If you would like to see more senior capstone projects please visit our searchable database to find an abstract for specific presentations.


The Effect Of Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness On Static And Dynamic Balance

Melissa Meads spent ten hours a week in the Exercise Science balance lab testing a range of people for her Senior Capstone research into the effects of Delayed-onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and balance. While the research was grueling and her professors' expectations were high, she found the experience helpful for her upcoming graduate studies in gerontology. Plus it was fun working with friends who were conducting similar studies. DOMS occurs in a variety of populations when the muscles are stressed from unusual activity. Soreness and tenderness typically occurs 48 hours after the exercise. Using a Biodex Balancing System in the lab Meads determined that DOMS does indeed adversely affect static balance (one position), but the results were less clear when looking at balance during movement (dynamic balance).

 

Does Transition and/or Cognitive Processing Time Influence the Contextual Interference Effect?

Research has shown that when learning multiple skills, practicing those skills in a random order results in greater performance in retention than practicing the skills in a repetitive or blocked order (termed the Contextual Interference or CI Effect). Unfortunately, in many real-world learning environments (e.g., PE class), switching from task to task randomly would require more overall time than performing the skill repetitively. Therefore, it is not known whether the benefits of random practice are due to the schedule itself, or the additional processing time that the schedule may provide. Purpose: This study examined the effect that inter-trial time (i.e., transition and/or cognitive processing time) has on performance under blocked and random practice schedules, as well as the effects that those practice schedules have on self-paced inter-trial time. Methods: Participants learned three dart throwing tasks under either a Blocked (B) or Random (R) practice schedule. Half of each practice schedule condition was further divided into a Self-Regulated (SR) or Experimenter Regulated (ER) practice conditions. During practice SR groups were instructed to begin the task as soon as they were ready after hearing which task they were to perform, while ER groups performed the task on the count of three after being told which task to perform. Under a self-regulated schedule, participants were tested before practice (pre-test), following practice (post-test), after a 20-minute break (retention test), and on a novel dart task (transfer test). Analyses: The time taken to perform each of the practice blocks was recorded and analyzed for differences using an ANOVA. An average of participant's pre, post and retention tests were also recorded, and analyzed via a 3X4 repeated measures ANOVA. Results: The Random/Self-Regulated group took significantly longer time in between trials than the Blocked/Self-Regulated group. In terms of performance, for those who were able to self-regulate, the random group outperformed the blocked group at the post-test, whereas no significant differences were found between blocked and random groups for the experimenter regulated conditions on any test. as used to analyze for differences in the performance of all groups for all tasks. indepentent d a transfer test with a Conclusion: The results of this study support the hypothesis that Random practice participants take significantly more time between trials than do Blocked practice participants when they are allowed to self-regulate (as they have been in most CI research). The results further suggest that the extra time may play a part in the performance differences between the two groups. In self-regulated groups there was a performance difference between blocked and random groups that is consistent with a standard CI effect. However, when both groups were required to take the same amount of inter-trial time in the experimenter-regulated conditions, those effects are non-existent. It is suggested that random practice is not as beneficial as originally thought, and is only more effective when learners are able to self-regulate their practice trials.

 

Effect of Foot Structure on Landing Ground Reaction Force Characteristics

Structural characteristics of feet can vary greatly, which may lead to problems in other areas of the body. Two characteristics of foot posture that have been suspected of being a source of many foot, ankle, and knee injuries are the medial longitudinal arch height and rear-foot angle. These structural features may contribute to large and/or unusually directed forces which are thought to contribute to injury. Purpose: Because so many injuries are associated with landing from jumps, the aim of this project was to examine the effects of foot structure on ground reaction forces experienced in single leg drop landings. Methods: Participants performed 10 landings from a 45 cm box onto each leg. Ground reaction forces were recorded at 1000 Hz with a force platform system. Data from thirty-two healthy legs were placed into a two-dimensional classification matrix based upon the rear-foot angle (pronated or neutral) and arch height (high or low). Analysis: Peak impact force, average loading rate, leg-spring stiffness, eccentric time and time to stability features of landing were extracted with interactive software for each landing trial. To examine the potential consequences of foot structure, the 10 trial means for each leg were analyzed via a 2 (arch height) x 2 (rear-foot angle) ANOVA (a=.05). Results: Unavailable at the time abstracts were due.

 

A Comparison Of Forces Among Three Different Elbow Strikes

Abstract: Few scientific research studies have focused on the efficacy of different martial arts striking techniques. Although this lab previously investigated peak forces of six martial arts strikes, this study focuses on the strongest striking method found in the previous study: elbow strikes. The two types previously studied were forward and reverse (out-to-in) elbows. This study analyzed those two, with the addition of a mount-position elbow strike that is common in mixed martial arts. Additionally, the current study included a greater diversity of martial art practitioners. PURPOSE: To further investigate peak forces (N) of three different martial arts elbow strikes (forward, reverse, and mount-position). METHODS: A custom-built striking apparatus, consisting of a digital force transducer instrumented with a computer data acquisition system, was constructed to measure the peak force of the strikes. In random and repeated design, participants (n = 21; 5 female, 16 male; age 34+/- 10 yrs) executed 15 elbow strikes per arm per technique (45 strikes total each arm with rest in between). RESULTS: Repeated measures one-way ANOVA revealed significant differences amongst the three strikes. Bonferroni post-hoc revealed mount elbow (2267.3 +/- 806.3 N) to have greater peak force than the other two elbow strikes. However, reverse elbow (1859.5 +/- 720.4 N) and forward elbow (1859 +/- 720 N) were not found to be different from each other. CONCLUSIONS: With regard to peak force, mount-position elbow strikes are superior to the forward and reverse techniques performed from standing position. Nonetheless, peak force is only one variable to be considered when comparing strikes. Additional factors dictating the effectiveness of a particular strike include positioning, range, accuracy, applicable targets, and timing considerations.

 

Effect Of Post-High School Transition Information On The Self-Efficacy Of Parents Of Children With Intellectual Disabilities

The last few years of high school for a parent of a student with a disability can be a confusing and often extremely difficult time (Migliore, Grossi, Mank, & Rogan, 2008). There are many services available to parents who have children with disabilities, but many times, these services go unnoticed. This research study looks at the needs of parents who have children ages 14 to 21 with intellectual disabilities and how much they know about services available to them. A brochure containing important aspects of the time of transition out of high school into the adult life was put together. Participants were asked to rate their level of self-efficacy in a variety of categories pertaining to transition of their child out of high school and to read the transition brochure. After reading the brochure, parents were asked to rate again their level of self-efficacy.

 

Burnout in NCAA Division III College Athletes

With the combined pressures of school and athletics, many NCAA college athletes will experience burnout at some point. Burnout can be described as a characteristic where an individual experiences physical fatigue, carelessness, and a lack of desire, which is usually a by-product of exposure to excessive stress (Raedeke, 1997). Burnout has also been described as an experiential syndrome with three central characteristics: (a) emotional and physical exhaustion, (b) reduced accomplishment, and (c) devaluation or cynicism. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of burnout in NCAA Division III college athletes. We expected athletes with the highest levels of burnout to be males in their junior or senior year with a large class load, who are starters, and had autocratic coaches. In turn, we expected athletes with the lowest levels of burnout to be females in their freshman or sophomore year with a light class load who did not regularly start, and had democratic coaches. Athletes were recruited via emails through athletic directors and coaches at division III universities. Athletes who chose to participate completed an online questionnaire. The data shows no significant difference across genders. However, there were significant differences across age, year in school, and coaching style.

 

Influences of acculturation and cultural competency on the self-efficacy and behavior of Latinos undergoing physical therapy

A patient's ability to independently follow through with their occupational or physical therapy program may be related to their belief that they can successfully complete the therapy, also known as their "self-efficacy´┐Ż"(Bandura, 1989) to complete therapy. Latinos in a Eurocentric culture may have lower levels of self-efficacy for completing therapy depending on their level of acculturation and the clinic's ability to provided culturally specific materials and instruction. It was the aim of this study to investigate this relationship. A questionnaire packet, which measured self-efficacy for therapy, acculturation level, and patients' perceptions of culturally supportive materials and services at their clinic, was distributed to self-identifying Latinos through regional occupational and physical therapy clinics. This study may inform therapists as to the cultural needs of clients and the resulting self-efficacious behavior and compliance with at-home therapy, and ultimate recovery.

 

Select Characteristics of Arm and Ball Speed for Fastball and Change-up Softball Pitches

In softball, pitching tends dominate. Pitchers can be successful by simply overpowering batters with high speed and/or by disguising cues during delivery to prevent batters from recognizing the type of pitch. Purpose: To conduct a comparison of select velocity features of the pitching arm during softball fastball and change-up pitches. Methods: 10 adults with previous or current varsity high school or college softball pitching experience participated. Subjects were fit with a triaxial accelerometer at the wrist and the distance from the estimated shoulder joint center to the center of the accelerometer was used as the whole arm radius (r). Participants threw 3 fastballs and 3 change-ups in each of five blocks of trials. One axis of the accelerometer was aligned with the arm radius so as to acquire centripetal acceleration (ac) measures at 200 Hz. The angular velocity (w) of the pitching arm in the sagittal plane was solved from ac=rw2. A radar gun measured the ball speed of each pitch. Paired t-tests were used to contrast change-up and fastball pitches. The delivery was also divided into three phases and analyzed via a 2x3 (Pitch x Phase) repeated measures ANOVA. All statistical tests used a=.05. Results: There were no differences between the average arm velocities for the fastball and change-up pitches (620+/-106 degrees), but the peak arm velocities were 88 degrees greater and the ball velocities were 10mph faster for fastballs. A significant Pitch x Phase interaction was noted: for both pitches arm velocities increased equally over the first two phases (390+/-131 and 582+/-161 degrees), but fastballs showed a greater final phase velocity (877+/-79 versus 819+/-73 degrees. Conclusions: Pitchers produced similar arm velocities in the early stages of the delivery, but to achieve the desired fastball velocity, a significant increase in the arm angular velocity during the last phase was required. This would minimize and delay any differential cues batters would use to recognize the pitch.

 

The Influence of Personal Interpretations of Music on Physical Performance

It is well established that music can influence exercise performance through distracting and motivating the performer. Specific musical elements are believed to be more important than others in determining motivation. Purpose. To find why students find certain pieces of music motivational, and if their performance in a muscular endurance task is affected by perceived motivation of music. Methods. Students rated elements of music for motivation and were asked to maintain a hamstring curl as long as possible while listening to music at different levels of perceived motivation. Analyses. One-way ANOVAs were performed to find condition differences in performance and rate of perceived exertion (RPE). Correlations were performed to determine relationships between music elements and overall motivation of music. Results. Performance was significantly better in conditions perceived as motivational. Style and melodic elements were strongly correlated with overall motivation. Conclusion. Greater physical performance was shown to occur in the presence of a piece of music perceived as motivational, but only certain aspects of the music was found to be influential in the piece's motivational qualities.

 

The Acute Effects Of An Unstable Shoe On Energy Expenditure

Recently, the idea of constructing an unstable shoe surface has become popular in the shoe industry. Manufacturers and marketers claim this type of shoe has health benefits, including increased muscle activation and energy expenditure. Thus, if these claims are true, unstable shoes could be used to effectively improve physical fitness and weight balance. Although several recent studies have examined the chronic physiological responses of wearing the shoes over long periods of time, few studies have studied the initial acclimation session. Purpose: Quantify energy expenditure of wearing an unstable shoe (US), as compared to control shoe (CS), during an initial acclimation period of 40 min. Methods: Seventeen healthy volunteer participants (8 females, 9 males, age = 23 +/- 4 years), who had not previously worn any type of US, were recruited. Upon first wearing US, energy expenditure (via VO2 method of indirect calorimetry), was measured at time points 0 (0-4 min), 20 (18-22 min), and 40 (38-42 min) while walking at self-selected preferred speed on a treadmill. CS condition data was collected at time 0 minute (pretest baseline) and time 40 minute only. Results: Repeated measures two-way ANOVA revealed no difference in energy expenditure from initial (time 0) to 40 min, and no time x shoe type interaction. However, there was a main effect of shoe type (F1,16 = 12.59, p = 0.003), with post-hoc tests showing US having increased energy expenditure at time 0, but not at 40 min. Conclusion: Unstable shoes elevate energy expenditure, compared to control shoe, for only a limited length of time. During the initial four minutes of wearing US, energy expenditure is elevated compared to CS; however, by 40 min there is no longer any difference. Although the novelty of wearing US is associated with a transient increase in energy expenditure, participants may be acclimated after 40 min. These findings suggest US are not useful for increasing energy expenditure beyond the initial acclimation period, thus refuting manufacturer claims.

Effects Of Fall Distance Control Methods On Variabilities Of Select Landing Kinetic Measures

As anyone who watches sports knows, falling, jumping and landing are often big factors in athletic performances. Exercise science major Kelly Nishitomi made that issue part of her senior project when she chose the subject "Effects Of Fall Distance Control Methods On Variabilities Of Select Landing Kinetic Measures." Her study involved 24 volunteers who performed 10 barefoot, one-legged landings from both a box and from an overhead bar at 35 centimeter and 45 centimeter heights onto a platform that measured force. What she found out: although observationally, there were somewhat different results for each factor, overall no significant interactions for any variables were noted. "Basically, I learned that research is really hard work," she says with a laugh. "But, it's worth it when you get to see the results," adding that going through the hoops of working with the Institutional Review Board, which must approve all research with human subjects, was "definitely a learning experience."

 

Modeling Types And Their Effects On Task Acquisition And Perceptions

The process by which one learns how to execute a task can be influenced by the use of a model. A model serves as a tool for one to observe while attempting to learn a novel task. Two types of models that have been suggested to be very effective in learning environments are self- and peer models. A self-model is when one serves as their own model, and views themselves while learning a task (Winfrey & Weeks, 1993). A peer model is a model that possesses similar characteristics to that of the learner (i.e. sex/gender, ethnicity, physical characteristics, etc.) (Bellini & Akullian, 2007). Purpose. The purpose of the proposed study is to determine the effects of using a self- or peer model, and to decipher which is more effective when learning a novel task by examining both performance and perceptions. Methods. Participants balanced on a stability platform in two different stances (facing forward & facing sideways), while watching a model on a computer screen in one of three conditions: watching themselves (self-model), watching someone similar to themselves (peer model), or not having a model. The first day consisted of 14 acquisition trials and a 6-trial short-term (15-minute delay) retention test. The second day consisted of a 6-trial long-term retention test. Analyses. A 3 x 5 (Condition x Time) Repeated Measures ANOVA was used to determine the effects of model-type over time (Acquisition trials 1, 4, 7 & averages of Short and Long-term Retention). In addition, questionnaire responses and performance data were compared to determine significant relationships. Results. The peer model condition was found to be superior on stance 2, but only during certain testing times (condition x time interaction). On stance 1, a significant main effect for time and condition were both found. Conclusion. Although the peer group outperformed the other two conditions, with no true pretest, we cannot positively conclude that a peer model is the most effective. Further research is needed to determine if peer modeling is truly more effective than self-modeling, and whether this result is consistent when learning more discrete motor skills.

 

The Effect Of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness On Proprioception

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) may affect neuromuscular sensory receptors and neural pathways due to microtears in the muscle, which could reduce proprioceptive abilities, or the awareness of body and limb position in space and time. PURPOSE: The current study investigated effects of DOMS on three selected measures of proprioception. METHODS: Using digital inclinometers, force transducers, and data acquisition system, proprioception was assessed by participant's (n = 16) ability to actively replicate a target (actively-determined reference) angle and velocity of knee joint flexion and extension. Force gradation, the ability to produce a target sub-maximal isometric force (25%, 50%, or 75% maximal voluntary isometric contraction), was assessed via force transducer. All testing trials were conducted in random and repeated design and without immediate visual or auditory feedback of performance. After establishing baseline, one leg was randomly chosen to be induced with delayed onset muscle soreness using contralateral leg as control. Post-testing followed. For each set of proprioceptive tests, constant error, absolute error, and percent error (from reference value) were calculated; percent error was used for analysis. RESULTS: DOMS reduced maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of knee flexion. Two-way ANOVA for repeated measures (a=0.05) revealed a control-DOMS main effect (F1,14 = 5.5, p = .034) and PrePost x ContDOMS interaction (F1,14 = 14.2, p = 0.002), with post-hoc tests showing DOMS posttest being reduced. However, no differences were found for proprioception measures of joint angle replication, joint velocity replication, or force gradation. CONCLUSION: Although DOMS reduced MVIC, confirming previous research findings, it neither enhanced nor inhibited proprioception as measured in this study.

Understanding College Students' Perceptions and Motivations for Physical Activity

While there are a number of reasons to be physically active, a 2007 survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 41% of adults ages 18-24 do not meet the physical activity guidelines set forth by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. In addition, it has been found that physical activity participation levels drop dramatically in the transition from high school to college. These findings are significant because of the inverse relationship between physical activity and age, with activity levels in college being a good predictor for future activity levels. Understanding college students' motivations towards physical activity is key to the implementation and promotion of physical activity (HPER) courses and interventions. Purpose: This study examines the motivations and perceived barriers to participation in physical activity classes by students at Pacific University to help target future offerings. Methods: A campus wide survey was sent out utilizing situational questions that explore student motivations to participate in physical activities as well as their perceptions of HPER classes and campus resources. The results from the study were analyzed and used to create: recommendations for HPER courses, a series of videos that profile and explain HPER classes which will be displayed on the university website, supplemental materials that encourage and promote HPER class participation, and a finalized survey that can be used to gather annual data regarding physical activity motives at Pacific.

 

The Interaction Of Attentional Focus And Task Objective Directions On The Acquisition Of A Motor Task

A popular topic within motor acquisition research is that of attentional focus. When learning a novel motor skill, where should the learner be focusing their attentional resources? Focusing on the actual movements of a task (e.g., focusing on the motions of the body when hitting a golf ball) is considered internal attentional focus, whereas focusing attention on the effects of their movements (e.g., focusing on the effects of the body's motions when hitting a golf ball, including the ball trajectory, the location of the landing, whether or not the ball made it into the hole) is considered to be an external focus of attention. Previous studies have found that directing an individual's focus externally will yield better acquisition (e.g., Wulf et al., 1999). However, these previous studies have been performed using tasks in which the known objective is arguably external (e.g., knowing the goal of the task is to have the ball hit the target). Is it possible that the benefits of a focus of attention direction have been skewed by the direction of the task objective? Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine if the benefits of an external focus of attention is dependent on the direction of the task objective. Methods: Forty individuals from the Pacific University community, between the ages of 18 and 40, participated in one of the following four groups: internal focus of attention and internal task objective, internal focus of attention and external task objective, external focus of attention and internal task objective, and external focus of attention and external task objective. All participants were asked to perform sixteen 90-second trials of a balance task, and were provided with both a focus of attention direction and task objective. Analyses: Data will be analyzed to determine the potential interaction of focus of attention and task objective direction on the performance of the balance task over time. Results and Conclusion: Results and conclusions will be provided at the time of the presentation.

 

Effect of Foot Structure on Postural Control Under Varied Sensory/Physical Conditions

Abstract: The feet provide the body's only base of support during upright stance and locomotion, but the characteristics of this interface differ between individuals and/or across one's lifetime. Small structural differences in the foot may affect our ability to stabilize and/or balance during functional tasks. Physical and environmental conditions may also add to the difficulty such tasks, influence effectiveness in performing daily activities. Purpose: To examine the effects of medial longitudinal arch height and rear-foot angle on selected postural control measures under various sensory/physical conditions. Methods: Thirty-two healthy legs were placed into a two-dimensional classification matrix based upon the rear-foot angle (pronated or neutral) and medial longitudinal arch height (high or low). Subjects then performed two trials of quiet, single-leg stance for 30 seconds on a force platform under each of three sensory/environmental conditions: (a) eyes open, flat firm surface, (b) eyes open, soft unstable surface, and (c) eyes closed, flat firm surface. Results: A 2x2x3 ANOVA (arch height, a between-factor; rear-foot angle, a between-factor; condition, a within-factor; a=.05) was applied to select center of pressure excursion (COPX) measures. For total COPX there was a significant arch/condition interaction: the low arch group showed 10% more sway only when visual information was absent. For COPX in the anterior-posterior direction, similar structure/condition interactions were observed: in the absence of visual input, low arched feet swayed 15% more and pronated feet swayed 14% more. Conclusion: Visual input assists us in adapting to dynamic environments regardless of our foot structure. In the absence of this visual information, however, the potential consequences of foot structure for balance and stability tasks becomes more evident.