious during the pretest,
which could have resulted in arousal levels above the optimal level. This interpretation provides
support for the inverted-U hypothesis.
Although not a part of the official study, it was reported by one participant who was a member
of the varsity golf team, that after playing poorly the first round of a tournament, the assistant
coach told her to do the relaxation techniques. After listening to the PMR tape provided to her by
the principle investigator, she dropped fifteen strokes in her second round. She then continued to
use the tape for the rest of her season.
Much of the previous literature that focused on an increase in performance through the use of
relaxation did not find significant improvements (Fraser, et al., 2001; Greer & Engs, 1986;
Griffiths, et al., 1981; Ryska, 1998). However, unlike the present study, some of these studies did
not limit their participants to persons exhibiting high state anxiety or activities requiring fine
motor skill. Recommendations
1. Use biometric measures such as heart rate monitors during relaxation sessions and take
blood pressure after sessions to provide both administrators and participants
physiological feedback of anxiety reduction.
2. Utilize a larger sample size to decrease the chance of Type I and Type II errors.
3. Limit the interaction between investigators and the subjects by using tapes of the
relaxation technique and having assistants oversee the sessions thus reducing the chance
of the Hawthorne Effect.
4. Compare groups of highly anxious athletes using relaxation, highly anxious athletes
without relaxation, highly anxious non-athletes with relaxation, and highly anxious non-
athletes without relaxation.
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Table 1
Participant’s Pretest and Posttest Raw Scores
Source 1 2 3** 4 5 6
Pretest Trait 70 39 28 51 51 54
Pretest State 59 49 51 57 46 52
Posttest State 33 35 28 38 41 26
**Male Participant
Table 2
STAI and Performance Descriptive Statistics
Statistics STAI Pretest STAI Posttest Free Throw Free Throw
Pretest Posttest
Mean 52.6 34.6* 2.2 4.4*
Range 46 - 59 26 - 41 0 5 2 - 7
SD 9.65 9.12 2.5 3.8
*p< .05
Table 3
Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks t-Test Results
Source STAI Free Throws Made
Pairs not Equal 5 4
Pairs Equal 0 2
Sum of Positive 15.0 0.0
Sum of Negative 0.0 10.0
Z-Value 2.02 1.83
Probability One-Tailed 0.02* 0.03*
*p< .05
A Peer Reviewed Article
What Makes for Effective Leadership?
Claudia Benavides-Espinoza
An Integrative Model
Effective leadership has been found to drive to greater performance and commitment towards
work teams or organizations (Judge & Piccolo, 2004). Given the advantages such effective
leadership offers to organizations of all types, much attention has been devoted to leadership in
the academic literature (Judge & Piccolo, 2004; Kaiser, Hogan, & Craig, 2008; Northouse,
2012). For instance, leadership’s positive effects on individual employee’s satisfaction and
motivation have been identified (Kaiser et al. 2008). Furthermore, different types of leaders
have been recognized, including transactional and transformational. Transactional leaders use
rewards to motivate employees. Whereas transformational leaders inspire followers persuading
them to work towards a collective purpose. Within this differentiation among leaders,
characteristics of diverse types of leaders have been identified. Judge and Piccolo (2004) and
others, for example, identify charisma as an important component of transformational leadership
(see also Conger & Kanungo, 1987).
Academicians recognize the interaction of leadership behavior with other factors (Marion &
Uhl-Bien, 2001). Some research addresses elements affecting leadership effectiveness which are
outside the leaders control, such as followers’ behavior. Specifically, Avolio (2007) states that by
considering elements such as the leader, the follower, and the context, in an integrative theory of
leadership we can further develop our knowledge about this phenomenon.
In line with the recognition that more comprehensive theories contribute better to the
advancement of the field than more simplistic ones (Cunningham, 2002; Steel & Konig, 2006;
Van de Ven & Poole, 1995; Yammarino, Dionne, Chun, & Dansereau, 2005), this paper
theorizes an integrated model of effective leadership. In the proposed model internal leader
characteristics, such as traits and personality, as well as external characteristics, such as
followers and the environment will be considered.
Integrated Model of Effective Leadership
This section outlines the model elements in detail. First, a definition of effective leadership is
provided. Then, characteristics internal to the person leading the team or group are considered,
such as individual traits and personality. Finally, characteristics outside the leader’s control that
may possibly affect the effectiveness of leadership will be contemplated, namely followers and
the environment. The model is depicted in figure one.
Effective leadership
Leadership is the process of influencing others to work towards the attainment of a common
goal (Greenberg, 2005). However, goal attainment alone does not reflect the full purpose of
leadership, and thus it does not permit the evaluation of its effectiveness. As stated in the
literature, effective leadership is reflected in processes as well as in outcomes. Processes
examples include the way a team functions while working together towards goal attainment, and
outcomes may include the results obtained based on the performance of the team (Kaiser et al.
2008). Thus, when evaluating effectiveness, consider a leaders influence on individuals,
organizational subunits, and the whole organization (Kaiser et al. 2008; Yammarino, et
al., 2005); as well as productivity, and financial performance among other outcomes (Kaiser et
al. 2008).
It seems that organizational success is determined in a convoluted way, with many factors
needing to be accounted for. As a result, it is difficult to imagine how many outcome variables
will be the product of a leader’s actions. In other words, leaders do not achieve such results on
their own, “[leaders] are one element of an interactive network that is far bigger than they”
(Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001, p. 414). In an attempt to paint a more complete picture of such
network, internal factors (the leader) and external factors (the network) should be included in the
Internal factors
Two aspects originated within the person leading the team or group are considered: Individual
traits and personality. Traits refer to inherited personal characteristics which will make it easy to
identify a person as leader-like (Greenberg, 2005; Slack & Parent, 2006; Kaiser et al. 2008).
These, although much out of the individual’s control, originate within the person. Personality
refers to behavior, emotions, and thoughts that make an individual unique.
Traits. As some of the early leadership literature indicates, most effective leaders have similar
personal characteristics. For example, they are driven, self-confident, creative, flexible, and have
complex cognitive ability among other things (Greenberg, 2005; Slack & Parent, 2006;
Yammarino, et al., 2005). Such traits allow leaders to stand out from the crowd (Kaiser et al.
Personality. Ones personality is the unique stable behavior, emotions, and thoughts which
differentiate him/her from everybody else. As with traits, research on leadership also points out
the similarities across the behavior, emotions, and thoughts of leaders (Greenberg, 2005). Fry
and Slocum (2008) stress the need for ethical leaders with a strong moral character. Such moral
character will emerge from within the individual influencing her/his emotions, thoughts, and
ultimately actions.
External factors
Aside from traits and personality, two factors from the leader’s network need to be considered:
followers and the environment. These two elements are outside the leader’s control and may
possibly truncate/enhance the effectiveness of leadership.
Followers. One of the leadership effectiveness assessments is organizational processes (Kaiser
et al. 2008; Yammarino, et al., 2005), during which leaders influence subordinates’ actions
(Ellemers, De Gilder, & Haslam, 2004). The literature indicates peers may influence others’
behaviors and actions (Hollander, 1980; Laursen, 1996). Thus, organizational outcomes do not
depend solely on a leader’s influence on subordinates.
Environment. Another external factor that could possible affect results attributed to leadership
is the environment. Environment is as defined anything that goes on around a leader attempting
to guide subordinates either within the organization or in a broader context. Research suggests
tasks and organizational context may counteract leadership efforts (Yammarino, et al., 2005). As
such, a leader’s efforts to achieve teamwork may find this difficult to achieve in an organization
where a culture of individualism prevails (Ellemers et al. 2004). Moreover, events in the external
environment, such as legislative changes, may also influence the future of the organization
(Slack & Parent, 2006), whether the leaders within the organization are effective or not.
Leadership in sports
This model for leadership in a general context can easily be applied in sport organizations.
Sport managers can use the insights brought about by this model to more effectively motivate the
people in their organization, whether it be their subordinates or their peers. Specifically they can
use the aforementioned traits to their advantage when in a leadership position (Greenberg, 2005;
Kaiser et al., 2008; Slack & Parent, 2006; Yammarino, et al., 2005). Furthermore they can use
their personality in influencing others to work towards a common goal. However, sport managers
in leadership positions are not the only ones capable of influencing the organization’s members.
As stated earlier, peers have influence over each other, and everyone within the organization can
contribute to the organizational environment, so sport professionals in any level position can use
their leadership knowledge to influence the behavior of their coworkers.
In summary, the purpose of the current paper was to construct a theoretical integrated model of
effective leadership. The model suggests multivariable assessment of a leader’s effectiveness, as
well as the inclusion of internal and external factors that may affect such effectiveness
evaluation. Internal factors include personal traits and personality; whereas external factors
comprise followers and the environment surrounding leaderships’ effort. Empirical test of the
model is warranted.
Avolio, B. J. (2007). Promoting more integrative strategies for leadership theory
building. American Psychologist, 62 (1), 2533.
Conger, J. A., & Kanungo, R. N. (1987). Toward a behavioral theory of charismatic leadership in
organizational settings. Academy of Management Review, 12, 637-647.
Cunningham, G. B. (2002). Removing the blinders: Toward an integrative model
of organizational change in sport and physical activity. Quest, 54, 276291.
Ellemers, N., De Gilder, D., & Haslam, S. A. (2004). Motivating individuals and groups at
work: A social identity perspective on leadership and group performance. Academy of
Management Review, 29, 459-478.
Fry, L. W., & Slocum, J. W., Jr. (2008). Maximizing the triple bottom line through spiritual
leadership. Organizational Dynamics, 37 (1), 8696.
Greenberg, J. (2005). Managing Behavior in Organizations (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Pearson. Prentice Hall.
Hollander, E. P. (1980). Exchange theory in specialized settings. In K. J. Gergen, M. S.
Greenberg, & R. H. Willis (Eds.), Social Exchange. New York: Plenum Press.
Judge, T. A., & Piccolo, R. F. (2004). Transformational and transactional leadership: A meta
analytic test of their relative validity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 755768.
Kaiser, R. B., Hogan, R., & Craig, S. B. (2008). Leadership and the fate of organizations.
American Psychologist, 63 (2), 96110.
Laursen, B. (1996). Closeness and conflict in adolescent peer relationships: Interdependence
with friends and romantic partners. In W. M. Bukowski, A. F. Newcomb, & W. W. Hartup
(Eds.), The company they keep: friendship in childhood and adolescence. NewYork:
Cambridge University Press.
Marion, R., & Uhl-Bien, M. (2001). Leadership in complex organizations. Leadership Quarterly,
12, 389-418.
Northouse, P. G. (2012). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Publications Inc. .
Slack, T., & Parent, M. M. (2006). Understanding Sport Organizations: The Application of
Organization Theory (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Steel, P., & Konig, C. J. (2006). Integrating theories of motivation. Academy of Management
Review, 31, 889913.
Van de Ven, A. H., & Poole, M. S. (1995). Explaining development and change in organizations.
Academy of Management Review, 20, 510-540.
Yammarino, F. J., Dionne, S. D., Chun, J. U., & Dansereau, F. (2005). Leadership
and levels of analysis: A stateofthescience review. The Leadership Quarterly, 16, 879919.
Figure 1. Integrated Model of Effective Leadership
Congratulations to our 2012 Jump Rope Coordinator of the Year
Natalie McNeely!!!
Congratulations to our 2012 Hoops Coordinator of the Year
Vicki Warren!!!
Internal factors
External factors
Internal factors
External factors
A Peer Reviewed Article
Teamwork Training Builds Collaboration and Cohesiveness
within a Professional Family
Deb Walter
Imagine a new school year beginning by being suspended from a harness 30-feet in the air with
colleagues yelling “you can do this” in the back ground. Or the sensation of crawling,
blindfolded, through a maze of gym mats, trusting another team member for directions. On
August 8th, 2011, these teambuilding activities awaited Kirksey Middle School’s (KMS) entire
staff. Melvona Cordell-Ahart, KMS new administrator, elected to welcome her new staff with a
fresh approach to camaraderie and collaboration. Cordell-Ahart started off by soliciting the
professional coordination efforts of Deb Walter, an adventure physical education specialist.
Together, they planned an all-day, team building in-service. Themed t-shirts were designed
featuring a compass and the words character, communication, collaboration, courage,
compassion, creativity, and conviction. Cordell-Ahart invited the entire KMS workforce;
including teachers, support staff, para-professionals, counselors, administrators, and PTO
members. She strongly believed if true collaboration were to occur, the entire team needed to
participate in this event.
On the first day, staff members arrived to find a breakfast bar overflowing with bagels, fruit,
yogurt, and coffee. Following a healthy breakfast, Cordell-Ahart, bright-eyed and energetic,
humbly offered the staff a warm welcome to the first day of school:
“We have an amazing professional development day planned for you. Today is all about
building friendships, breaking down communication barriers, showing collaborative
support for your colleagues, and bonding as a staff. This year, we have 15 new staff
members and me, the new principal. Today is all about you. To be the very best for our
students, we have to be the very best for ourselves, and today is the first step in that new
journey. My goal is for our school to be a place where we depend on each other for
support and encouragement; therefore we will spend today getting to know each other’s
strengths and weakness in a slightly different perspective than your usual first day back
from summer break. We are going to laugh, have fun, stress out, and step out of our
comfort zones today. The busses are parked out in front of the school, so please load onto
the busses according to your team name tags and let’s get this adventure started.”
Ahart and Walter spent the summer planning this amazing event. August Arkansas temperatures
were stagnating in the triple digits, leading to an additional level of preparation and safety for an
all-day outdoor event. Misting, shade tents, water, and Gatorade were arranged for the day’s
events at the Jones Center for Families challenge course in Springdale, Arkansas. Walter worked
closely with the challenge course manager, Jeff Ohmstead, to carefully coordinate
communication, collaboration, problem solving, and team support.
The KMS team participated in five specially-designed events on the challenge course. The events
consisted of several stretching games and ice-breaker activities. All morning activities were
prefaced with a “challenge by choice” option for teachers who did not feel comfortable with
participation. Teachers could choose their level of participation; examples of participation were
climbers, relay team members, spotters, reflection note team members, photographers, and
cheerleaders. Teachers were intentionally divided into five teams, colored with a name tags
previously handed out during breakfast. They were placed in groups of people who they did not
know or with whom they had a past collaborative history. The reason for separating the teachers
was to provide the opportunity for them to meet new people, while appreciating others’ strengths
in a unique setting. Five groups of teachers, with approximately15 per group, rotated through
four different challenge course stations during the morning. The stations consisted of the zip line,
where teachers climbed a 30-foot pole and slid down a 150-foot cable at 30 mph, while dropping
an item below to a team of teachers holding a small parachute. The purpose for the zip line event
was to represent Kirksey, how fast the school year passes, and representative of each teacher’s
contributing role in the success of all students.
The teachers who bravely slid down the zip line had to carefully drop items to the team below.
One of the items, raw eggs - representing each student’s need for careful handling and sensivity
consideration - had to be retrieved by the parachute team. Further, this symbolized the need for
teams and grades to work together with regards to students’ needs. During this event, teachers
recognized that some items were easy to catch, while some items arrived awkwardly,
necessitating quick judgment and adjustment. This was a meaningful metaphor for middle
schoolers - some students progress steadily while others encounter bumps and potholes along the
way. The transition requires effective communication amongst the KMS team and many
adjustments must be made to prevent a student from falling “into the cracks.”
Teachers were provided a reflection paper at the end of each challenge station. Teams of
teachers would sit in the shaded, mist tent and dialogue about the experience and how it related
to their personal students, their school, and the support needed for this entire process to be
successful. Additionally, teachers were provided an experiential task to complete that provided a
reflective session to think out-of-the-box about their role in the school and the collaborative
practices which would be evident in a highly effective middle school.
Another event designed for teachers was called “Islands”. Teachers had to work in six- person
teams to successfully cross a span of about 5 feet to a set of small boxes. The teachers only had
two boards of different lengths that would not reach independently to the other side of the boxes.
They were required to use their creativity and problem-solving skills for this real life initiative.
During the Islands initiative, teachers were not allowed to touch the ground, nor allow the boards
to touch the ground. A “ground touch” required them to return to the beginning and restart. The
Islands event proved to be quite difficult for many groups, as communication breakdowns
occurred. Teachers exhibited their resilience while collaborating to successfully complete the
challenge. This initiative represented the bridges teachers must create for children to be
successful in a middle school setting. If the established bridges are weak or have gaps, students
can face difficulty transitioning to the high school level. It takes a determined, collaborative
effort of all to maintain the strong lines of communication necessary for each middle school
student to make it to the next bridge in life.
Teachers were bussed back to the KMS campus, where Cordell-Ahart arranged a healthy lunch
and reflection time after the morning events. Lunch conversations were highly insightful - lots of
“high fives” and a measurable increase in team spirit. The staff looked as if they had just
returned from a cardio workout at the gym, yet everyone was a great sport despite the triple digit
temperatures. Afternoon team building sessions began in an air-conditioned gymnasium with
four stations awaiting the teachers. Jim Yurwitz and Marcus Alexander, KMS physical education
instructors, were accompanied by Ohmstead and Walter in an effort to coordinate the afternoon
sessions, which included (a) blind maze team trust walk, (b) a timed problem solving game -
Keypunch, (c) a collaborative and challenging game - Pipeline, and (d) a collection of Brain
Games. After each activity, a reflection/debriefing portion allowed teachers to respond to a
central question posted on the gym wall about experience and how it related to their students,
job, colleagues, or self.
At day’s end, all of the reflection posters were compiled for a reflection of the day compilation
report. Comments were shared with Cordell-Ahart and the other KMS administrators in an effort
to provide a snap shot of the day and the growth areas for the KMS team. These reflection tools
continue to be used present day. KMS personnel continue to establish and refine goals for
personal growth as a staff member, team member, and a member of a learning family.
Throughout the day, several volunteers from Kirksey’s PTO were asked to photograph the events
to document this amazing day. A slideshow was composed and the KMS teachers had the
opportunity to view it during the following day’s in-service breakfast. The final reflection task
for KMS teachers came at the end of the day. All teachers were handed a small cardboard puzzle
piece shaped like a person with outstretched arms. They were asked to take home the puzzle
piece and reflect upon their personal experience during the teambuilding back-to-school activity.
Teachers were asked to decorate their puzzle piece with their vision of what they bring to the
KMS table, and individual growth or a “golden nugget” they took away from the day’s activities.
On the second day of school, Cordell-Ahart asked each teacher to stand and share their reflective
puzzle piece with colleagues. There were many “aha” moments and a few tears shed during this
hour, as many of the teachers stood and applauded each colleague as they read their puzzle
pieces aloud.
This was a pivotal moment for the staff, as the walls of candid communication were suddenly
opening up. KMS teachers had the opportunity to express personal value with each other and
open their hearts to a new vision of collaborative respect within the KMS family.
KMS continues to add to its team building activities throughout the year. The impact of the
original training continues to unfold within classrooms throughout the school. Many of the
teachers have scheduled time to bring their homeroom students to gym and play the games they
learned. The bonding between teachers and students has only grown stronger as the spirit of play,
laughter, and collaboration spreads beyond the walls of individual classrooms. Actual practices
of teachers and colleagues sharing with each other or students are everyday events at KMS.
The overall goal established during the planning stages for the team building session greatly
exceeded our original expectations. The team building training was a catalyst for increased staff
morale, re-kindled friendships, and new cross curricular collaboration. In conclusion, I attribute
all of these successes to the dedicated quality time spent with colleagues before the beginning of
the school year. The KMS staff and administration built a strong foundation of trust and
cohesiveness within the KMS professional family. The relationships established have
subsequently impacted and increased overall student learning for all children who enter the doors
at Kirksey Middle School.
Thank you to our 2012 Platinum Sponsors
A Peer Reviewed Article
Improving Fruit and Vegetable Intake
Using the Health Belief Model and Transtheoretical Model
Sarah Rush, Lori Turner and Sharon Hunt
Health behavior theory has been useful in implementing and assessing behavior change,
including increased fruit and vegetable intake (FVI). The purpose of this study was to apply the
Health Belief Model (HBM) and Transtheoretical Model (TTM) to increased FVI to understand
adapting versus non-compliance in implementing behavior change. Ten research articles in peer-
reviewed journals were reviewed and the information was summarized to determine the use of
theory in this behavior implementation. The TTM is more commonly applied to dietary change
than is the HBM, but the HBM provides a framework for examining psychosocial factors
associated with dietary interventions that may be useful in overcoming barriers to behavioral
change and ultimately decrease risks of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Research shows that one third of over 500,000 annual deaths from cancer in the United States
are directly correlated with diet, while increased FVI (fruit and vegetable intake) has been linked
to a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer (Byers et al, 2002). The
American Cancer Society’s Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention
recommends limiting red meats and eating healthy foods, focusing on plant-based products
(Byers et al., 2002). If the effects of increased FVI on cancer and other chronic disease
prevention and treatment continue to be researched, the results could solidify the positive impact
of this diet. Many premature and / or unnecessary deaths could possibly be prevented through
the process of understanding human behavior in relation to diet and nutrition.
Glanz, Rimer, and Viswanath (2008) explained theory as “a set of interrelated concepts,
definitions, and propositions that present a systematic view of events by specifying relations
among variables in order to explain or predict the events or situations.” Because one of the goals
of a theory is to explain behavior, it is imperative to research the theories used to conduct a study
for discrepancies caused by human behavior. Theory is extremely important because it shapes
the pursuit of answers, leading to more effective implementation of behavioral change (Glanz et
al., 2008).
The HBM and TTM are appropriate theories used in researching the benefits of increased FVI
because they attempt to explain reasons for behavior change and the processes of change (Glanz
et al., 2008). HBM is used to understand health behaviors, behavior change, and possible
explanations for non-compliance with specific health behavior change (Glanz et. al, 2008). It
examines reasons for adapting or rejecting a behavioral change by evaluating the following
constructs: perceived benefits, perceived barriers, perceived susceptibility, and perceived
severity, as well as factors that influence the decision to adapt or not adapt a specific behavioral
change (Glanz et al., 2008). Also included in the HBM are the constructs cues to action and
self-efficacy (Glanz et al., 2008) which are highly correlated with dietary changes. HBM is
useful in studying the effects of increased FVI on cancer prevention and maintenance, because it
provides a framework for determining the reasons for non-compliance and also addresses
influences that lead to successful implementation of increased FVI (Lea & Worsley, 2003). Lea
and Worsley (2003) discovered that the main perceived barrier to increasing FVI was the lack of
knowledge and convenience. Knowing this information can enable researchers to develop more
effective methods of implementation of increased FVI.
The TTM attempts to describe the dynamics of deliberate behavioral change and separates
behavior into five stages of change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation or decision,
action, and maintenance. The stages in TTM are seen as a cycle, which one can relapse and re-
enter at any time in the process of behavior change (Glanz et al., 2008). TTM includes the
following main constructs: stages of change, processes of change, decisional balance, and self-
efficacy, although not all of these constructs are incorporated into the literature reviewed. The
application of TTM is useful when evaluating stages of adapting a diet with increased FVI
because staging individuals at different points of readiness to make a dietary change has proven
effective in improving dietary behavior (Henry et. al, 2006). Studies show that the stages of
change have even predicted dietary outcomes and readiness to increase FVI more accurately than
demographics and other factors (Van Duyn et. al, 1998).
In summary, research shows that there are clear benefits to increased FVI, specifically the
decreased risk of cancer. The purpose of this study is to describe how the HBM and TTM have
been applied to explain the effects of increased FVI on cancer prevention and maintenance.
Search Strategy
The following databases were surveyed to retrieve appropriate sources for the review: PubMed,
PsycINFO, Medline, Eric, and Google Scholar. Articles were discovered using a combination of
the following key words: fruit and vegetable intake, cancer prevention, decisional balance, self-
efficacy, and theories using keywords such as transtheoretical model, stages of change, and
health belief model.
Inclusion Criteria
The search criteria were limited to research specifically published in English publication
between 1994 and 2009, and based on the HBM or TTM that focused on interventions for
increasing FVI. Articles that did not include FVI and did not apply HBM or TTM or constructs
of these models were excluded. Several chosen studies applied constructs of self-efficacy,
perceived benefits, and perceived barriers to increased FVI, but did not specifically state their
application of HBM. One prospective study was excluded because the intervention proved
ineffective on implementation of increased FVI. Study participants were adults (older than
sixteen years of age), and eleven relevant articles were identified as appropriate for review based
on these criteria. One of the selected articles was retrieved and included that did not incorporate
theory into an intervention, but rather provided guidelines on nutrition in relation to cancer
prevention. A textbook was used to incorporate theory constructs and definitions. These eleven
peer-reviewed journal articles identified were from journals in the fields of psychology, health
behavior, health promotion, and public health.
Review Criteria
Studies chosen for review were organized and presented according to theory or theories applied
as well as the constructs of those theories; the TTM was applied to seven articles, the HBM was
applied to two articles, and both the HBM and TTM were applied to one article.
Health Belief Model
HBM was developed to explain people’s willingness or non-compliance in adapting a
behavioral change (Glanz et al., 2008). The constructs of HBM are: perceived susceptibility,
perceived severity, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, cues to action, and self-efficacy.
Research shows that in order for behavior change to be effective, people must become aware of
their susceptibility to the severity of disease and specific conditions and acknowledge that
change will eventually produce benefits. They must also believe they have the ability within
themselves to overcome any barriers related to changing their behavior (Glanz et al., 2008). One
of the main constructs focused on by the HBM studies was self-efficacy, which is one’s
confidence in his or her ability to take action, even in difficult situations.
Study of Lea and Worsley
This randomized survey study assessed the factors associated with the belief that vegetarian
diets, specifically increased FVI and decreased red meat intake, provide health benefits. One
thousand Australian adult participants were mailed a twelve-page questionnaire entitled Food
Choice, Information, and Your Attitudes and 603 of those responded and answered questions on
their perceived benefits of vegetarian diets, perceived barriers to vegetarian diets, beliefs about
meat, personal values, and demographic variables. Three constructs of the HBM were applied to
this study, although the study did not specifically mention application of this theory. The
constructs measured are perceived benefits, perceived barriers, and self-efficacy. Many
respondents associated health benefits with increasing FVI and decreasing saturated fat in
regards to cancer and heart disease prevention. The strongest predictor of implementing
increased FVI was the perceived benefits. Prevention of disease in general, decreased saturated
fat intake, and weight control were the three positive predictors and perceived benefits of
adapting this change. The greatest factor preventing increased FVI was the perceived barriers of
inconvenience and participants self-efficacy, acknowledging their willpower as an obstacle in
adapting this behavior change. Cronbach alpha coefficient was used to confirm reliability, but
validity was not examined. Limitations associated with this questionnaire were the lack of
intervention or instruction for behavior change as well as the failure to use all constructs
associated with the HBM, which could have provided more accurate results. This study showed
the need for interventions based upon providing information for preparation of fruits and
vegetables (FV), which could increase adaption of FVI.
Study of Chung and Hoerr
This study was conducted to examine predictors of FVI in young adults based on gender and to
gain insight for planning effective interventions in the future. Subjects (N=294) completed a
survey in an introductory nutrition class at a large, north central university. The survey recorded
self-efficacy in one’s ability to eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as
gender, place of residence, race, and employment. These subjects were asked to keep track of all
food and beverages eaten during a three-day period. Incentives of extra credit and coupons to
the campus snack shop were offered to participants. Although no theory was explicitly applied,
perceived barriers and self-efficacy were the constructs measured in this study, relating this study
to HBM. Validity and reliability were confirmed using the 5-point Likert scale and Cronbach
alpha coefficients.
The results showed that women were more likely to meet minimum requirements of fruit per
day, and women also had more successful attempts in the past at increasing FVI. Self-efficacy
was mildly associated with increased FVI, supporting the idea that increasing self-efficacy can
be an important approach for successful behavior change implementation, specifically among
college students. The main limitation of this study was the lack of constructs applied. More
constructs could potentially provide further insight into future intervention strategies. Other
limitations were the fact that the participants were selected from a nutrition class with mostly
white females as well as the likelihood that not everyone was honest or accurate in recording
their food and beverage consumption. The results of this study affirm the need for interventions
that increase self-efficacy among college students, since older adults seem to show higher self-
efficacy for FVI than young adults.
Health Belief Model and Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change)
Study of Campbell et al.
This randomized trial applied theory to develop tailored messages for increasing FVI among
adults. Adult patients (N=558), ages 18 and older, were recruited from family practices in
central North Carolina. Office staff recruited participants as they checked in for a medical
appointment; patients who were too ill or mentally incapable of participating in the survey were
excluded. A food frequency instrument of 28 items was used initially to collect baseline data,
tailored interventions were developed based on each individual participant’s results, and a
follow-up survey was conducted four months after the intervention occurred to examine
behavioral implementation. Not enough information was assessed through this brief instrument
regarding caloric intake taken in as fat, leading to mildly reliable and valid outcomes. Several
constructs of both the HBM and TTM were applied to this intervention. The HBM and TTM
were applied to construct tailored messages for each packet mailed to the individual participants.
Messages were based on each individual’s beliefs regarding perceived benefits to adapting
behavior change and perceived susceptibility to disease. The stage of change of the participant
was taken into account when developing the message as well. Subjects in the contemplation
stage received a packet with information targeted to increase self-efficacy and reduce perceived
barriers. Subjects in the maintenance stage received recipes tailored to increased FVI and
healthy eating as well as diet tips that served as cues to action, a process of change in the TTM.
Results showed that participants in the precontemplation stage had higher fat intake levels and
lower FVI levels compared to participants in the maintenance stage. The tailored group
decreased total fat intake by 23% compared to the non-tailored intervention group which saw a
9% decrease. This study was limited since 75.3% of respondents were females and the food
frequency questionnaire was not extensive. Applying more constructs from the HBM and TTM
to future intervention plans could be beneficial for more specifically tailored interventions and
lead to a greater increase in FVI and a decrease in cancer risks.
Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change)
The TTM concentrates on behavior change as a process and includes the constructs of stages of
change, processes of change, decisional balance, and self-efficacy. There are five stages of
change associated with TTM that can be exited and re-entered at any point: precontemplation,
contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. The processes of change provide an
important framework for moving through the stages and are seen as the activities people use to
move from stage to stage (Glanz et al., 2008). The processes of change are as follows:
consciousness raising, dramatic relief, self-reevaluation, environmental reevaluation, self-
liberation, helping relationships, counter-conditioning, reinforcement management, stimulus
control, and social liberation. Decisional balance is measured by weighing the pros and cons,
also known as the benefits of change and the costs of change (Glanz et al, 2008). Self-efficacy is
the confidence of an individual to participate in the challenge of a healthy behavioral change and
to deal with the temptations of reverting back to unhealthy behaviors in challenging
circumstances (Greene et al., 2004).
Study of Steptoe et al.
This longitudinal, randomized trial study of 271 patients, 18-70 years of age, records the
secondary analyses of psychological and social predictors of changes in FVI. Participants were
recruited from a primary health care center located in an underprivileged inner-city area of South
London and were excluded based on criteria of having serious illnesses, having high incomes, or
women who were pregnant or planned on becoming pregnant within the current year.
Assessments were conducted at baseline, eight weeks, and twelve weeks and results were
compared to determine effects of behavioral dietary counseling utilizing TTM to nutrition
education counseling, which did not implement the theory. Research nurses conducted
recruitment, assessments, and interventions for both in a primary care setting.
The TTM was applied to the behavioral counseling and tailored interventions. Encouragement
for behavior change was based on each individual’s readiness to change. The nutrition
counseling focused on the importance of increasing FVI and emphasized the nutritional benefits,
advocating the “Five-a-Day” message. A two-item frequency questionnaire was used to measure
FVI, which was validated by simultaneously measuring FVI, plasma ascorbic acid (vitamin C),
plasma alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), plasma beta-carotene, and 24-hour urinary potassium
excretion. Reliability of this study was confirmed using Cronbach alpha coefficients. Five-point
Likert scales were used to assess psychological and social measures, such as encouragement of
change and anticipated regret (a construct incorporated from the regret theory). The constructs
used in this intervention were stages of change, processes of change, decisional balance (pros
and cons of FVI) noted as perceived benefits and perceived barriers, and self-efficacy with
regards to FVI even in challenging situations. Several concepts from the processes of change
construct were used: consciousness raising by providing informative meetings regarding FVI and
helping relationships and their benefits were assessed by measuring social support.
Results showed significant increases of FVI in both groups after intervention, with the greatest
increase in the behavioral counseling group, which utilized the TTM. After eight weeks, there
was a large increase in self-efficacy and a decrease in perceived barriers which resulted in an
increased FVI in the behavioral counseling group compared to baseline results. Results after
twelve months showed that the behavioral program proved to be more effective in creating
positive attitude changes that led to long-term observance of behavioral dietary change. A
limitation of this study was the lack of integration of other concepts of the processes of change
construct. This type of intervention could have significant effects in increasing FVI among low-
income groups of people.
Study of Hildebrand and Betts
This cross-sectional study applied the constructs of the TTM to low-income parents (N=238) of
pre-school children who were attempting to increase FVI for their children. These parents were
enrolled in federal nutrition programs in rural and urban communities in a southwestern state in
the United States. The subjects surveyed were recruited from nutrition education sessions
offered through these programs. The participants filled out a survey consisting of a FV
frequency questionnaire, construct scales, as well as a stage of change algorithm. The Cronbach
alpha coefficient was used to confirm reliability for the construct scales. The FV frequency
questionnaire had been validated previously. The stages of change were based on the number of
servings the participant served to their child every day. Decisional balance measured pros and
cons with a 5-point Likert scale; pros were considered protecting child from chronic disease,
maintaining healthy weight, and minimizing colds and infections. Cons were considered
expense of buying FV, time to shop, and time needed to prepare FV. Self-efficacy measured
confidence by assessing results associated with preparing and buying FV. The following
processes of change were measured: social liberation, consciousness raising, self-reevaluation,
emotional arousal, commitment, stimulus control, helping relations, and rewards.
Results showed the largest percentage (43%) of participants were in the precontemplation /
contemplation stage. Participants in both the preparation as well as the action / maintenance
stages provided increased levels of FV to their children, as opposed to those in precontemplation
/ contemplation stages. Also, participants in the precontemplation / contemplation stage focused
more on the difficult parts of implementing the change, had lower self-efficacy for adapting the
change into their lifestyle, and used fewer concepts associated with processes of change in
deciding to provide FV to their children. Due to the findings in this study, new interventions can
be implemented to move parents from precontemplation / contemplation stages into action /
maintenance stages of increasing FVI among their children. The implementation of dietary
behavior changes in preschool children could have tremendous effects on their future as well as
the future of healthcare.
Study of Henry et al.
In a study of processes of change, self-efficacy, and stages of change for increased FVI among
low-income African American mothers, women were classified by stage of change in this cross-
sectional questionnaire. Women were between the ages of 18 and 45 years and lived in St Paul/
Minneapolis, MN. The participants were recruited from metropolitan community businesses and
government programs that catered to low-income African American women. The prerequisites
for participation were to be a mother of a child younger than 12 years of age, eligible for public
assistance, and a U.S. resident for at least 15 years. The TTM and its constructs were used to
determine the effectiveness of the study to be used for future intervention. Based on think-aloud
data, a scaled questionnaire was used to measure self-efficacy, processes of change, and pros and
cons of FVI. A gift certificate was used as an incentive for participation. African American
women were screened by stage of change before entry. The think-aloud method was used to
recognize the purchasing and preparation issues of FVI in low-income, African American
women using the TTM.
Pros and cons were weighed in the decision to increase FVI. The pros were the perceived
benefits associated with health and nutrition, positive ideas for meals, and the convenience
factors. The cons were barriers including taste, cost, preparation time, and spoilage. The
processes of change involved developing awareness, the avoiding of health problems due to
increased FVI, feeling better, and the excitement gained from family members, professionals,
and/or media. Behavior processes were used in determining the practice of purchasing,
preparing, planning, and FVI during a number of different eating occasions. Self-efficacy
measured the ability of the participants to increase FVI in difficult circumstances. A
questionnaire was utilized to identify whether consumption had occurred during the four weeks
prior to questioning. Cronbach alpha coefficients confirmed the reliability of the scales used in
compiling and evaluating the data.
The outcome for decisional balance was the pros of two different stages -affirmative awareness
of the health advantages, which encouraged preparation in women further along in the stages of
their dietary changes, while the opposite applied to women in earlier stages. Women further
along in the process of FVI accounted for an increased awareness of the health benefits (process
of change) as opposed to women in earlier stages of change. For women having five or more
servings of FV a day in the higher stages of change, self-efficacy was greater than for those in
lower stages with less intake. The limitation of this study was that the process of enrollment was
affected by the convenience of the study, so findings were only generalizable to the broad
population of low-income, African American women.
Study of Greene et al.
The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to apply TTM to examine differences in
psychosocial variables by stage of change for FVI in older adults. This study was conducted
among 1,253 individuals ages 60 or older who lived in East Providence, Rhode Island. The
survey was conducted by the interviewer in the participant’s home or in the project’s main office.
TTM was applied to this intervention in an attempt to change FVI specifically among older
adults and to describe the adaptation of increased FVI of older adults in the various stages.
Constructs of TTM applied to this intervention were stages of change, decisional balance,
processes of change, and self-efficacy. Validity and excellent internal consistency of this study
were confirmed by prior psychometric measurement studies with elderly adults using a 5-point
Likert scale. Reliability was confirmed using Cronbach alpha coefficients. Stages of change
measured the participant’s readiness to eat five servings of FV every day. The participants were
classified in one of the stages based on their responses. Decisional balance measured the pros
and cons that these participants assigned to FVI by using a 5-point scale. Processes of change
measured the activities involved with increasing FVI by using a 36-item instrument consisting of
three items per process of change. This construct included the concepts of consciousness raising,
dramatic relief, self-reevaluation, self-liberation, environmental reevaluation, social liberation,
helping relationships, reinforcement management, interpersonal systems control, counter
conditioning, stimulus control, and planning ahead.
Situational self-efficacy measured older adults confidence in their ability to increase FVI in
difficult situations and was measured using six items in the survey. Results showed lower scores
in pros, all twelve processes of change, and self-efficacy in the precontemplation stage. Four
processes of change as well as self-efficacy increased between the contemplation / preparation
and action / maintenance stages. One major limitation for this study was that the procedures
used to enroll participants most likely attracted subjects who perceived themselves as healthy at
baseline. Another limitation was the underrepresentation of African Americans, since the
majority of participants were Caucasian females. This study indicated that TTM is successful
when designing intervention based on increasing FVI among older adults; self-efficacy and
processes of change are important in achieving maintenance. Future interventions for older
adults should focus on improving perceived benefits in the precontemplation stage.
Study of Povey et al.
This convenience sample study examined the application of TTM to dietary behavior change,
proposing that TTM may, in fact, be difficult to apply because it was initially developed based
on addictive behaviors in comparison to dietary behaviors. The 541 volunteers, ages 13-90, were
recruited using advertisements in newspapers on two different occasions. The following two
questionnaires were filled out by each participant: a healthy eating questionnaire and a low-fat
intake / five portions of fruit and vegetables questionnaire. An incentive check was presented to
each participant. Participants were categorized based on their stage of change after answering
questions regarding their dietary pattern and the length of time they had engaged in their
individual dietary pattern. Stages of change was the only construct of TTM included in this
Results showed that 13.9% of the subjects were in one of the following motivational stages:
precontemplation, contemplation, or preparation. In addition, 85.5% were in either the action or
the maintenance stage. However, the highest scores appeared in the category claiming to
participate in “healthy eating”, and lower scores were recorded in the more specific category of
“eating five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. The number of people exhibiting the more
healthy diet decreased when definitive terms were used to describe the number of portions of
fruits and vegetables. Validity and reliability of this study were not examined. Limitations of
this study were that the majority of respondents were female, and the subjects who participated
in this survey may have already been highly motivated to implement behavior change. The
researchers suggested a greater review of an in-depth application of the TTM to dietary
behavioral change to determine if it is an effective tool for future interventions.
Study of Van Duyn et al.
This cross-sectional study applied the TTM to predict FVI among 2,811 Caucasian, African-
American, and Hispanic U.S. adults to a random digit dial telephone survey examining FVI. A
short series of food frequency questions were assessed as well as a more extensive 33-item food
frequency questionnaire. The results of these surveys were used to assess each participant’s
readiness to implement the behavior change of increasing FVI based on the stages of TTM.
Gender, race, age, education, and income were demographic variables identified. Cronbach’s
alpha coefficient was measured to confirm reliability of this study, and a five-point Likert scale
was used to measure and confirm validity. The only construct of TTM applied in this research
was stages of change. The results showed that 37.7% of respondents were assessed to be in one
of the first three motivational stages. The majority of participants were categorized in the last
two stages of change: action and maintenance. However, those assessed to be in the
maintenance stage of FVI were mostly female, older, and they had obtained formal education in
comparison to those in the contemplation and preparation stages. Race and income level did not
have noticeable effects on the motivational stage of the subjects.
Participants in the action stage were found to like the taste of FV, and they made increased FVI
a habit in comparison to those in the earlier stages. Precontemplators had the least knowledge
regarding FVI; 80.5% of the subjects in this stage assumed that two or fewer servings of FV per
day were adequate. Participants with greater FVI were found in the action and maintenance
stages, while those with lower FVI were assessed to be in the stages of preparation,
contemplation, and precontemplation. The limitations of this study are common in research
applying TTM in that only the stages of change construct is applied. If some of the processes of
change, decisional balance, and self-efficacy would have also been examined, then more
beneficial results could have potentially been attained from this research. By incorporating these
additional constructs, the significance of this study could have been enhanced by providing a
solid framework for interventions based on stage of readiness, potentially leading to increased
adaptation of FVI and the reduction of cancer risks.
Study of Campbell et al.
The randomized trials reviewed in this article were conducted to better understand the
effectiveness of theory use in changing dietary habits in an attempt to reduce chronic diseases,
particularly cancer prevention. The literature included results from five sites in the 5 A Day for
Better Health studies. The TTM was applied to FVI in adults with an age range of 27.7 to 51.3
years who had varying incomes, were of different race / ethnicity, and had varying levels of
education. The majority of the respondents were female. A seven-item food frequency
instrument was used to measure FVI. Multiple theories were applied, but the constructs of the
TTM, specifically self-efficacy and stages of change, were most highly correlated with
Self-efficacy was determined by one question in the questionnaire regarding participants’
confidence in their ability to eat five FV servings every day; a response of sure” or very sure
resulted in a high self-efficacy score. Four items on the questionnaire measured stages of
change. Strong correlation was found between self-efficacy and FVI; a higher self-efficacy score
was positively associated with higher FVI, and positive changes in self-efficacy were associated
with significant changes in FVI. Higher stages of change at baseline predicted higher levels of
self-efficacy at the follow-up. A weakness of this investigation was that self-efficacy was
measured by a single item rather than utilizing multiple items. Reliability was confirmed by
Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. Including only the two constructs of self-efficacy and stages of
change was a limitation of this study. The researchers indicated that in order to implement
interventions with greater power for increasing FVI leading to increased cancer prevention,
appropriate theory must be applied to affect meaningful behavior change.
The purpose of this literature review was to describe how the HBM and TTM have been
utilized in research studies to explain the effects of increased FVI on health maintenance and
cancer prevention. The results of this literature review showed that the HBM and TTM are
useful in examining dietary behavior change. Self-efficacy and stages of change were the TTM
constructs most often applied to interventions that were focused on increasing FVI in the
research reviewed. Decisional balance from the processes of change construct in TTM was
applied to several studies in order to assess people’s beliefs on the pros and cons of adapting a
dietary change. Parts of the processes of change construct were applied in two studies, but were
omitted from most of the research reviewed, which proved to be a limitation of many of the
studies. HBM was used to understand reasons for adapting a behavioral change or to explain
non-compliance by assessing perceived benefits and perceived barriers. Self-efficacy, also a
construct of HBM, was highly correlated to actual adaptation of increased FVI. Other HBM
constructs included in the studies reviewed were perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, and
cues to action.
The prominent limitation of these studies in regards to theory is the omission of several
constructs of each theory in most of the articles reviewed. Other limitations include the fact that
the majority of respondents in the surveys were females, and these females who responded to the
surveys were likely to already be practicing the behavior change being assessed. Different
populations with greater variance are necessary to produce more reliable and valid data
assessment. The use of theory proved to be extremely beneficial in providing a framework for
exploring intervention based on increasing FVI; however, applying the entire HBM or TTM
theory with all of their constructs has the potential to be more effective in future interventions by
providing greater capacity to understand the different psychological determinants associated with
behavior change, which could potentially lead to more powerful intervention strategies and
greater reduced risks of cancer.
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This study compared successful (n=19) and less successful (n=19) varsity wrestlers matched for age, weight, height, and wrestling experience on physiological variables important for wrestling success using field tests available to a high school wrestling coach. Significant (P<0.05) differences in favor of the successful wrestlers were found for mean left and right grip strength, flexibility of the low back and hamstrings, completed sit-ups, pull-ups, and push-ups. Successful wrestlers also covered a greater distance during a 12min run test and had significantly greater relative anaerobic power (Margaria step test). The groups did not differ significantly in the sum-of-six skinfolds. In conclusion, successful wrestlers had significantly more muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility of the low back and hamstrings, aerobic fitness, and relative anaerobic power than less successful wrestlers. It is suggested less successful wrestlers engage in regular training sessions that include stretching, cardi...
This investigation tested the relationship between level of cognitive anxiety and degree of mental errors in a sport setting. Subjects were female high school varsity softball players. The dimensions of cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence were assessed by the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2). Coaches evaluated mental errors during game play by ratings on a 10-point bipolar scale. Final subject selection was determined by dichotomizing individuals who scored lower on the scale (1-4) and higher on the scale (7-10). Analysis of variance yielded a single significant main effect which indicated that the two mental-error groups differed in cognitive anxiety. This supports the major prediction tested. Discussion centers on the apparent benefits of investigating variables more intimately associated with the attentional/cognitive disruption process versus focusing solely on objective sport outcome.
In this study, subjects were asked to select three different images they thought would make them angry, fearful, or relaxed. After imagining each scenario, subjects attempted a strength task utilizing a hand grip dynamometer. As predicted by the Oxendine hypothesis, the relaxation image significantly lowered performance on the strength task. Although subjects in the fear and anger conditions reported increased levels of arousal, no increase in strength performance was noted in these two conditions. A cognitive interpretation of the relationship between arousal and performance is advanced in explanation of the present findings. Specifically, it is suggested that preparatory arousal is effective only if subjects focus their attention while aroused on a successful outcome of performance. This explanation is consistent with current conceptualizations of cognitive preparation strategies as coping skill devices by which athletes manage their performance. Future research directions are suggested based upon the p...
The purpose of this investigation was to determine the changes in body composition, isokinetic strength, and muscular power in high school wrestlers across a season of competition. Wrestlers were measured (preseason and postseason) for body composition and isokinetic peak torque for flexion and extension of the dominant forearm and leg. Each subject also completed Wingate anaerobic tests to determine changes in mean power and peak power (PP) of the legs. The results indicated that body weight (BW), fat weight, and percent fat decreased (p < .002) across the wrestling season. PP and absolute peak torque for forearm and leg extension (LE) at 30°·s−1; forearm flexion (FF) at 30, 180, and 300°·s−1; and leg flexion (LF) at 180 and 300°·s−1 were significantly (p < .05) lower postseason. Relative peak torque (adjusted for BW) decreased (p < .05) across the season for LE at 30°·s−1 as well as FF and LF at 180°·s−1. Therefore, changes in BW were not associated with functional advantages in terms of strength or mus...
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Stoltz and Kern (2007) posited that the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM) could be integrated with Individual Psychology to develop a more holistic conceptualization of the health behavior change process. This study tests this con-ceptualization by exploring the relationship of lifestyle and the TTM in a weight-loss sample. This study included 210 participants that completed the BASIS-A Inventory (Brandenburg, 1985) scales of the TTM; and a demographics sheet. Measurement of the TTM scales and demographic variables was taken twice, with a six-month interval between administrations. The results identified significant relationships between lifestyle attributes and elements of the TTM, and significant differences between the lifestyles of groups that make movement in the stages of change. These findings have important implications for using lifestyle attributes in helping individuals engage in weight management. Nearly two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight, and 30% fall into the obese category (National Center for Health Statistics, 2002). The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (2007) notes that serious medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, colon cancer, gailbladder disease, and other serious health problems are related to obesity and overweight conditions. This institute also linked depression and other debilitating psychological disorders to overweight conditions. Recognizing the need to continue exploration of models of weight management, we set forth in this study to investigate the effects that lifestyle attributes may have on health behavior change.
Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the weight management (WM) behaviors of collegiate wrestlers after the implementation of the NCAA's new weight control rules. Methods: In the fall of 1999, a survey was distributed to 47 college wrestling teams stratified by collegiate division (i.e., I, 11, 111) and competitive quality. Forty-three teams returned surveys for a total of 741 responses. Comparisons were made using the collegiate division, weight class, and the wrestler's competitive winning percentage. Results: The most weight lost during the season was 5.3 kg +/- 2.8 kg (mean +/- SD) or 6.9% +/- 4.7% of the wrestler's weight; weekly weight lost averaged 2.9 kg +/- 1.3 kg or 4.3% +/- 2.3% of the wrestler's weight; post-season, the average wrestler regained 5.5 kg +/- 3.6 kg or 8.6% +/- 5.4% of their weight. Coaches and fellow wrestlers were the primary influence on weight loss methods; however, 40.2% indicated that the new NCAA rules deterred extreme weight loss behaviors. The primary methods of weight loss reported were gradual dieting (79.4%) and increased exercise (75.2%). However, 54.8% fasted, 27.6% used saunas, and 26.7% used rubber/ plastic suits at least once a month. Cathartics and vomiting were seldom used to lose weight, and only 5 met three or more of the criteria for bulimia nervosa. WM behaviors were more extreme among freshmen, lighter weight classes, and Division 11 wrestlers. Compared to previous surveys of high school wrestlers, this cohort of wrestlers reported more extreme WM behaviors. However, compared to college wrestlers in the 1980s, weight loss behaviors were less extreme. Conclusions: The WM practices of college wrestlers appeared to have improved compared to wrestlers sampled previously. Forty percent of the wrestlers were influenced by the new NCAA rules and curbed their weight loss practices. Education is still needed, as some wrestlers are still engaging in dangerous WM methods.
Although cognitive-behavioral strategies have been demonstrated relatively effective in improving sport performance and regulating various affective states among highly skilled athletes, the strategy-anxiety relationship has been left largely untested within the realm of recreational sport. The present study utilized self-report data from 186 recreational league tennis players in order to describe the prevalence, types, sources, and perceived effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral strategy use among a sub-elite sample as well as to determine the extent to which each strategy contributed to changes in cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence prior to official competition. Nearly 30% of the sample reported using strategies in training and competition, comprised by relaxation, mental imagery, attention control, positive self-talk, and goal-setting. Stepwise regression analyses controlling for player characteristics revealed that attentional control and goal-setting strategies contributed to lower cognitive state anxiety, attention control and imagery/ relaxation strategies resulted in lower somatic state anxiety, and attention control and positive self-talk contributed to increased state self-confidence. The role of specific cognitive-behavioral techniques in facilitating adaptability to competitive stress among recreational athletes is discussed.