Research article
Volume 2, No. 2, 2010, 1-11
UDC 159.947.5:338
Georgia Yfantidou, Ourania Matsouka, George Costa and Maria Michalopoulos
Department of Physical Education and Sports Science
Democritus University of Thrace
This paper examines the human needs that predict the preference of sports tourism in
Greece; explores the tourist typology and emphasise at sport tourist roles. The sample was 269
sports tourists who visited Greece in summer. The questionnaire is based on the ìTourist Roles
Preference Scaleî of Gibson and Yiannakis (2002), and was translated in Greek, German and
Russian. This survey suggests promoting sports tourism especially to women and also to create
and promote sports events for ages over 40, because there is a lack of participation in those
groups and a lack of events that match to these ages and gender. Furthermore, this exploratory
research has revealed that in the future tourist behaviour is suggested to be described by only 8
tourist roles.
Keywords: sports tourism, needs, motivation, behaviour
Greece is a tourist destination, which is advertised as a place with lots of sun and
beautiful coastlines. Therefore tourists visit Greece mainly in summer and all sports activities are
developed for this season, although there are a lot of mountains, rivers and lakes that are suitable
for trekking, climbing, rafting, sailing, etc. The percentage of the sports tourists is quite low.
Therefore, a lot need to be done to increase sports tourism and Greece must face the challenge of
the global importance of sports (Yfantidou, Costa, & Michalopoulos, 2008). The motive for this
research is the need for development of sports tourism in Greece and the lack of knowledge of
who sport tourists are and why they do it. Research has shown that sports tourism is broadly
defined as ëëleisure-based travel that takes individuals temporarily outside their home
communities to participate in physical activities, to watch physical activities, or to venerate
attractions associated with physical activitiesíí (Gibson, 1998). Furthermore, according to Weed
& Bull (2004), there is a tendency to focus at one dimension of sports tourism that is vacation
which includes sport activities for tourists either as participants or as spectators. They point out
Corresponding author. Democritus University of Thrace, Depertment of Physical Education and Sports Science,
Campus, 69100 Komotini, Greece, e-mail: gifantid@phyed.duth.gr
© 2010 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
G. Yfantidou et al.
that there are two types of sports tourism: a) sports tourism that develops a tourist profile and b)
sports tourism which spontaneously arises as a result of a sport activity. But, why do sport
tourists behave like that and what are their motives? The answer derives from the core
(fundamental) human needs and is defined by the motives, which have their roots in deep core
psychological and social needs that support the whole behaviour.
Sport events represent the most fast developing sector of tourism market and the research
of Funk and Bruun (2007), underline the importance of social-psychological motives concerning
sport event and the cultural-educational motives concerning international travel. More
specifically in order to increase tourism we should study ways of handling with respect the
important experience of tourists, which is the behaviour that reflects the original motives (Foo,
Mcguiggan, & Yiannakis, 2004; Gibson & Yiannakis, 2002).
According to Kurtzman and Zauhar (2005), the motive for someone in order to travel or
to participate in tourism can be determined as a total of needs and attitudes that predispose an
individual to act with a concrete way. The motives that determine sports tourism are: a) the
immense tendency to escape from the everyday routine, b) the sentiments, c) the wish for
participation and d) the need for reward, the recognition and the prestige. Also, the decision to
travel or to participate or to watch an athletic activity can be also influenced by other, exterior
factors such as the family, friends, the socially similar group, as well as the television advertising
campaign of companies of athletic activity.
The needs are not static, they increase or decrease and that explains why the same person
adopts different kinds of behaviour at different time periods. If this idea is connected to the
preference of tourist role, then the needs which are related to roles will provide a better
knowledge of tourist behaviour and choices at sports tourism (Gibson, 2006). Gibson (2006),
also reports the opinions of Pearce and Caltabiano concerning motives for sports tourism.
According to them the satisfaction at vacation is related to satisfaction of core needs and this is
an unbreakable relation. Gibson and Yiannakis (2002), described in a research about tourist
behaviour that by 15 tourists roles the 3 concerned sports tourism: active sports tourist, explorer
and thrill seeker. The purpose of this study was to determine which of the human needs predict
the preference of sports tourism in Greece. The examination of needs that bring to attitudes and
lastly to behaviour that basically reflect motives of sports tourists is very important.
The data was consisted of a stratified sample by age and gender of 269 sports tourists who
visited Greece in summer (June-July-August 2007). This method was used in order to have as
many men as women at each age group. The majority was 17-39 years old 69,14%. The gender
of the participants was 142 men and 118 women (missing values 9). Roughly half were married
(39,41%), while singles/never married were (49,44%). The majority were employed full time
(59,11%), while 23,05% were students. As far as education is concerned, the majority were
graduates of university or college (36,43%). Annual family income varied from 20.000-60.000Ä
for 35,69% of the participants.
The questionnaire is based on the ìTourist Roles Preference Scaleî of Gibson and
Yiannakis (2002), and was translated in Greek, German and Russian (control of cross-cultural
validity) by Yfantidou, Costa & Michalopoulos, (2007) as Geisinger (1994) and Sperber (2004)
proposed. Having the questionnaire in four languages covered the majority of tourists who
visited Greece. The questionnaire included
89 Likert Questions
(5-scale) or closed-ended
questions that recorded: (1) a description of touristís activities, (2) a description of vacation
destination, (3) an examination of major human needs, (4) demographical and personal data and,
(5) certain destination preference.
Psychological needs as determinants of engagement in sports tourism
The questionnaires were distributed at the two main airports of Greece: ìEleftherios
Venizelosî in the city of Athens and ìMacedoniaî airport in the city of Thessaloniki. The
questionnaires were distributed to the foreign tourists after check in at the airport when departing
from Greece, and for Greek tourists in transit to their final destination in Greece after their
vacation. The delimitation of this research is that the sample was collected only during summer
as security regulations at the airports did not allow the continuation of the research during other
time periods and the sample was taken only from tourists who preferred air transport for their
The Statistical Methods
A principal component analysis (PCA) and multidimensional scaling (MDS) were the
exploratory analysis that was used to verify the tourist roles and touristsí major human needs.
Logistic regression was used for the prediction of tourist role preference through gender, age and
psychological needs.
Reliability and exploratory analysis
Cronbach · was used to examine the reliability of the questionnaire, in particular for the
part of tourist roles · =.81 and for the part of human needs ·=.85. A principal component
analysis (PCA) and multidimensional scaling (MDS) were the exploratory analysis used to verify
the tourist behavioural roles. PCA and quartimax rotation was used to verify the validity of
TRPS questionnaire of the 34 variables of the tourist roles, for the specific sample. Quartimax
rotation was selected because behaviour differs and variables do not correlate significant. The
analysis identified 8 factors (Table 1), which explain the 57.69% of the total variance: 1) Active
Sports Tourist, 2) Outdoor Sports and Knowledge Tourist, 3) Sun Lover, 4) Escapist, 5) High
Class Tourist,
6) Independent Mass Tourist,
7) Organized Mass Tourist and
8) Seeker.
Furthermore, to verify the validity of the TRPS, a multi-dimensional scaling model was
developed for the entire sample both for males and females, and it revealed that the touristsí
roles typology was according to the distances between them at three dimensional spaces. The
pair of variables that presented high loading at principal component analysis and logical
proximity (grouping together) at dimensional space, and also belonged at the same factor was
accepted for measuring the same tourist role. The variables which satisfied the above criteria
were sustained and the new 8 variables ñ tourist roles were created. This typology differs from
Gibson and Yiannakis (2002) results, but statistically it cannot be disregarded that the 15 tourist
roles could be considered as 8 tourist roles. From the 8 roles the 2 concerned sports tourist: 1)
Active Sports Tourist and 2) Outdoor Sports and Knowledge Tourist.
G. Yfantidou et al.
Factor analysis of tourist role preference scale
Tourist Roles
Tourist Role
Thrill Seeker
Outdoor Sport
High Class
High Class
Sun Lover
Sun Lover
Escapist …
Mass Tourist …
Action Seeker
Mass Tourist
Escapist ……
Mass Tourist ……
Active Sport
Active Sport
Mass Tourist
Mass Tourist
% of Variance
Cumulative %
Psychological needs as determinants of engagement in sports tourism
PCA and oblimin rotation was used for the 22 psychological needs of the questionnaire, for
the specific sample. Oblimin rotation was used because of high correlation of need variables.
The analysis identified 6 factors (Table 2), which explain the 57.74% of the total variance: 1)
Self Esteem, 2) Physiological, 3) Love and Belongingness, 4) Self Actualization, 5) Safety and
Security and 6) The External Environment. Maslow (1970) has provided the same hierarchy of
needs that influence behaviour.
Table 2
Factor analysis of touristsí major human needs
Psychological Needs
The need for creativity, self
The need to have control over events
and circumstances in your life
The need to have clear goals, a
direction in life
The need to feel good about yourself
The need for growth, self discovery,
self actualization
The need for esteem, prestige, status
The need to feel connected with
oneís history, roots, the past
The need to just get away from
The need for freedom, autonomy,
The need for health and well being
The need to play and have a good
Sexual needs
Companionship needs
The need for love and affection
The need for solitude, privacy
The need to be occasionally taken
care by someone else
Financial security needs
Safety and personal security needs
The need to feel competent,
accomplished, successful
The need for home and/or family
The need for variety, excitement,
The need for exploration, novelty,
discovery, change
% of Variance
Cumulative %
G. Yfantidou et al.
Binary logistic regression was used to predict sports tourist role preference by gender, age
and 6 psychological needs of Active Sports Tourist ìASTî (Table 3) and of Outdoor Sports and
Knowledge Tourist ìOSKTî (Table 4). As it is revealed in Greece there is a lack of men and
women over 60 at AST and also there is a small number of women 40-59 that select this role. As
far as OSKT there is also a small number of men over 60 and a lack of women of this age, but
there are few women 40-59 that select this role.
Table 3
Significant needs that motive men and women to select Active Sports Tourist. Values of B,
Active Sports Tourist
Self Esteem
Love and
at this
at this
Safety and
The External
Table 4
Significant needs that motive men and women to select Outdoor Sports and Knowledge Tourist.
Values of B, p<0,05
Outdoor Sports and Knowledge Tourist
Self Esteem
Love and
at this
Safety and
The External
Psychological needs as determinants of engagement in sports tourism
Active Sports Tourist is the tourist whose primary emphasis while on vacation is to
remain active engaging in favorite sports. The need that determine this tourist role preference for
men 17 to 39 years of age is the factor Self Esteem. But the need of Love and Belongingness and
the need of External Environment deter men 17 to 39 years of age from selecting this role. For
men 40 to 59 years of age is the factor External Environment. But, the need of Self Esteem keeps
back men 40 to 59 years of age from this role. As far as men 60 years and over is concerned
there were not any tourists at this age at this role (Figure 1).
Figure 1. The needs that determine tourist role preference for AST (green) and needs that force
men back (red) from selecting AST.
The need that determine this tourist role preference for women 17 to 39 years of age is the
factor Self Esteem. Love and Belongingness push women 17 to 39 years of age off from selecting
this role. For women 40 to 59 years of age no need seemed to contribute in predicting significant
active sports tourist at this age. As far as women 60 years and over is concerned there were not
any tourists at this age at this role (Figure 2).
G. Yfantidou et al.
Figure 2. The needs that determine tourist role preference for AST (green) and needs that force
women back (red) from selecting AST.
Outdoor Sports and Knowledge Tourist is the tourist, who prefers adventure travel,
exploring out-of-the-way places and enjoys challenges involved in getting there, also is the one
who is interested in risky, exhilarating activities, which provide emotional highs and/or
participates in planned study programs or education oriented vacations, primarily for study
and/or acquiring new skills and knowledge. For men 17 to 39 years of age no need seemed to
contribute in predicting significant this role at this age. For men 40 to 59 years of age the needs
that keep back from this tourist role is the factors: a) Physiological and b) Safety and Security.
For men 60 years and over no need seemed to contribute in predicting significant Outdoor Sports
and Knowledge Tourist at this age (Figure 3).
Psychological needs as determinants of engagement in sports tourism
Figure 3. The needs that determine tourist role preference for OSKT (green) and needs that force
men back (red) from selecting OSKT.
The needs that determine this tourist role preference for women 17 to 39 years of age are
the factors: a) Physiological and b) Safety and Security. But, the needs: a) Love and
Belongingness and b) Self Actualization keep women 17 to 39 years of age back from selecting
this role. For women 40 to 59 years of age the need that determine this tourist role preference is
Self Esteem. But, the need Safety and Security force women 40 to 59 years of age back from
selecting this role. As far as women 60 years and over is concerned there were not any tourists at
this age at this role (Figure 4).
G. Yfantidou et al.
Figure 4. The needs that determine tourist role preference for OSKT (green) and needs that force
women back (red) from selecting OSKT.
The examination of motives of sports tourists was also studied by Cassidy (2005), who
investigated motive theories and associated them to three specific types of tourists: those who
participate at a sports event, those who watch a sports event and also the simple tourists. Also,
Yoon and Uysal (2005) wanted to measure tourist motives and they created a questionnaire
based on previous researches and relative bibliography, suitably structured for the population of
northern Cyprus. In this questionnaire they used the variables: motive of attraction and motive of
impulse. The motive of attraction contained 28 questions and the motive of impulse contained 24
questions 4degree Likert scale. McGehee, Loker-Murphy, and Uysal (1996) adopted an approach
that is based on the difference of gender and they explored the effect of gender on motives for
tourism. They found out that it is more likely for women to be prompted by culture and
civilization, from family tying occasions and prestige, while men attach importance to sports and
It is very important to promote sports tourism especially to women and also to create and
promote sports events for ages over 40, because there is a lack of participation in those groups
and a lack of events that match to these ages and gender. The target group of 17 to 39 years of
age is very important and it must be maintained but also, sports tourism could occupy a bigger
share of the total tourism industry.
However, insights that will possibly emerge from this research are to acquire a fuller
understanding of sports tourists, their behaviour that reflect their motivations and the needs that
determine their intentions to be sports tourists. This exploratory research has revealed that in the
future tourist behaviour is suggested to be described by only 8 tourist roles.
Psychological needs as determinants of engagement in sports tourism
Cassidy, F. (2005, September 5). What motivates sports event tourists?: a synthesis of three
disciplines. Paper presented at the 2005 Women in Research Conference: Women Doing
research. Paper retrieved June 14, 2010, from http://eprints.usq.edu.au/845/1/ Cassidy_
Foo, J. A., McGuiggan, R., & Yiannakis, A. (2004). Roles tourists play. An Australian
perspective. Annals of tourism research, 31(2), 408-427.
Funk, D. & Bruun, T. (2007). The role of socio-psychological and culture-education motives in
marketing international sports tourism: A cross-cultural perspective. Tourism
Management, 28(3), 806-819.
Geisinger, K. (1994). Cross-cultural normative assessment: translation and adaptation issues
influencing the normative interpretation of assessment instruments. Psychological
Assessment, 6(4), 304-312.
Gibson, H. (2006). Sports tourism concepts and theories. London: Routledge.
Gibson, H., & Yiannakis, A. (2002). Tourist roles: Needs and the lifecourse. Annals of Tourism
Research, 29(2), 358-383.
Kurtzman, J., & Zauhar, J. (2005). Sports Tourism Consumer Motivation. Journal of Sports
tourism, 10(1), 21-31.
Maslow, A. H. (1970). Motivation and Personality (2nd ed.). New York: Harper and Row.
McGehee, N. G., Loker-Murphy, L., & Uysal, M. (1996). The Australian international pleasure
travel market: Motivations from a gendered perspective. Journal of Tourism Studies,
7(1), 45ñ57.
Sperber, A. (2004). Translation and validation of study instruments for cross-cultural research.
Gastroenterology, 126, 124-128.
Weed, M., & Bull, C. (2004). Sports tourism: Participants, policy and providers. Amsterdam:
Yfantidou, G., Costa, G., & Michalopoulos, M. (2007). Evolution and perspectives of tourism in
Greece. Proceedings of the 15th Congress of the European Association for Sport
Management. Torino, Italy, 91-92.
Yfantidou, G., Costa, G., & Michalopoulos, M. (2008). Tourist roles, gender and age in Greece:
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Submitted September 12, 2010
Accepted October 15, 2010
Research article
Volume 2, No. 2, 2010, 13-19
UDC 331.1-055.2:796.035]:159.923.2
Nina Brki„
Faculty of Medicine, Novi Sad,
Svetlana Kalabi„,
student of Special Education, Faculty of Medicine, Novi Sad
Health care professionals consider awareness of benefits of physical activities and
exercise to be of the utmost importance in health promotion. Lack of physical activity amongst
employees is one of the predisposing factors contributing to obesity and a risk factor for
numerous illnesses and non-advancement in job. The main objective of this research is to explore
the connection between physical activities in employed women and satisfaction with oneself,
one's family, one's job, one's social life and general life satisfaction. A survey was conducted
amongst 300 employed women, 160 of whom do not go in for sports while 140 of them do. The
findings show that the women who go in for sports are considerably more satisfied with
themselves and their family compared to those who do not go in for sports. Significant
differences are also related to job satisfaction and social life as well as general life satisfaction.
Keywords: physical activity, satisfaction with oneself, life satisfaction, employeed women
The importance of exercise, the issue widespread through all levels of business
organizations and amongst a large number of employees, requires a multi-aspect approach.
Researches have shown that the main driving force for physical activity is basic motivation as it
determines the willingness to begin physical activity, which is a key factor for successful
exercise (Rhodes & Blanchard, 2007).
The agreement of a person to perform the exercise prescribed by a physical therapist is
very important for the success of exercise. Unfortunately, many people have the problem with
that and, as a result, efficiency and motivation during exercise become diminished. Many people
Corresponding author. Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Hajduk Veljkova 3, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia,
e-mail: brkicn@uns.ac.rs
© Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
N. Brki
only agree to perform basic exercise and additional intervention is necessary to boost their
motivation, which implies that 10-30% people will be in a dilemma over whether to agree to
exercise or not.
The challenge the instructor faces is to conduct scanning and an interview with people
who have started taking exercise so as to identify the key motives and reasons for taking exercise
as well as benefits to be expected from the physical activity (Rhodes & Fiala, 2009).
Health care professionals consider awareness of benefits of physical activities and
exercise to be of the utmost importance in health promotion along with the readiness of the
instructor for active involvement and collaboration with the client (Brewer, 1999). Lack of
physical activity amongst employees is one of the predisposing factors contributing to obesity
and a risk factor for numerous illnesses and non-advancement in job (Goldman, Jarrard, Kim,
Loomis, & Atkins, 2000).
A research conducted in Thailand, amongst nurses, obtained significant statistical data
regarding physical activity at work, its benefits, obstacles to implementation and motivation for
exercise. The study was based on Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1977a; Bandura, 1977b)
and Health Promotion Model (Pender, 1996). The study provided statistically significant data on
the connection between exercise and personality characteristics, on benefits and obstacles during
physical activity, on self-productivity, but also on social support for people who exercised.
Additional work involvement did not affect physical involvement, but additional motivation, in
addition to a person's basic motives, is a significant factor. Motivation was also affected by self-
confidence and the results expected from exercise (Kaewthummanukul, Brown, Weaver, &
Thomas, 2006). Self-productivity, as important part of self-confidence, played a pivotal role in a
change of behaviour (Bandura, 1977a).
Other studies revealed that participation in physical activity had positive effect on self-
productivity enhancement (Piazza, Conrad, & Wilbur, 2001; Nies & Kershow, 2002). Physical
activity is influenced by: benefits from physical activity, obstacles overcome during exercise,
motivation, social support and the work environment. In this case motivation comprises intrinsic
and extrinsic motivations. Intrinsic motivation means the feeling of satisfaction during and upon
exercise, while extrinsic motivation means all the results and rewards resulting from exercise
(Kaewthummanukul et al., 2006).
Psychologists attempted to introduce physical activity amongst employees as a kind of
general support for self-productivity and self-confidence enhancement at work. However, they
had to face numerous barriers which diminished and had negative effect on motivation (Rhodes
& Fiala, 2009).
The most obvious and most frequent obstacle to physical activity was the time required
for exercise. People who decided to change their life style and introduce exercise should be
further motivated by keeping them informed of the exercise programme, a detailed plan of how,
when and where they can perform a series of exercises (Norman & Conner, 2006; Rhodes,
Blanchard, Matheson, & Coble, 2006).
In order to increase the effectiveness of physical activity promotion, Hillsdon, Foster,
Naidoo and Crombie (2004), suggest introduction of client monitoring, verbal and written
instructions, while some other authors (Schneiders, Zusman, & Singer, 1998) emphasize verbal
support and progress opportunity.
The most frequent motive for exercise is physical appearance, that is, aesthetic and
affective improvements during exercise. Use of music, television, video beam and the interaction
among those who exercise proved very effective for elimination of negative sensations during
exercise (Bonk, France, & Taylor, 2001). Should clients manage to integrate their exercise into
their schedule, the result will certainly be positive (Rhodes & Fiala, 2009).
Physically active women ñ self and life satisfaction
A large-scale study of acceptance of a physical activity at work promotion programme,
conducted amongst all the employees in a Clinical Centre in Philadelphia, revealed that the
workplace was ideal environment for physical activity promotion. The data showed that those
employees who did not perform any physical activity in their leisure time were more interested
and motivated to exercise at work (Phipps, Madison, Pomerantz, & Klein., 2010).
There were benefits of this physical activity at workplace programme to both the
organization and employees. The benefits to the organization were increased work efficiency,
improved work quality and increased job satisfaction, in addition to the opportunity to reduce
illnesses and damage to employees, the consequences of which were negative for both the
organization and employees (Dishman, 2007; Pronk et al., 2004).
Barriers such as personal dissatisfaction, the time required for exercise or the place
where the activity should take place were some of the barriers to physical activity in the
workplace identified in this study as well as in some other studies focused on the issue (Kruger,
Yore, Bauer, & Kohl, 2007; Walcott-McQuigg, Zerwic, Dan, & Kelley, 2001).
It was also proved that people who exercise are more polite, have more self-confidence,
that they are more sociable, have stronger self-control, manage stress better and become better at
work (Martin, Sinden, & Fleming, 2000). Positive effect of exercise get transferred to everyday
activities, so cycling to work is becoming more frequent as well as taking the stairs instead of the
lift, etc. (Martin Ginis, Latimer, & Jung, 2003).
The main objective of this research is to explore the connection between physical
activities in employed women and satisfaction with oneself, one's family, one's job, one's social
life and general life satisfaction.
Sample. A survey was conducted amongst 300 employed women, 160 of whom do not go
in for sports while 140 of them do. 153 women were employed in private sector while 147 of
them were employed in state sector (Table 1.)
Table 1
Sample ñ characteristics
Physical activity
Private sector
State sector
Age: 25-35
Age: 35-45
Age: 45-55
Instruments and prÓcedure. The survey was conducted through an anonimous
questionnaire, designed for the purposes of this research. The questionnaire comprised five-point
Likert items where 1 meant: not satisfied at all, and 5 meant: fully satisified. The respondents
were asked if they were satisfied with themselves, their family, their job, their social life and life
generally. The descriptive items comprised the following questions: Do you play sports at least
twice a week? Do you work in private or state sector? How old are you?
The data obtained was processed by Statistica 9.1 for Windows. The statistical analysis
used were descriptive and correlative methods and t-test.
N. Brki
Differences between women who go in for sports and women who do not go in for sports
regarding satisfaction with oneself, one's family, one's job, one's social life and general life
satisfaction are presented in Table 2.
Table 2
Differences between women who go in for sports and women who do not go in for sports
regarding satisfaction with oneself, one's family, one's job, one's social life and general life
Satisfaction with
M1 M2
Social life
M1-women who go in for sports
M2-women who do not go in for sports
The findings show that women who go in for sports are considerably more satisfied with
themselves and their family than those women who do not go in for sports. Significant
differences appear with relation to job, social life and general life satisfaction. Comparison
against each of the five criteria reveals that the satisfaction is much higher in women who
perform physical activity. All the findings are relevant at the p<0.01 level.
Table 3
Correlation of satisfaction perception against the 5 criteria
Satisfaction with
Oneself Family
Social life
Social life
Expectedly, correlations of subjective satisfaction assessment against the five criteria are
very high and statistically relevant. All correlations are positive. Regarding general life
satisfaction, the highest correlation is with family satisfaction, and the lowest is with social life
satisfaction although it is also high and relevant.
Physically active women ñ self and life satisfaction
According to the research described here and the data obtained, it is concluded that
physical activity significantly affects increase in satisfaction with oneself, one's family, one's job,
one's social life and general life satisfaction in employed women.
This research confirms the findings of the research by Kaewthummanukul et al. (2006)
stating that investment into physical activity programmes for employees increases their
motivation for further engagement, that is, physical activity involvement. Women look more
attractive, they feel more self-confident, more satisfied with themselves in many respects, which
also affects their family. Women's productivity at workplace is increased, they are more
motivated to work and additional workload does not have any negative effect on the quality of
their work or work involvement, employees' interaction improve and so does the quality of their
social life.
In the study by Phipps et al. (2010) the workplace is recognized as one of ideal places for
physical activity promotion amongst employed women, the fact that could be emphasized as a
recommendation to employers. Considering the finding that playing sports is closely connected
to higher job satisfaction, it could be assumed that recreational physical activity would contribute
to a significant rise of job motivation and job satisfaction, which could directly reflect in
company profit rise.
Such business policy may be perceived as significant social support. Social support
perception, that is, the organization's support, whether it is in private or state sector, stimulates
work quality and job satisfaction (Rhodes & Fiala, 2009), as is confirmed by the findings of our
research. The atmosphere at work is enhanced, which is reflected in personal satisfaction and in
social contacts, which then enhances the atmosphere at home. As a result, these women are more
satisfied with how their family functions. Physical activity considerably contributes to better
health, especially in women whose job requires long periods of sitting or standing, in which
cases exercise plays role in prevention of some illnesses affecting women at their productive life
stage (Dishman, 2007).
Various recreational programmes such as fitness, aerobics, aquarobics, Pilates and similar
types of exercise for women at work contribute to the increased quality of their interpersonal
relationships. They go beyond the framework of professional relationships at the workplace
which requires certain detachment and they build a closer and more sincere relationship. Their
social circle of friends and acquaintances expands, their social life acquires a new dimension and
it becomes more successful. This atmosphere and mood is taken home and it affects family life,
while positive changes of their behaviour are transferred to other family members, which
establishes balance between mental and physical health, and general life satisfaction.
In order to enable majority of women to pursue such lifestyle, it is necessary to promote
physical activity in the media, press and public promotional events in organizations. Women
should be encouraged to adopt this kind of lifestyle and introduce changes through various types
of recreation in organizations, but also through sporting gatherings or events. Thus socializing
and health care can meaningfully be brought together.
Women who wish or perceive that they need to take up a physical activity should be
supported since sports will bring them satisfaction, increase their self-confidence and satisfaction
with themselves, improve their physical appearance and health, which will then contribute to
quality family and social relationships. In addition to support, they should be given
encouragement and provided with the right conditions in term of time and finance, as changing
individual behaviour plays a key role in raising other women's awareness.
N. Brki
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Submitted November 5, 2010
Accepted December 14, 2010
Review article
Volume 2, No. 2, 2010, 21-30
UDC 159.913
Vesna Petrovi„
Faculty of Law and Business Studies, Novi Sad
Department of Business Psychology
Positive psychology represents a
21st century movement in psychology. It is a
psychology aimed at researching optimal human functioning that empirically studies, first and
foremost, the concept of happiness, in addition to life satisfaction, optimism, virtues and suchlike
notions, which are used to measure the growth and development of human potential and
subjective well-being. This line of conceptualization and research is based on the disease model
and opens up new perspectives for both psychology as a science as well as the people it is
intended for. This paper elaborates the basic ideas and results of certain explorations relative to
positive psychology and positive orientation which comprises optimism, self-esteem and life
Keywords: positive psychology, positive orientation, happiness, health
Approximately 30% of people in the US claim to lead a ìvery happyì life and these
figures have not changed over the past 60 years even though the value of after-tax personal
income, taken as a constant scale, with inflation rate calculated, has since doubled or even
tripled. We still get the same results, namely, that after a certain point is reached, which equals
more or less to earning a few thousand dollars above the poverty level, an increase in material
well-being does not have a significant effect on peopleís happiness. As a matter of fact, we can
always observe that a lack of fundamental, material resources affects the level of dissatisfaction
whereas a rise in material resources, on the other hand, does not bring more satisfaction
(Csikszentmihalyi, 1999).
What actually contributes to peopleís feeling of real satisfaction and happiness in their
everyday lives?
Over the last few years, from 2000 to date, there has been a rapid rise in the number of
studies focusing on human strengths and individual optimal functioning. The results reveal the
Corresponding author. Faculty of Low and Business Study, Department of Business Psychology, 21000 Novi Sad,
Ul. GrËkoökolska 2, e-mail: vesnapet@eunet.rs
© Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
V. Petrovi
key role which oneís estimate of oneself, oneís own life and future plays in oneís perspective on
oneís well-being and success in various areas of functioning (Diener & Suh, 2000; Kahneman,
Diener, & Schwartz, 1999).
Positive psychology or the positive psychology movement constitutes an important field
of the aforementioned research whose most famous proponents are Martin Seligman,
Christopher Peterson, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Edward Diener and their associates.
Positive psychology and happiness
Professor Martin Seligman, a distinguished psychologist, psychotherapist of cognitive-
behavioral orientation, one of the founders of, what is now nothing short of a movement, known
as positive psychology, replies to the question about the state of psychology today by saying that
psychology was good, then not good, while today it is not good enough.
Why was psychology good?
For more than 60 years psychology worked within the disease model. To illustrate this, the
professor mentions that ten years ago he introduced himself to a man sitting next to him on the
plane, told him what he did for a living and the man moved away from him. Quite rightly,
because rumor had it that psychology was only searching for what was wrong with people.îSpot
the lunaticsî. While now, Seligman continues, when he states his profession, people move
toward him.
What was good about psychology, about the 30 billion dollars worth of investment made
by the National Institute of Mental Health, and about the existing ìdisease modelî, was the fact
that 60 years ago none of the mental disorders were treatable ñ things were ill-defined and fuzzy.
Nowadays, fourteen disorders are treatable, while two are curable.
Another good thing that happened was the development of science pertaining to mental
disorders. Psychologists managed to measure indeterminate concepts, such as depression and
alcoholism, with rigorous precision. A classification of mental illnesses was created and it
became possible to understand their origins. We can now observe the same people over a period
of time, people who are, for instance, genetically susceptible to schizophrenia, and ask ourselves
how much influence the environment or genetics exert, and then isolate the third variable by
conducting an experimental study of the mental illnesses.
And the best thing of all is that we have succeeded, in the past 50 years, in inventing
psychological and drug treatments, which we could subsequently put to test in randomly
assigned placebo-controlled groups.
In conclusion, psychology and psychiatry have made miserable people less miserable in the
course of the last 60 years, which is brilliant; an achievement we can be very proud of. However,
the downside of it was the consequences, that is, three things, explains professor Seligman.
Firstly, the moral. Psychologists and psychiatrists became both victim and pathology
oriented; our view of human nature was such that if someone had a problem, this probably
implied that the problem was externally induced. We forgot that people made choices and
decisions. We forgot about responsibility. And that was the first price we had to pay.
Secondly, we forgot about people. We forgot that normal lives needed to be improved too.
We forgot about our mission ñ that we should make people who are relatively untroubled even
happier, more fulfilled, more productive, and the words such as ìgeniusì or ìhuge talentì
became ìdirtyì words. Few people are working on this.
Positive psychology and positive orientation
Thirdly, in relation to the ìdisease modelì, we rushed to help the troubled people and try to
repair the damage done, while it never occurred to us to develop interventions which could make
people happier - the positive interventions. This was not good.
Seligman further adds:
ìAnd so thatís what led people like Nancy Etcoff, Dan Gilbert, Mike Csikszentmihalyi and
myself to work in something I call positive psychology, which has three aims. The first is that
psychology should be just as concerned with human strength as it is with weakness. It should be
just as concerned about building strength as with repairing damage. It should be interested in the
best things in life, and it should be just as concerned with making the lives of normal people
fulfilling and concerned with genius, and with nurturing high-talent.î (Seligman, 2010).
In the past 10 years, and hopefully in the future too, we have had the chance to witness the
birth of a science of positive psychology: the science that explores what makes life really worth
Now we know that the manifold forms of happiness can be measured. Anyone who is
http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/questionnaires.aspx and fill in a number of
questionnaires which measure happiness, free of charge. You can compare your score on positive
emotions, or for example, your flow (a kind of emotion ñ supreme pleasure), with those provided
by tens of thousands of other people. A counterpart to the diagnostic manual of mental illnesses
has been created as a categorization of strengths and virtues. We have established that we can
identify the causation of positive states - the links between the activities of the left hemisphere
and those of the right as a cause of happiness. So, positive psychology operates in terms of
human virtues, growth and development of human potentials. The goal is human happiness not
the loss of disease symptoms.
Positive psychology emphasizes optimism and the positive sides of human functioning
instead of focusing on psychopathology and the difficulties in functioning. Out of a quest to
understand positive human experience, there emerged a positive correlation between emotional
competence and constructs, such as happiness, self-esteem, self-efficacy, optimism, hope, life
satisfaction, locus of control and many more (Taköi„, Mohori„, & Munjas, 2006).
Seligman and his associates claim that the ultimate aim of the positive psychology
movement is the creation of interventions and institutions dedicated to increasing the level of
happiness since happiness is not merely an irrelevant epiphenomenon ñ it is related to several
positive outcomes, such as health, success and interpersonal satisfaction (Seligman, Steen, Park,
& Peterson, 2005).
Seligman maintains that the concept of happiness should be used so as to denote the
whole field of research pertaining to positive psychology. Just as the notion of cognition is used
to denote cognitive psychologistsí field of interest, positive psychologists employ the concept of
happiness to define various modes contributing to human happiness which are also accessible to
scientific investigations (Mihi„, 2009).
One of the first definitions of happiness that can be found in ancient philosophy explains
it as an equivalent of pleasure, sensory gratifications included. This viewpoint was first openly
expressed in the philosophy of hedonism, in the conviction that pleasure should be maximized,
whereas pain should be minimized. In other words, according to this doctrine, a happy life is a
life of pleasure (Peterson, Park, & Seligman, 2005).
A belief contrary to hedonism that can be discerned even in Aristotle defines happiness
as a result of living in harmony with oneís inner self, that is, a life path characterized by
discovering inner values and living accordingly. Maslowís concept of a self-actualized man
exemplifies a modern variation of this ancient tradition. The common aspect of all these
V. Petrovi
conceptions is the belief that man should recognize the best in him and dedicate his qualities and
talents to a greater cause, especially if it contributes to other peopleís well-being. Therefore, a
happy life is a life of meaning (Peterson et al., 2005).
There is also a third path which positive psychologists emphasize in their writing, the
engagement in what we are doing. Engagement is characterized by the loss of boundaries
between self and object, it is a complete immersion into an activity, when time seems to have
stopped. When we are in the engagement zone, we do not find this state to be particularly
pleasant or unpleasant. Only later on, when we reflect upon these moments, do we relate the
moments of dedication to pleasantness, even though their essential quality is not the pleasantness
itself, but a wholehearted engagement. According to positive psychologists, people who often
experience these moments lead a life of engagement (Peterson et al., 2005). Csikszentmihalyi
(»iksentmihalji, 1999) introduced the term flow to denote a mental state in which a man who
leads a life of engagement is performing an activity he is absorbed in and fulfilled by.
Life of pleasure, life of meaning and life of engagement represent three orientations to
happiness and can be measured by a scale devised by Peterson, Park, and Seligman (2005) called
ìOrientations to happinessì. Psychologists are nowadays actively searching for the response to
the following question: Are there any interventions or other methods that can permanently be
steered in a positive direction by these orientations to happiness? Apparently, the answer is
affirmative. Tests are now being conducted under placebo-controlled conditions, besides
longitudinal studies of different interventions. For instance, an intervention that turned out to be
an effective one, teaching people how to maximize life satisfaction, comprised a task which
demanded of the participants to use their best skills and design one beautiful day. As positive
psychology experts propose designing one beautiful day through a personís mental capacities,
virtues and advantages, enhances the level of satisfaction. These psychologists have confirmed
that those participants who completed the task experienced an increase in life satisfaction.
Health, life skills, physical activity and exercise
Psychological interventions that boost happiness can be combined with or complemented
by traditional interventions, as well as physical activities, thus leading to a permanent growth of
individual happiness, followed by plentiful positive effects on health and optimal functioning.
In his book entitled ìEnjoy life: healing with happinessì Johnson
(2009) provides
copious ways which can raise the level of happiness and, by extension, our general good health.
The author includes an entire program whose fundamental elements are gratitude, development
of personal strengths, multiplication of personal virtues, increase in optimism, physical exercise,
relationships with others and life skills.
Salmon (2001) and Hansen et al. (2001) stress the importance of physical activity,
stating that its effect corresponds approximately to that of antidepressants or anxiety relief
medications - ten minutes a day produces this effect while half an hour of physical activity a day
is the optimum.
Balkin et al. (2007) assert that depression is a prevalent issue with girls on university
campuses in the US. Their research report pertains to three groups of undergraduates: the first
group of participants did aerobic exercises, the second attended weight-lifting classes and the
third, the control group, underwent mental health counseling at the university. The aerobic
exercise group exhibited a statistically significant decrease in depressive symptoms compared to
two other groups of undergraduates. The authors of the study believe that the implications of
these results are noteworthy for general good health and that mental health counselors should
take into consideration all aspects of health when working with the clients. Young adult women
Positive psychology and positive orientation
will probably develop a stronger feeling of well-being if they adopt a life style that is consistent
with the wellness model (Hermon & Hazler, 1999). According to these two researchers, mental
health counselors should give recommendations which can affect various aspects of mental
health and wellness, including those on aerobic exercises as an efficient intervention which
reduces depressive symptoms.
Another investigation carried out by Teychenne et al. (2010) on a large sample of
women, totaling 3645 participants, demonstrated that a far lower risk of depression was present
in women who spent some free time doing physical exercises in comparison with women who
spent their free time sitting behind the computer or watching television.
In view of these findings, it is more than evident that there is a link between physical
exercise and positive psychology, i.e. orientation to happiness.
Nevertheless, apart from orientation to happiness, the exploration of positive human
functioning and experience expands to many other related concepts, areas of life and human
traits, such as, for example, optimism, self-esteem and life satisfaction.
Life satisfaction, self-esteem and optimism
In other words, self-esteem, life satisfaction and optimism seem to be distinctly related to
numerous outcomes that confirm individual optimal functioning, such as health, business success
and interpersonal positive relations
(Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener
2005; Psyzczynski,
Greenberg, Solomon, Arnt, & Schimel, 2004; Scheier & Carver, 2001). All three constructs
correspond to a lasting structure of knowledge about oneself and the world. They have a serious
impact on personal feelings and actions, shaping the present and predisposing future experiences
(Caprara, 2009).
Life satisfaction refers to a personís general evaluation of various activities and
relationships that make someoneís life worth living
1984). This overall estimate
summarizes the degree of satisfaction one gets from multitudinous activities and relationships
which have marked oneís life.
Self-esteem denotes an individualís general self-regard and the level of self-acceptance
(Harter, 1999). This overall appraisal reflects the ongoing transactions between a person and the
situations which define his/her course of life, given that people draw appreciation from what they
have accomplished with others over time and through life circumstances of every description.
Although neither the price at which self-esteem is gained under harsh and unpredictable life
contingencies (Crocker & Park, 2004) nor the risky consequences of an extremely high or low
opinion of oneself (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger, & Vohs, 2003) should be underestimated,
there is certainly no doubt that self-esteem has a beneficial effect on the whole life span in
various domains of life. People whose self-esteem is at a high level adopt more efficient
strategies in pursuing their goals, are less likely to quit in the face of obstacles or troubles, feel
more in control over events, have a lower risk of developing symptoms of depression or anxiety
and are more healthy (Baumeister, 1993; Greenberg, et al. 1992; Kernis, 2003).
Optimism refers to oneís perspective on future personal and social events, in which there
will be an abundance of good things and a scarcity of bad things (Carver & Scheier, 2002). The
positive effects of this view have been extensively documented in diverse settings and life
circumstances. It is worth noting that research findings indicate that optimism is positively
correlated to physical health, effective coping strategies, successful recuperation and longevity
(Maruta, Colligan, Malinchoc, & Offord, 2000; Scheier & Carver, 1985, 2001; Segerstrom,
Taylor, Kemeny, & Fahey, 1998).
V. Petrovi
A high degree of inter-correlation between life satisfaction, self-esteem and optimism
prompts us to focus on the identification of what they have in common. This, eventually, leads to
the hypothesis that what they have in common is a latent factor, that is, an outlook on the world
and reality which impacts the way people construe their experiences and predispositions for
certain actions (Caprara, Delle Fratte, & Steca, 2002; Caprara, Steca, Alessandri, Abela, &
McWhinnie, 2009).
What do self-esteem, life satisfaction and optimism have in common?
A few thousand respondents, equally distributed by sex and age between 20 and 80
(Alessandri, 2008; Caprara, Alessandri, Tisak, & Steca, 2009), participated in studies exploring
life satisfaction, self-esteem and optimism (Caprara, 2009) by filling out questionnaires.
The results of these studies have shown that life satisfaction, self-esteem and optimism
are positively and highly interrelated. Furthermore, confirmatory factor analyses have
demonstrated that life satisfaction, self-esteem and optimism represent indicators of a common
latent factor and exhibit strong and statistically significant positive loadings on common factors
(Caprara, Alessandri et al.,
2009). Additionally, the explained variances for all the three
indicators were uniformly high besides being sound indicators that the conceptual model and the
analyzed data were in accord (Alessandri, 2008; Caprara, Alessandri et al., 2009; Caprara et al.,
2002). The ensuing explorations confirmed the generalizability of these findings in assorted
linguistic and cultural contexts, namely, in Japan, Germany, Spain and Canada
Alessandri, Gunzenhauser, PeirÚ, Trommsdorff, & Yamaguchi 2009; Caprara, Steca, et al.,
Stability and predictive value of positive orientation
The results of longitudinal studies confirm the high stability of positive orientation in
adolescence (Alessandri, 2008; Caprara, Alessandri, et al., 2009). Moreover, positive orientation
was a reliable predictor of depression, positive and negative affectivity, quality of friendship and
health, as well as other indicators of individual optimal functioning in school and at work
(Alessandri, 2008; Caprara, Alessandri, et al., 2009).
Genetic basis of positive orientation
A study conducted on twins which examined self-esteem, life satisfaction and optimism,
was aimed at discovering the genetic and environmental structure of these three characteristics
(Caprara, Fagnani, et al.,
2009). Multivariate genetic analysis revealed that the model
presupposing genetic and unshared environmental effect as partly common to self-esteem, life
satisfaction and optimism which is partially specific to each of the aforesaid traits clearly depicts
the genetic structure of positive orientation. Heritability (defined as a proportion relating to
genetic variation within a total variance) for the three (first order) components of positive
orientation was: 73% for self-esteem, 59% for life satisfaction and 28% for optimism. Genetic
correlation (measuring the extent to which the two traits are influenced by the same gene) was
estimated at .80 for self-esteem and life satisfaction, .83 for self-esteem and optimism, and .87
for life satisfaction and optimism.
Positive psychology and positive orientation
Turning potential into optimal functioning: challenges and future directions of research
The results of the aforementioned studies converge in laying stress on positive orientation
as a fundamental predisposition which can, to a considerable extent, account for oneís
adjustments and achievements. In the light of these data, however, we might wonder about the
possibility of any changes, but at the same time, the development of interventions which could
empower and strengthen an individualís view of himself, his own life and his future, poses a
challenge for researchers, clinicians and health psychologists alike. Even though genes determine
our average points for positive orientation, they are probably not responsible for our position
within our personal range of variation at any given time.
The influential role of unique experience deserves special attention so that proper
strategies for promoting individual growth and flourish could be identified. In this regard, the
foregoing findings can be related to contributions that self-efficacy beliefs give to positive
orientation, within the frame of social cognitive theory; this theory places the self-efficacy
beliefs at the heart of human motivating force. Self-efficacy defines the direction towards a goal,
by providing suitable processes and mechanisms that enable people to exert control over their
lives and actively contribute to their happiness (Bandura, 1997; Caprara, 2002).
Attention should also be called to the fact that the earlier findings underscore a
conceptual model in which an individualís perceived efficacy in affect management influences
his perceived efficacy in managing interpersonal relationships while both of them, jointly,
contribute to positive orientation (Caprara & Steca, 2005; 2006a, 2006b). Present-day findings
reveal the contribution of positive psychology to perceived efficacy and further illuminate the
contribution of perceived efficacy to positive orientation in the course of time. It is worth
pointing out that the perceived emotional and social efficacy contributes to positive orientation
components, namely, to self-esteem and life satisfaction, over a high stability of positive
orientation over time.
Although these are only preliminary results (Caprara, 2009), they are very encouraging
since they show that self-efficacy pertinent to affect and social relations can contribute
significantly to the reinforcement of positive orientation. In this respect, social cognitive theory
proves that successful experiences are an efficient means of promoting self-efficacy beliefs and
supplying directions for the creation and implementation of appropriate interventions that will
enable people to become more efficient in affect regulation and interpersonal relations.
Over the last decade there has been a sparked interest in positive traits of individual
functioning, due to or in accordance with the theoretical and empirical development of the
movement called positive psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).
The research program of this movement is directed at human strengths and the discovery
of new ways of enhancing an individualís potentials. Positive orientation is a term which
embodies life satisfaction, self-esteem and optimism
2009). It represents an
omnipresent method of facing reality, reflecting on experience, framing events and processing
personal and interpersonal experiences across time and life circumstances.
Studies which we summarized in this paper attest to positive orientation being a far-
reaching predisposition which can have a tremendous impact on oneís outlook and the use of
oneís potentials. Recent findings verify the key role which self-efficacy beliefs in the field of
affect regulation and interpersonal relationships can play in promoting an individualís positive
V. Petrovi
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Review article
Volume 2, No. 2, 2010, 31-41
UDC 351(497.4):796
The preparation of the proposal of National
programme for sport in Slovenia for the next
Edvard Kolar and Jakob Bednarik
Science and research center of Koper, University of Primorska, Slovenia
Marjeta KovaË and Gregor Jurak
Faculty of sport, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
The last National programme for sport (2000) has been prepared for the 2000 ñ 2010
strategic period and as such it will run its course at the end of 2010. Methodological starting-
point for preparation of the new National programme for sport for 2011 ñ 2020, which could
become a fundamental strategic document for progress and development of Slovenian sport in
the coming decade, was based on the methodology of strategic management (énidaröiË Krajnc,
1996; Kolar, 2007; PuËko, 2003; 2008). A project team has prepared a proposal for the new
National programme for sport for 2011 ñ 2020, which will have to undergo a long path of
changes and amendments until it will be passed in the Slovenian Parliament. Responses of all
types of public were critical but encouraging.
Keywords: national strategy for sport, strategic management, Slovenia.
The last National programme for sport (2000) has been prepared for the 2000 ñ 2010
strategic period and as such it will run its course at the end of 2010. In line with directives of the
Ministry of education and sport, before the end of validity of existing National programme for
sport (2000), ªProject of preparation of the National programme for sport for 2011 ñ 2020´ and
the ªProject of preparation of the amendments or preparation of the new Law on sport´ have to
be carried out. Slovenian Minister of education and sport, Igor Luköi„ PhD, has named Marko
Rajöter ñ general director of the Directorate for sport ñ as a project manager for preparation of
these two documents. On the basis of recommendations from the Ministry of education and
sport, Slovenian Olympic Committee ñ Association of Sports Unions and the Faculty of sport,
the Minister has named a project team for realisation of both strategic documents. Documents
should be finished and passed in the Slovenian National Assembly by the end of 2010.
Corresponding author. Science and research center of Koper, University of Primorska, Garibaldijeva 1, 6000
Koper, Slovenia, e-mail: edikolar@siol.net
© 2010 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
E. Kolar et al.
Methodological starting-points
A proposal of the National programme for sport (NPS) for the next decade has been
prepared within the project ªNetwork and support to non-governmental organisations in sport´,
which has been run by the Association for sport of children and youth in Slovenia and was partly
financed from the European social fund. The project team, working on the large project, included
several experts and scientists from the field of sport, management of sport and economy.
Methodological starting-point for preparation of the new NPS, which could become a
fundamental strategic document for progress and development of Slovenian sport in the coming
decade, was based on the methodology of strategic management (énidaröiË Krajnc, 1996; Kolar,
2007; PuËko,
2008), which recommends a series of steps in preparation of such
documents. The model of preparation of National programme for sport can be seen in Figure 1.
The model in its top part presents the phases of strategic management or phases of preparation of
National programme for sport for
2011 ñ
2020, preparation of the organisation for
implementation of the National programme for sport for 2011 ñ 2020 and the control of
implementation of National programme for sport for 2011 ñ 2020. Whereas the preparation of
the strategic plan is connected with planning of successfulness (To do the right things!), the
planning of organisation, implementation and control are connected with the efficiency (To do
things in a right way!) of implementation of strategic goals and vision of the National
programme for sport for 2011 ñ 2020. The successfulness of the National programme for sport
for 2011 ñ 2020, which depends on establishing ªright´ strategic goals and measures, projects
and activities, e.g. those that will increase successfulness of Slovenian sport and enable the
implementation of strategic vision
(common goal) and mission (purpose) of the National
programme for sport for 2011 ñ 2020, will be a responsibility of the project team. The efficiency
of the implementation of measures, projects and activities for accomplishing strategic goals will
be a responsibility of all the acting parties in the process of implementation (organisation and
realisation) of measures (strategies) and control of realisation of measures and achievement of
the effects of measures (strategies). The lower part of the figure 1 shows a group of activities,
which have to be carried out in the process of preparation of National programme for sport for
2011 ñ 2020 (NPS 2011 ñ 2020). Individual activities or steps in preparation of the NPS 2011 ñ
2020 follow consequently, as the realisation of one activity facilitates a sensible realisation of the
next activity. Explanation is included for every step and activity as well as questions, which will
have to be answered in the realisation of the activity.
Considering above mentioned points, the strategic team has in its introductory starting-points
of the preparation plan written that four strategic documents will need to be prepared in order to
deal with the entire future development of sport. Documents are proposed to be prepared in the
following order:
1. Analysis of the National programme for sport in Slovenia (2000),
2. National programme for sport for 2011 ñ 2020,
3. Action plan for the implementation of the National programme for sport in Slovenia for
2011 ñ 2020,
4. The novelty on the Law on sport or a new Law on sport (on the basis of passed NPS).
According to the project team members, only all four strategic documents together can
present a logical unit, which will enable rational, successful and efficient realisation of progress
and development of Slovenian sport in the next decade.
Preparing the National programme for sport in Slovenia
Figure 1. Model of preparation of the National programme for sport 2011 ñ 2020.
E. Kolar et al.
Analysis of the National programme for sport in Slovenia (2000)
An analysis of the National programme for sport in Slovenia (NPS 2000) has been
presented in an extensive scientific monograph, which on more than 350 pages presents an
analysis of various aspects of sport between 2001 and 2008. The analysis consisted of a review
of the entire internal setting of sport, which included those segments of sport that formed a part
of NPS 2000. Strengths and weaknesses of implemented measures from the NPS 2000 were
examined. Analysis also touched on the subject of some aspects of external setting of sport,
namely those segments that in past already had and in future potentially could have important
effects on the progress and development of Slovenian sport. Analysis of these aspects helped to
understand the threats and opportunities of future development and progress of sport.
A method of whole analysis (evaluation) of sport in Slovenia has been used in order to
examine the efficiency and successfulness of implementation of NPS 2000 for the period 2001 ñ
2008. Complete field of sport has been divided into substructures and each of the substructures
of sport has been evaluated analytically. The field of sport has been divided into five
substructures: organisational, financial, research & development, programme and materialistic
(infrastructure) substructure. Within the individual substructures a finished analysis of individual
contents of NPS 2000 has been carried out. The contents of NPS 2000 have been distributed
according to their belonging to individual substructure of sport. Thus, within the entire analysis,
in total 20 areas of sport have been reviewed and evaluated; namely, 17 segments (contents) of
NPS 2000, which formed a part of internal setting of sport and three areas of external setting of
sport (economic effects, taxation aspects and sport in educational system). In the segment of
analysis of materialistic substructure, environmental as well as some other topics, related to
construction of sports facilities, have been considered. The final chapters of the analysis included
main findings from individual substructures and areas; furthermore, the evaluation of
successfulness and efficiency of individual measures of NPS
2000 has been presented.
Additionally, an analysis of correlation of financial measures and selected effects, indicating the
development and progress of Slovenian sport for the period 2001 ñ 2008, has been carried out
and the evaluation of successfulness of fulfilment of the goals and purposes through NPS 2000
has been presented.
Numerous indicators (the number of medals at major competitions, the number of
sportingly active adult population, number of sporting organisation, new training and
competition sport facilities etc.) revealed that sport in Slovenia has in the last ten years
experienced all-around progress and quality development. Important factors of contribution have
been measures, implemented by the state and local governments, which were defined in the
National programme for sport 2000. Other supporting factors were introduction of sport into
various social areas (particularly educational), self-initiative of social organisation of sport,
development of private sector in sport, media attention, interest of general public and Slovenian
economy for private financing of sport. Main findings of the analysis are presented in Table 1.
Preparing the National programme for sport in Slovenia
Table 1
Slovenian sport in numbers
Total expenditure for sport
597.521.712 Ä (1,93% of BDP)
Average annual expenditure of household for sport
496 Ä
Number of sports organisations
Number of sports clubs
Annual averages income of sports club
32.764 Ä
Resources from Yearly sport programme per person
49.28 Ä
Indoor sports facility (m2 per person)
Outdoor sports facilities (m2 per person)
3 academic hours (45 minutes) in
Number of compulsory physical education lessons
primary school and 1 to 3 in secondary
in education system
school, 0 in higher education
Proportion of sportingly active adult population
94.953 (approx. 70% of 6- to 9-year-old
Number of children in sports programmes Golden
children and approx. 50% of 9- do 12-
Sun and Krpan
year-old children)
Proportion of swimmers among 12-year-old
Number of registered athletes in competitive
systems of national sports governing bodies,
competing for the title of national champion
Number of categorised athletes
Number of world-class athletes
Number of sports with categorised athletes
Number of local communities with categorised
Number of children and youth, included in the
project of National sports schools
Number of young athletes with scholarship
Number of suppliers of coaching education
60 suppliers, 282 programmes
programmes and number of programmes
Number of researchers in sport
Average number of organised World and European
championships per year
E. Kolar et al.
In the last decade, organised sport in Slovenia was on a rise. In 2008, 7.439 sports
organisations were functional, 82% (6.115) of them were sports clubs. The number of sports
organisations (private and public) has throughout the entire observed period increased by 91%
(3.544). Particular expansion has been noticed in private sector, both in the number of
organisations and the income made. Despite this fact, the model of extra-curricular sport is still
based on sports clubs.
Clubs are main protagonists of Slovenian competitive sport. In 2009, 87.520 athletes
were registered (Olimpijski komite Slovenije, 2009) as participants in competitive systems of
national sports governing bodies up to the level of national champion (an estimate for 2000 was
15.000 athletes). In the same year,
4.520 athletes fulfilled criteria to become categorised
(Olimpijski komite Slovenije ñ zdruûenje öportnih zvez, 2007). The number of sports, the
number and proportion of Slovenian local communities with categorised athletes, the number of
elite athletes and the number of medals won at major competitions has been increasing
throughout the ten-year period, indicating larger distribution of quality and elite sport. In last
decade, the number of elite athletes has increased by 14.7% or 102 elite athletes. The number of
medals won at major international competitions
(Olympic Games, World and European
championships) has been during the years 2000 and 2008 increasing by 8% per year. With five
medals won at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, Slovenia placed second on the
ranking list of medals won per capita1; with three medals won Slovenia ranked third at the 2010
Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver (Olimpijski komite Slovenije, 2010). Slovenia is one of
the five European countries and by far the smallest country (France, Germany, Serbia and
Spain), which in
2010 had teams qualified for Football World Cup as well as World
Championships in basketball and handball1.
Such results were achieved with the help of various systemic measures. The level of
expertise of working with children and youth has increased, particularly due to financial support
for educated sports professionals, working with this sensitive part of population within the
project of national sports schools. Among the important projects, enabling the athletes to acquire
desired education, are also solutions in the field of balancing the academic and sport
commitments of talented athletes (sports classes, scholarships, learning help and other types of
modification of academic responsibilities) (Jurak et. al., 2005).
Various sports programmes for children (Golden Sun; Krpan; Learn to swim; Hoorah,
free time) in the last ten years contributed to improvement of contents, workforce and
materialistic resources of motor activity of pre-school and compulsory as well as free time
physical education of pre-school and primary school children. Nevertheless, positive trends in
organised free time sports activities of children did not manage to neutralise negative changes in
lifestyle of children and youth. Consequently, increasing proportion of overweight and obese
children, particularly between the ages of 8 and 13, has been noticed, as well as negative changes
in functional indicators of aerobic endurance of children and youth (Strel, Bizjak, Starc, &
KovaË, 2009). Negative trends are still significantly smaller in comparison to other European
Ensuring the infrastructure conditions for carrying out sports activity has been
accomplished through intensive investments of local communities into a network of sports
facilities, thus providing 0.33m2 of indoor sports facilities and 3.15m2 of outdoor sports facilities
per capita. In contrast, an efficient catalogue of sports facilities, which would ensure adequate
overview for efficient supplementing of network, is still required and lacking. In some local
communities, sports facilities that were built require expensive maintenance, which will be hard
to keep up due to limitations of local budgets. In general, construction of network of sports
facilities was very dispersed across Slovenian regions; mostly multi-purpose sports halls were
1 http://www.rtvslo.si/sport/preostali-sporti/slovenski-sport-svetovni-fenomen/217612
Preparing the National programme for sport in Slovenia
constructed. Less sports facilities per person have been noticed in larger towns, particularly
Ljubljana and Maribor.
The network of sports facilities ensures access to sport for the majority of population; the
fact has been confirmed also with international comparisons. Slovenes are in first place
according to the use of natural sports facilities and one of the most sportingly active nations of
European Union (Eurobarometer, 2010), as 64% of population is sportingly active and 33% of
population practice sport on a regular basis (Sila et. al., 2010).
In the last decade a second developmental sports infrastructure has been set up. A system
of education, training and promotion of professional workforce in sport has been formed.
Training programmes of workforce in sport have been set up by competent providers (three
providers of university and high education programmes; 282 training programmes and 60
providers). In the studied period,
1.130 professional people finished university or further
education sports degree. In the same period, 9.679 professional people were trained in sport.
Supporting the transfer of knowledge are sports and other organisations, which on an annual
basis publish 70 scientific and professional items of literature from sport. Supporting the athletes
with monitoring of their preparation are 9 laboratories of the Institute of sport at the Faculty of
sport in Ljubljana and one laboratory at the University of Primorska. Despite reduced financing,
scientific-research activity of sport is extensive and successful, although as a result of national
strategy in the field of science it is more directed into publicising abroad and less in studying
practical problems of sport at home. A National anti-doping commission has been set up in order
to prevent doping and the activities of the commission have in ten-year period resulted in
identifying the use of illegal substances and procedures in 18 athletes.
An analysis of financing of Slovenian sport revealed that the entire expenditure for sport
in the last decade has been increasing on an absolute level; however, in relation to the GNP it has
been decreasing due to major investments in transportation infrastructure. In 2001, expenditure
for sport amounted to 433.9 million EUR (2.38% of GNP), whereas in 2007 it was 597.5 million
EUR (1.93% GNP). The proportion of private and public expenditure has not been changing
significantly throughout the years; in average private expenditure represents 84% and public
expenditure 16% of total expenditure for sport. Proportion of public expenditure for sport is
lower than in other EU countries. Expenditure of households represents almost half of total
expenditure for sport. The largest proportion of money is spent on sports equipment (78.2% -
sport clothing and shoes and outdoor sport equipment), whereas three times less money is spent
on sports services (21.8% - sports courses, sports clubs membership fees, training fees, ski
passes and tickets to sports events). Average Slovenian household spends 496 EUR per year for
sport, which is comparable with EU-15 member countries. Expenditure of businesses for sport
(mostly as sponsorships) in average represents 18.1% of total expenditure for sport.
The income of sports organisations has in the last decade risen from 158.9 million EUR
to 300.3 million EUR. Despite significant increase of income in private sector, the income of
sports clubs grew continuously. In 2008, the total income of sports clubs came to 200.4 million
EUR; however, the income of an average club is stagnating as a result of growing number of
In 2008, 100.1 million EUR of public finances went to sport2 in comparison to 63.4
million EUR in 2001. Local communities contributed 75.2% of this money and the state
government 24.8% of total public expenditure for sport, signifying decentralised model of
financing in sport, which can be compared to western European countries. Public finances have
in the studied period reached almost 90% of planned expenditure in National programme for
2 This includes finances for sport from local government, state government and Foundation of sport. Although sport
is also financed from some other public sources (e.g. employment of athletes in state companies), data available was
not adequate and have been neglected.
E. Kolar et al.
sport, although the realisation of individual contents of National programme for sport was very
different. The best realisation has been noticed in the segment of construction of sports facilities.
This category obtained the majority of public finances and its proportion within the total public
expenditure has been increasing. In 2001, it represented 48.1 % and in 2008 56.4% of total
public expenditure for sport (see Figure 2).
However, some supporting mechanisms of Slovenian sport were not implemented in the
last decade. Problems keep occurring in implementation of physical education throughout the
entire vertical of educational system, implementation of health status of athletes, caring for the
complete personal development of elite athletes, development and implementation of sport
activity of children and youth with special needs and sport participation of disabled people,
rationalisation of the use of public sports facilities and the lack of adequate training
infrastructure for certain sports. It has also been noticed that some national governing bodies
depend too heavily on public financing and that professional teams have continuous financial
difficulties. Wrong decisions in 2006 on functioning and development of information system in
sport resulted in shortage of information, which are essential in decision making process.
Additionally, balanced media coverage of different types of sport has not been achieved. Media
report mainly on elite and quality sport and to a lesser extent fulfil its mission about the
promotion of sport as an important factor of a healthy lifestyle. Non-governmental sports
segment has warned about its reduced influence in decision making process on public finances
and the functioning of sport on a local level. In the area of taxation it has been noticed that it is
not encouraging for the development of sport. All the above mentioned arguments represent
threats for the future progress and development of Slovenian sport.
Figure 2. A structure of public finances in 2008 according to the categories of National
programme for sport.
Preparing the National programme for sport in Slovenia
A proposal of the National programme for sport of Republic of
Slovenia for 2011 ñ 2020 and its action plan
Findings from the analysis of the previous decade represented a fundamental starting-
point for planning and preparation of the proposal of the new NPS. In methodological sense, the
new proposal follows the process of strategic planning, which happens after strategic analysis
(see Figure 1). As such, NPS in its initial chapter includes definition of sport and the set of social
roles of sport; this is followed by its mission, status (summary of analysis), vision, main goal and
measures or strategies for achieving the goal.
Main mission of the NPS 2011 ñ 2020 is for the government to use the NPS for creation
conditions for development of sport; in turn, sport to become an important factor of improvement
of every individual and the entire society. National programme for sport defines public interest,
which is carried out by acting parties and creators of Slovenian sport. Fulfilling of public
interests will be achieved by:
a) Ensuring each individual a possibility for active participation in sport in a safe and
healthy environment,
a) Providing all young people quality physical education lessons and out of school sports
participation, which will enable acquisition of motor competency to the extent of sport
becoming a part of their healthy lifestyle,
b) Providing everyone with interest and ability a chance to improve personal sports
achievement and a possibility of public recognition of his or her importance,
c) Developing moral and ethical values of sport, respecting human dignity and safety of
everyone involved in sport,
d) Creating encouraging environment for the development of all types of sports activity and
for all parts of populations.
A vision, written in the proposal of the NPS 2011 ñ 2020 states that in the coming decade
ªSport will become more important part of culture of our nation and should become a necessary
part of a healthy lifestyle and positive attitude towards life for every individual.´
Main strategic goals, which were set in order to fulfil a vision and mission of NPS 2011 ñ
2020, are:
To increase a proportion of sportingly active adult population in Slovenia by 5%,
To increase a proportion of regularly active adult population in Slovenia by 5%,
To increase a proportion of daily active children and youth by 20%,
To increase a proportion of sportingly active population in expertly led programmes by
To increase a number of athletes in competitive systems by 10%,
To increase a number of elite athletes by 5%,
To maintain the number of world class athletes.
Chapter ªMeasures´ has been in the NPS proposal divided into six structures (sports
programmes; sports facilities and natural facilities for sport; developmental activities in sport;
functioning of sports organisations; tax benefits of sport; support for humanity in sport),
consisting of 25 segments. Every segment (or structure, if it is a sole entity) includes: set
strategic goals, which will support accomplishment of basic goals from NPS proposal,
E. Kolar et al.
indicators, which can objectively measure reaching the strategic goals of the segment and
measures, which should be realised in order to fulfil strategic goals of the individual segment. In
addition, for each segment a proposal of action plan has been prepared, stating activities (or
projects) needed to be realised for each measure, deadline and the amount of financial resources
and the creators (both financial and organisational) for each activity. Chapter ªMeasures´ is
followed by chapters ªManaging´, which in methodological sense represents a process of
sensible organisation for efficient realisation of measures (strategies) of NPS, and ªFinancing´,
which summarises and represents financial volume of NPS, relations between different structures
in sport and time schedule for provision of public finances, needed for realisation of the NPS
proposal. The proposal ends with priority tasks for the next decade.
Prepared NPS proposal for the coming period has been regarding to its contents set
significantly wider than the previous National programme for sport. The significance of social
roles of sport requires intertwining of sport with various social areas: health, education, business,
environment, tourism, culture, finances, transportation etc. Development of sport cannot depend
only on sports organisations and government as well as local bodies, which support sport.
Therefore, the proposal defines the role and responsibility of individual creators for providing
the conditions for development of sport in the entire social sphere. Proposal particularly
emphasises solving of professional, organisational and managing tasks, which are closely related
to sport. These tasks represent annual programme of sport (operational document), which will be
every year financed from government and local budgets for sport and Foundation for sport. In
part, where sport is intertwined with other social areas, the NPS proposal defines guidelines for
appropriate placement of sport into strategies and policies of these areas and mutual work for
common public good. Contents of the starting points of the NPS proposal follow the directives
of the ªWhite book on sport´, the European Council, European policies on different areas, which
regulate sport and the international conventions from the field of sport, which have been ratified
by Slovenia. It is worth mentioning two other important aspects of the NPS proposal. First, the
NPS proposal defines sport as a basic right of all human beings: children, youth, adults, old age
people as well as people with special needs. As such, the proposal is also intended for
individuals who are residents of Slovenia and those who only reside temporarily. Second, the
NPS proposal grants non-governmental part of society an important role in the field of sport and
suggests that it should become an important decision-maker in the managing process of the NPS.
Instead of conclusion
A project team has prepared a proposal for the new NPS, which will have to undergo a
long path of changes and amendments until it will be passed in the Slovenian Parliament. When
preparing the proposal, project team members have on the basis of available data and
heterogeneous knowledge as well as familiarity with various segments of sport attempted to
tackle sport in its entirety. A preliminary presentation of the proposal has been completed in
front of all the committees of Slovenian Olympic Committee ñ Association of Sport Unions,
which is the highest professional organisation from non-governmental sector in sport, in front of
students of the Faculty of sport, which are potential users and creators of future image of sport,
and also at 14 regional symposiums across the entire Slovenia. Responses of all types of public
were critical but encouraging. Nevertheless, it is important to realise that only cultured dialogue,
which will be based on professionally and scientifically founded arguments will contribute to
national strategy that could represent an added value to future successfulness of Slovenian sport.
Preparing the National programme for sport in Slovenia
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December 11-12, 2008. Belgrade: Faculty of Sport and Physical Education of the
University of Belgrade.
énidaröiË Kranjc, A. (1996). Ekonomika in upravljanje neprofitnih organizacij. [Economics and
management of non-profit making organisations] Postojna: DEJ.
Submitted October 28, 2010
Accepted December 14, 2010
Review article
Volume 2, No. 2, 2010, 43-49
UDC 796.011
Antonio Borgogni, Simone Digennaro, Stefania Manzo and Erika Vannini
Faculty of Sport Sciences, Department of Sport and Health Sciences,
University of Cassino, Italy
The concept of sustainability is usually linked with environmental issues. Accepting the
idea of the body as an inner environment, it is possible to outline a more sustainable approach to
sport didactics that doesnít jeopardise the youth's later willingness for sports. The red thread
running through the theoretical references and didactic examples is a way of teaching that
privileges communicative to functional/thermo dynamical aspects. The sustainable didactics is
the synthesis of several methodological approaches developed in the in the field of Sport for All.
Keywords: sustainability, didactics, sports for all
In the last 30 years, in Italy, the almost total lack of official research activities on P.E.,
essentially due to the absence of a Faculty of Sport Sciences, has been counterbalanced by
studies and research
(often home-made ones), carried out individually by teachers and
researchers. Many of these free-lance researchers have been active leaders in the development of
didactic studies regarding Sport-for-All. As new Courses or Faculties of Sport Sciences have
been established (2000), several of these researchers have been invited to carry on their work at
the Faculty of Sport Sciences of the University of Cassino, with the aim of systematizing the
relevant knowledge they were bearers of.
As a recognised Faculty, we have welcomed these individual studies and developed a
new approach in P.E., which is that of sustainability in sport practices. Our Faculty is
experimenting this theoretical-applicative approach in the training of its students and this method
is being adopted also in the training of schoolteachers and sports operators in collaboration with
UISP, the largest Sport for All association in Italy. The concept of sustainability applied to P. E.
and sport didactics leads us to define as sustainable those didactics that do not jeopardise the
youth's later willingness for sports. (Borgogni, Geri, & Lenzerini, 2004)
Corresponding author. Faculty of Sport Sciences, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Cassino,
Campus Folcara ñ Via S. Angelo 03043 Cassino, e-mail: a.borgogni@unicas.it
© 2010 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
A. Borgogni et al.
The approach has its theoretical references in:
Merleau Pontyís (2002) study on phenomenology, in particular his analysis on the relation
between body and perception and on the deep communicative sense of the meaning of
gestures: ìthe communication or comprehension of gestures comes about through the
reciprocity of my intentions and the gestures of others, of my gestures and intentions
discernible in the conduct of other people. It is as if the other person's intention inhabited my
body and mine hisî. (p. 215). As sports experts, we can find in this text the qualitative
explanation of almost every sport tactic related to sociomotricity;
institutional pedagogy, paying particular attention to the idea of cooperative learning and of
ìactive classroomî, developed by Freinet (1990), who emphasized the concept of active
learning in a democratic setting. Freinet theorised the respect for the childís integrity, thus
bringing real life into the curriculum and reaching both motivation through meaningful work
and freedom from coercion. The didactics of Freinet connect us with the idea of cooperative
games as a basis of every disciplinary learning;
relational psychomotricity, particularly the approach of Lapierre and Aucoutourier (1973).
They draw their educational attention on the relation between mother and child, between
teacher and child and amongst children: this relation is as much important as what is taught.
The non-directive approach, the relevance of the act of listening, and the body language are
other peculiarities which strictly link their approaches to body practices and sports;
the latest studies on neurophysiology concerning the role of emotions in learning processes, to
mention but a few names Damasio (1994), Edelman (1987), Goleman (1995), Le Doux
(1996); they have highlighted how emotions can change a neural map, thus demonstrating the
relevance of an optimal learning environment, also referring to Vygotskyís zone of proximal
development, which strictly depends on the possibility to cope with emotions. Our field of
knowledge is more than others connected with emotions; any performance at any level
depends on the emotional condition of the pupil, often exposed to the gaze of the teacher and
of the other students.
Sustainable didactics
The world of sports is often unable to read the consequences of its behaviour on external
environment (for example in relation to the environmental impact of a sport event or to eco-
sustainable practice), with perhaps the only exception being that of some very big events.
Nevertheless, in this article our intention is to draw the attention to the incapacity of sports world
to grasp the consequences of its politics on the body, meant as an inner environment. This
limited perception is true from a physiological and psychological point of view and also from the
perspective of sustainable didactics, which will be the centre of my analysis up to the end of this
From a physiological point of view, doping is only the most evident expression of the
lack of sustainability of a performance in time. From a psychological side, also referring to
Hardman (2008), we can trace the absence of sustainability in the result-oriented pressures made
on children and youngsters, in the exclusion and in the unwillingness to recognise real
responsibilities in the drop and burn-out phenomena of the less able students from sports. In the
perspective of ecological didactics, it is interesting to underline the features of sustainability
discernible in some didactic approaches.
Towards sustainable didactics
The approach we are proposing can render practicing sport sustainable for four reasons:
not compromising the possibility of future sport activities from an anatomical-physiological
viewpoint; highlighting the ethical aspects of sports while facilitating a reflection on sport
practice; inducing a balanced relationship with the inner environment
- the body
, thus
facilitating advancing to other sports or recreational sports practices; maintaining the motivation
to practising different kind of sports since the activities are conceived as non-excluding.
The approach, explained in several books published by various researchers of our group,
is based on three interwoven pillars: oblique methodology, the concept of ìsubjectively
difficultî, situational methodology.
Oblique methodology is based on the teacherís ability to create situations which every
student can manage to get through. Obliquity is an approach that allows every athlete/student to
work at their own level, therefore with a higher possibility of success of their actions. Every
student possesses different abilities: a teacher facing this situation can choose to introduce only
one level of difficulty which few students can overcome or a case with several levels of obstacles
which everybody can get over in accordance with their personal skills.
In practice: a situation is oblique when every one in the group can do exercises at
different/personal levels but feeling involved in the same activity; a situation is not oblique if one
or more students, on the basis of their various grades of capability, practice different activities.
The concept of obliquity recalls that of the individualization of teaching and derives from that
branch of pedagogy which aims to the integration of the disabled in physical activities. Every
situation can be ìobliqueî, it only depends on the teacherís ability of observing and
programming in this direction.
The concept of obliquity is strictly connected with the background of the savoir-fare and
success of all group members apart from their personal abilities. This background is linked to the
possibility of properly answering to the teacherís requests; there is obliquity, if the request is one
for the whole group but there are several different yet successful ways to answer it. The obliquity
is fostered if there is attention to the experience of every student, if the current idea of mistake
can be revised, if the didactics allow the possibility of a multiple choice (Canevaro & Rossini,
Obliquity means, here, suggesting situations of exercise in which all students can practice
according to their own level of difficulty. The ìdifficultyî represents and defines the frame of the
educational work. Every act of learning is difficult, and stands in that area which is still unknown
to the pupil; the ìobliqueî teacher undertakes the responsibility of making this new step
perceived as achievable. Everyone can easily agree up to this point: a correct didactic
progression should imply and allow a gradual improvement of the learning process from a lower
to a higher level, from easy to difficult. This approach corresponds to the learning progression
structured in levels, which is widely used in taxonomic planning. According to Figure 1, a pupil
going from level ìAî to level ìBî should follow a linear process made of fixed steps.
A. Borgogni et al.
Figure 1. Learning path structured in levels.
This kind of approach can work only until we physically meet the pupils and their
different abilities either in classrooms or in sport clubs. A possible solution to this extreme
diversification could be that of finding an ìaverage difficultyî for everybody, but it would
probably be too difficult for someone and too easy for someone else. From a didactical
viewpoint, we can solve the problem in three different ways: suggesting individual learning
processes or processes restricted to groups of the same level; applying the oblique methodology;
using the ìhelp relationî whereby a more able student facilitates his classmatesí learning. We
affirm that suggesting situations in which everyone can confront and eventually overcome his
personal difficulties is the appropriate educational approach in the majority of the situations.
In Figure 2 we can observe the representation of a learning path structured by frames or
as a net.
In this case, in order to reach progression, the pupil needs to choose between several
alternatives. The net here represents the ìproblem situationî which allows everybody to stay in
the same educational situation but exercising at his/her own level of difficulty. A question for the
auto-assessment of teachers could be ìHave I been able to suggest situations and exercises which
have valorised the differences and abilities of everybody?
Towards sustainable didactics
Figure 2. Learning path structured by frames or as a net.
A sustainable didactics is one that allows pupils to choose amongst possibilities they can
adapt to their own skill levels. The didactics of the ìdifficultî implies the ability to propose
exercises that will allow each student to find the corresponding optimal area of learning. This
second illustration refers also to Gregory Batesonís theory of Complexity (1972, 1979) and
suggests a change of perspective not only in sport didactics but at a more widespread level. The
didactics of the difficult can also be connected with the definition of the intelligence theorized by
Howard Gardner (1983) as not only the ability to solve problems but as the capacity of
discovering problems and finding the appropriate solutions. The described approach can answer
to this definition offering learning situations in which everyone can elaborate subjective
strategies of solving, but also seeking and discovering problems.
The teacherís capability to observe and listen to the group, as well as her/his ability to
plan and suggest not only exercises but also emotionally relevant situations, are fundamental in
situational methodology. This methodology of situations is conceived as the teacherís ability to
ìreadî the level of instruction and adapt his/her proposals to the experience and emotions of the
class. Here, the repetition of learning situations is more important than repeating the action itself.
It goes without saying that in this kind of approach what is crucial is a training of teachers
that can develop their personal and relational skills (Borgogni & Davi, 1993). The sustainability
of didactics must be evaluated both individually, as a possibility to continue practising in the
future, and on a group level; in this case the didactics shall be sustainable when the highest
number of youths shall continue practising sport.
This cultural and applicative foundation has thus far already been used as the basis for a
textbook for high schools, plus a collection of publications aimed at university training.
A. Borgogni et al.
The textbook, entitled ìStrade Maestreî1, (Borgogni, Rossi, Piccioni, Cei, & Bizzaglia,
2002) is intended as a guide for the teacher and is the first example in Italy of a book that has
been specifically designed for teaching Physical Education in the Secondary School and that
promotes the Sport for All approach.
The book highlights the close links existing between pedagogy and the didactics of sport.
It describes planning methods, methodologies, evaluations, relations with other subjects and the
role of the discipline in the state exam. The text also covers many applicative aspects of how to
propose sports using the concept of Sport for All: consideration of diversity, different abilities,
motivation, inclusion and the possibility of providing learning opportunities for all, regardless of
We would like to conclude this article with some examples. Do note that the difference
between a proposal based on the above mentioned three pillars and the ìtraditionalî way of
teaching is very thin:
1) putting the cross bar at the same level for everybody is a ìhorizontalî proposal, whilst
different bars at different levels or the same bar put obliquely is a proposal which allows
everybody to challenge themselves and not to be excluded or feel humiliated while watching
the more capable jumping.
2) Proposing endurance running, often disliked by pupils, drawing their attention on what they
feel by making them fill in simple forms with information such as the heart rate the running
time and the sensations felt, increases the quality of the performance, even if practiced only
once a week. We believe that this result is due to the improvement of the awareness of the
sensations of their body under effort. The teacher intentionally suggests to pay attention
primarily to the sensations felt, rather than to the running time or speed.
3) Whilst two students playing volleyball set the ball, the educator can choose to pay his didactic
attention to the technical features of the movements, such as the position of the body and of
the hands or the way they hit the ball (on time or not), etc. On the other hand, he can
intentionally focus on the relational aspects of the gesture, for example by asking one student
to create difficulties for the other
(relation with the environment/other person) or to
concentrate on his/her own personal difficulties and mistakes
(connection with internal
According to Le Camus (1984) we can distinguish two main trends of this didactical
attention: one, more technical, concentrates on the functional/thermo dynamical aspects, the
other, more relational, focuses on the communicative/cybernetic aspects. The functional one is
more attentive to the technical way of production of a gesture and to the performance achieved.
The communicative sense of that gesture remains in the background. The communicative trend
looks intentionally both towards the outer environment (focusing above all on the relation with
other people, e.g. the one setting the ball) and the inner environment (focusing on proprioceptive
sensations). What I would like to stress here is that while the second approach can include the
first, the opposite is not possible.
1 The English translation is difficult: ìStradeî means ìRoadsî, ìMaestreî means ìMainî but also ìTeachersî.
Towards sustainable didactics
Bateson, G. (1972). Steps to an ecology of mind. Chandler: San Francisco.
Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and nature. New York: Bantam Books.
Borgogni, A., Geri, M., & Lenzerini, F. (2004). Sport e ambiente. Una relazione sostenibile.
Molfetta: La Meridiana.
Borgogni, A., Rossi, D., Piccioni, V., Cei, A., & Bizzaglia, G. (2002). Strade maestre. Milano:
Bruno Mondadori.
Borgogni, A, & Davi, M. (1993). Percorsi sghembi. Roma: Societ‡ Stampa Sportiva.
Canevaro, A., & Rossini, S. (1983). Dalla psicomotricit‡ ad una diversa educazione fisica.
Torino: Omega.
Damasio, A. (1994). Descartes' error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain. New York:
Penguin Putnam.
Edelman, G. (1987). The Theory of neuronal group selection. New York: Basic Books.
Freinet, C.
(1990). Cooperative learning and social change : Selected writings of Celestin
Freinet.(D. Clandfield and J. Sivell Eds.& Trans.). Translated excerpts with historical
introduction. Toronto: Our Schools Our Selves/O.I.S.E. Press.
Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind. The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic
Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ. New York:
Bantam Books, 1995.
Hardman, K. (2008). Situation and sustainability of PE in Schools: a Global Perspective. Full
paper for 2008 FIEP World Conference attached to the Book of abstracts Physical
Education in Change, electronically published ISBN 078-952-9899-89-0
Lapierre, A., & Aucoutourier B. (1973). Education vÈcue. Paris: Doin.
Le Camus, J. (1984). Pratiques psychomotrices. Bruxelles: Mardaga.
Le Doux, J. (1995). The emotional brain. The mysterious underpinnings of emotional life. New
York: Simon & Schuster.
Merleau-Ponty, M., (2002). Phenomenology of perception. (Colin Smith ñ Trans). London:
Routledge. (Original work published 1945).
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher psychological processes.
(M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, E. Souberman, Eds.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press.
Submitted November 25, 2010
Accepted December14, 2010
Research article
Volume 2, No. 2, 2010, 51-62
UDC 616.717-001.5-053.2:615.8
Maja Divjakovi„ and Aleksandra Mikov
Faculty of Medicine Novi Sad
Institute for Children and Youth Health Care of Vojvodina
Clinic for Children Habilitation and Rehabilitation Novi Sad
Supracondylar fractures of humerus are the most frequent arm fractures in childhood.
Complications of these fractures most often take the form of elbow contractures. The aim of this
paper was to determine effects of rehabilitation treatment and characteristics of elbow
contractures. During five-year period
61 patients with posttraumatic elbow
contracture were treated at the Institute for Children and Youth Health Care of Vojvodina.
Flynnís three-grade scale was applied to determine the elbow mobility level, prior to treatment
and at its end. After the completed physical treatment, there is a highly statistically significant
difference in terms of increased flexion and extension of elbow (p0.0001). In 90.16% children,
the result was satisfactory upon completed physical treatment. By means of combined
application of different forms of physical therapy, treatment results of elbow contractures after
supracondylar fractures have significantly improved.
Keywords: rehabilitation, contracture, elbow, supracondylar fracture, children
Elbow fractures account for
7-9% of all fractures at childhood age
(1), whereas
supracondylar fractures of humerus represent the most frequent elbow fractures with frequency
60-75% (G‡jdobr‡nski, M‡ri„, T‡ti„,
-uri„-Nosek i Mikov,
2003; J‡ndri„,
2007; De
Pellegrin, Brivio, Pescatori, & Tessari, 2008; Solazzo, Bertolani, & Traina, 2000; »ekanauskas,
Degliute, & Kalesinkas, 2003; De Coulon, Ceroni, De Rosa, Pazos, & Kaelin, 2005; Carmichael,
& Joyner, 2006; Foead, Penafort, Saw, & Sengupta, 2004; Patrice Eiff, & Hatch, 2004; Ayadi,
Trigui, Tounsi, & Ellouze, 2006). Most of these fractures occur in children up to 10 years of age,
most often between 5th and 8th year of age (Gajdobranski et al., 2003; De Pellegrin et al., 2008;
Corresponding author. Faculty of Medicine Novi Sad, Institute for Children and Youth Health Care of Vojvodina,
Clinic for Children Habilitation and Rehabilitation Novi Sad, Hajduk Veljkova
21000 Novi Sad, e-mail:
2010 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
M. Divjakovi„ and A. Mikov
Solazzo et al., 2000; ¿rena, Vermiglio, Terranova, Vermiglio, & Arena, 2006). High incidence
of these fractures at childhood age is explained by increased laxity of collateral ligament
structures at this age, immaturity of the structure of supracondylar region of humerus and
specific relation of bone structures in the joint during hyperextension within elbow joint
(Gajdobranski et al., 2003). Sex-dependant frequency of supracondylar elbow fractures indicates
that these fractures are more frequent in boys than in girls (De Pellegrin et al., 2008; Solazzo et
al., 2000; Arena et al., 2006; He, Zhang, & Tan, 2009), whereas in terms of sides, they tend to be
more frequent in left elbow due to its defense function during fall (58%), as opposed to the right
one (42%) which is more frequently used for catching (He at al., 2009).
Supracondylar fractures of humerus are classified as extensory and flexion types,
depending on the mechanism of occurrence.
Extensory type of supracondylar fractures of humerus is far more frequent (up to 95%),
and it occurs while falling on the palm when the elbow region of the arm is extended, and arm is
in abduction (Gajdobranski et al., 2003; Patrice Eiff, & Hatch, 2004; Arena et al., 2006; Gris,
Van Nieuwenhove, Gehanne, Quintin, & Burny, 2004). Supracondylar fractures of humerus can
be classified according to several different classification systems (Gartland 1959, Holmberg
1945, Von Laer 1997, Wilkins 1996), based on the appearance of radiograms (Platt, 2004).
Currently, the most frequently applied one is Gartlandís classification which is based primarily
on the extent of dislocation. According to this classification, and on the basis of radiograms,
supracondylar fractures of humerus are divided in three degrees: I degree without dislocation of
fragments, II degree with dislocation of fragments being still in contact (back cortex is intact),
and III degree with a complete dislocation of fragments without cortical contact (most frequent
type >50%). III degree of supracondylar fractures of humerus occurs when the extended elbow is
exposed to rotation. If there are any clinical signs of neurovascular jeopardy, then this fracture is
classified as supracondylar fracture of humerus of IV degree
(Gajdobranski et al.,
»ekanauskas et al., 2003; Patrice Eiff, & Hatch, 2004; Arena et al., 2006; Temple, Bache, &
Gibbsons, 2006; Kaiser, Kamphaus, Massalme, & Wessel, 2008).
Flexion type of supracondylar fractures of humerus is considerably less frequent, and it
occurs as a consequence of a direct stroke on the back elbow region (Gajdobranski et al., 2003;
Arena et al., 2006; Temple et al., 2006; Banovi„, 1989). These fractures are mostly open due to
the effect of direct force on the back lower part of upper arm (Banovi„, 1989).
In the clinical features, the predominant symptoms are pain and oedema in elbow joint
region, haematoma, sensitivity of both condyles and classical S-shaped deformity in elbow
region (Gajdobranski et al.,
2003; Patrice Eiff, & Hatch, 2004). The relationship between
olecranon and epycondyle is not impaired, for which reason these fractures are different from
elbow luxation. During clinical examination, it is necessary to pay attention to the condition of
soft tissues and a neurocirculatory finding due to a high percentage of associated injuries
(Gajdobranski et al., 2003). Oedema and bleeding, if marked, may damage artery blood supply
of forearm (Banovi„, 1989). Pulse a. radialis may be weak or absent, for which reason it should
be checked permanently (Patrice Eiff, & Hatch, 2004; Banovi„, 1989; Griffin, Walsh, Markar,
Tang, Boyle, et al., 2008). It is necessary to control motor i.e. sensitive deficit due to the
possibility of injury of nerves (n. radialis, n. medianus, n. ulnaris).
Rehabilitation of elbow contractures in children
Within the supracondylar fractures in children, different complication may occur:
- Deformity
- Vascular injuries
(occlusion of brachial artery, compartment syndrome, Volkmannís
- Neurological injuries (pareses or paralyses of n. medianus, n. radialis, n. ulnaris) (Jandri„,
2007; Patrice Eiff, & Hatch, 2004).
During clinical examination, it is necessary to pay attention to possible interference of
neuron-vascular structures, especially with extension fractures in which proximal fragment,
when sharp can get in contact by its sharp edge with the brachial artery and n. medianus, n.
radialis, and more rarely with n. ulnaris, with an immediate possibility of neuro-vascular
complications (Arena et al., 2006). Lesions of nerves are, first of all, contusions, extensions, or
compressions, occurring predominantly in n. medianus and n. radialis, including an
accompanying reduced function of muscles innervated by them, in addition to reduction of
sensibility of the relevant parts (Ayadi et al, 2006). Vascular complication may be manifested for
several hours after trauma under the clinical features of ìacute ischaemia syndromeî, in which
ischemic damages are still reversible, however, if the treatment is applied more than 4-6 hours
after occurrence of the symptoms, Volkmannís syndrome is inevitable in three-week time, which
is surely the most serious complication of supracondylar fractures of elbow (Arena et al., 2006;
Griffin et al., 2008). Owing to a correct orthopedic treatment, Volkmannnís contracture occurs
only in extreme cases nowadays (Arena et al., 2006). Among late complications, axial deviation
of elbow (deformities varus-valgus) is certainly the most significant sequela (Arena et al., 2006).
Action of different factors related to injuries, diagnostics, and therapeutic interventions
on cutaneous structures, soft tissue, and other structures in elbow region may result in occurrence
of posttraumatic elbow contractures, as a recognizable sequela in these injuries. Posttraumatic
elbow contractures with different degrees of movement reductions in elbow joint, even with
functional limit in activities of everyday life, may occur after correctly applied orthopedic
treatment of supracondylar fractures in children. Reduced functions in elbow joint may be
followed by other neurovascular complications mentioned above (Jandri„, 2007).
The purpose of rehabilitation treatment after supracondylar fractures is to achieve
painless and full mobility of the elbow joint, as well as prevention and healing of complications
(Arena et al.,
2006). Rehabilitation treatment should include active and actively supported
exercises for joint mobilization as soon as the condition of certain tissues makes it possible. In
order to prevent contractures and reduced mobility of elbow joint, patientís rehabilitation should
start as soon as possible, depending on the fracture and stability of soft-tissued structures in these
fractures (Tanno, Tanaka, Mukai, Hayashi, & Takenouchi, 2008). Choice and execution of the
treatment will depend on the clinical features and radiogram finding of the patient (Arena et al.,
2006). While in supracondylar fractures of humerus of I degree, therapeutic procedure is a
uniform one (cast immobilization with forearm in pronation, during three weeks, followed by a
physical treatment), therapeutic procedures in supracondylar fractures of II degree, especially III
degree, are rather different. Supracondylar fractures of humerus of IV degree represent an
absolute indication for an urgent surgical treatment (Gajdobranski, 2003). In rehabilitation after
supracondylar fractures of humerus, different physical procedures are applied, in order to
achieve functional and esthetical restoration after fracture. Medical treatment consists of a
combination of active and passive therapeutic programs. Active therapeutic procedures include
kinesitherapy, hydro-kinesitherapy and work therapy, whereas the passive ones include electro-
therapeutic ones, hot procedures, and cold procedures (Jandri„, 2007).
M. Divjakovi„ and A. Mikov
The sample included 61 patients treated at the Clinic for Children Habilitation and
Rehabilitation of the Institute for Children and Youth Health Care of Vojvodina in Novi Sad,
during 2005-2009. All patients had posttraumatic contracture of elbow with different degrees of
reduced mobility in the joint that occurred after supracondylar fracture of elbow.
Assessment of effects of physical treatment in this research was performed by measuring
active range of both elbows (injured and healthy one) in terms of degrees, when the patient was
received, during treatment, and upon treatment completion). The degree of elbow mobility at the
beginning and at the end of treatment was assessed by Flynnís three-grade scale for each patient
(Flynn-1974). Satisfactory results were marked as 3, 2, and 1, whereas the unsatisfactory one
was marked as 0. Mark 3 refers to the full range of elbow joint or reduction up to 5o, mark 2
stands for reduced amplitude of elbow movement of 5 o to 10 o, mark 1 was equivalent to reduced
movement amplitude of 10 o to 15 o. Mark 0 represents a bad therapeutic result with loss of elbow
mobility for more than 15 o. All patients were included in the proper program of physical
therapy, according to the degree of clinical finding. The treatment was initiated after removal of
cast immobilisation, mostly within
5 days after removal. This program included
kinesitherapeutic procedures as well as other forms of physical therapy (thermo-therapy, work
therapy, interference currents, diadynamic currents, electrophoresis with potassium iodide (KJ),
laser, massage with green vac apparatus, galvanic current, hydrotherapy, magnet, transcutaneous
electric nerve stimulation (TENS). Physical procedures were included depending on clinical
finding during treatment. Therapeutic program during treatment was adjusted according to the
therapy progress.
Within our sample, 61 children were treated for elbow contracture after supracondylar
fracture. The sample included 41 boys (67.21%) and 20 girls (32.79%) (Figure 1). The relation
between boys and girls was 2.05:1. Out of 61 children, 29 had left arm fracture (47.54%),
whereas 32 had the right arm fracture (52.46%) (Figure 2).
Figure 1. Relations boys-girls.
Relation boys-girls
Rehabilitation of elbow contractures in children
Figure 2. Relations of sides.
Relation of sides
Table 1
Characteristics of the sample
Average age
(years) ± SD
Average duration of rehabilitation
treatment (days) ±SD
Average duration of cast immobilisation
(days) ± SD
Average number of days before
commencement of physical treatment after
removal of cast immobilisation (days)
Number of children subjected to surgical
treatment before commencement of
rehabilitation treatment (%)
Average age of patients was 7.31 2.91 years. Average duration of immobilization was
24.83 7.13 days, whereas duration of rehabilitation treatment was 69.92 48.91 days. Physical
treatment was commenced 1-12 days after removal of immobilization, i.e. average number of
days before commencement of physical treatment after removal of cast immobilization was 4.45
3.52 days. Before commencement of physical treatment, 42 patients were subjected to surgical
procedures (68.85%) (Table 1). All patients were treated by osteosynthesis by Kirschnerís
needles. During the treatment, Kvengelís apparatus was applied with two patients only.
Results of treatment by physical procedures were classified as satisfactory or
unsatisfactory, while elbow mobility was assessed according to Flynn. Within the range of
satisfactory results, we differentiated between excellent, good, and favourable results (Table 2).
M. Divjakovi„ and A. Mikov
Table 2
Assessment of elbow joint mobility (Flynn)
Functional factor (loss of
movement in degrees)
Table 3
Assessment of elbow joint mobility (Flynn) at the beginning and end of treatment
Commencement of therapy
End of therapy
Number of
Number of
Table 3 indicates that all children showed unsatisfactory degree of mobility
beginning of treatment, i.e. all children were assessed by 0 according to Flynnís classification.
From the same table, it can also be seen that the excellent result was recorded with 43 patients
(70.49%), good result in 8 (13.11%), and favourable one in 4 patients (6.56%). Unsatisfactory
result was observed with 6 patients (9.84%).
“able 4
Frequence of lesions of nerves and assessment of elbow mobility at the beginning end of
Assessment of
Assessment of
elbow mobility at
elbow mobility at
Number of
Injury affected nerve
the beginning of e-
the end of e-
treatment (Flynn)
treatment (Flynn)
n. ulnaris
n. medianus
n. ulnaris + n.radialis
n. medianus + n.radialis
Rehabilitation of elbow contractures in children
Transitory neurological injuries were recorded with 11 patients. 7 patients had lesion of
n. ulnaris, 1 patient had lesion of n. medianus, 1 patient had lesion of n. ulnaris and n. radialis, 1
patient had lesion of n. medianus and n. radialis, and 1 patient had lesion of three nerves (u.
ulnaris, n. medianus, and n. radialis). All patients showed satisfactory results
end of
treatment, out of which 9 patients got mark 3, and 2 patients got mark 2 (Table 4).
Figure 3. Average values of flexion before and after treatment.
131,72 °
96,88 °
flex ion before trea tm ent
flex ion a fter trea tm ent
average value in degrees °
Figure 4. Average values of extension before and after treatment.
extension before treatment
extension after treatment
-2,88 °
-41,64 °
average value in degrees °
There is a highly statistically significant difference in terms of increased elbow flexion
and extension after completed physical treatment (p0.0001). Average flexion value at the
beginning of the treatment amounted to 96.88 degrees (96.88 14.12), and after the treatment it
reached 131.72 (131.72 8.89) (Figure 3). The average value of extension before the treatment
was -41.64 degrees (-41.64
17.39), while after the treatment it was -2.88 degrees (-2.88
6.47) (Figure 4).
During physical treatment, different therapy types were used. Thermotherapy and
kinsitherapy were applied in the highest number of patients. Sequence of applied therapies as per
their frequency is the following: work therapy, therapy with interference currency, therapy with
diadynamic currency, electrophoresis with KJ, therapy with galvanic currency, TENS,
laserotherapy, green vac, magnetic therapy, hydrotherapy, and electrostimulation
Figure 5).
M. Divjakovi„ and A. Mikov
Table 5
List of applied physical methods in treatment of contractures after supracondylar elbow fracture
Number of days
(for those where it was applied)
Type of therapy
Average number of
Standard deviation
Work therapy
Interference currency
Diadynamic currency
Electrophoresis with KJ
Green vac
Galvanic currency
Magnetic therapy
Figure 5. Frequency of application of different types of physical therapy.
Frequency of application of different types of physical therapy
Number of patients
Rehabilitation of elbow contractures in children
Children age of our sample, including
61 patients with elbow contractures after
supracondylar fracture, ranged between 2-14 years, amounting to average 7 years of age. This
finding was in accordance with literature sources, where average age for this type of elbow
fracture ranges between 6 and 8 years (Gajdobranski et al., 2003; Jandri„, 2007; »ekanauskas et
2003; He et al., 2009; Gris et al., 2004; Bombaci, Gereli, Kucukyazici, & Gorgec, 2000;
Karapinar, Ozturk, Altay, & Kose, 2005; Sibinski, Sharma, & Bennet, 2006; Gadgil, Hayhurst,
Maffulli, & Dwyer, 2005; Keppler, Salem, Schwarting, & Kinzl, 2005). In our sample, over two
thirds of patients were boys, which is also in accordance with literature sources (1, 2, 5, 6, 11,
13, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24). Most children got injured due to fall during play. Such increased
frequency of injuries in boys is explained by different types of games practiced by boys and
Average length of rehabilitation treatment in our sample was about 70 days, whereas
average duration of cast immobilization was 25 days. Period of rehabilitation treatment in our
sample is somewhat longer than that found in literature sources, which was averagely 5 to 8
weeks (Jandri„, 2007; Arena et al., 2006). This can be explained by the fact that all patients in
our sample had marked elbow contractures at the beginning of the treatment (according to Flynn,
all of them were within unsatisfactory range), for which reason a longer rehabilitation treatment
was necessary for the best possible functional recovery. Duration of cast immobilization
complies with the accessible literature sources, with an average of 3 weeks (Gajdobranski, 2003;
»ekanauskas, 2003; Keppler et al., 2005).
Surgical treatment of supracondylar fractures in our sample was applied in about 69% of
patients. All patients were treated by the method of orthopedic reposition and percutaneous
fixation of fragments, using two Kirschnerís needles controlled by radiogram. In the accessible
literature sources, this method is referred to as the most frequently applied one, owing to its
simple application procedure and minimum invasiveness, as well as excellent results in treatment
of these kinds of fractures (Gajdobranski et al., 2003; »ekanauskas et al., 2003; Arena et al.,
2006; Gris et al., 2004; Karapinar et al., 2005). According to analyses of He, Zhang and Tan
(2009), surgical method of placing two parallel wires proved the most efficient one since 93.18%
patients treated by this method achieved positive results at the end of the treatment. In groups
treated by other methods, effects were considerably lower (He et al., 2009). Some authors
believe that the method of placing two parallel needles laterally only is the best method due to
reduced possibility of iatrogenous nerve injury of ulnar nerve (Bombaci et al., 2005; Slongo,
Schmid, Wilkins, & Joeris, 2008).
In 18% of our sample, i.e. in 11 patients, lesion was observed in peripheral nerves, most
frequent of which was n. ulnaris. According to the research of Ayadi et al. (2006), injury of n.
radialis was the most frequent one, whereas the injury of n. ulnaris was the most rarely
diagnosed nerve injury. However, according to our research the latter was the most common
nerve injury (Ayadi et al., 2006). In our sample one of the patients had lesion of all three nerves,
7 patients had lesion of n. ulnaris, 1 had n. medianus lesion, whereas isolated lesions of n.
radialis were not observed, but they occurred in combination with lesion of n. ulnaris i.e. n.
mediannus in both combinations in 1 patient. All 10 patients with lesion of nerves at the end of
the treatment showed satisfactory recovery results in terms of range of movements and paresis of
nerves. Frequency of neurological complications after supracondylar fracture of elbow is
slightly higher in our sample than the finding of a group of authors, according to which it ranged
between 9 and 11% (»ekanauskas et al., 2003; Karapinar et al., 2005; Tiwari, Kanojia, &
2007). This frequency difference in terms of neurological complications can be
explained by different characteristics of the sample in terms of severity and extent of the
M. Divjakovi„ and A. Mikov
fracture. The fact that our sample showed full recovery of paresis of affected nerves, after the
applied physical treatment, suggests the lightest form of injury of the nerve neurapraxia.
According to the findings of Ayadi et al. (2006), lesions of nerves observed immediately after
fracture mostly heal spontaneously during treatment of the fracture itself, which is in contrast to
those observed after the completed treatment when the treatment of an injury itself is longer-
lasting, and requires grafting in certain cases (Ayadi et al., 2006).
Prior to commencement of rehabilitation treatment in our sample, all patients had elbow
contracture which was over 15 degrees. Average flexion in the elbow was about 97 degrees,
while full extension tell short for about 42 degrees on an average, before the treatment. After
completed treatment, there was a statistically highly significant increase of flexion and extension
of elbow, which contributed to reduction of the existing contractures. 90% of examined patients
achieved satisfactory result at the end of rehabilitation treatment. 10% patients maintained over
15 degrees contractures, so that flexion at the end of rehabilitation treatment was about 119
degrees on an average, with 12 degrees missing for full extension. According to the obtained
results, we can conclude that these values did not significantly affect functional ability of
patients in terms of mobility of the elbow and limitations of everyday life activities, even though,
according to the applied Flynnís classification, they belong to a group with bad treatment results.
According to Keppler et al. (2005), children with elbow contractures after supracondylar
fracture treated by physical therapy commenced a couple of days after removal of cast
immobilization showed faster recovery than the children who were not treated by physical
therapy (Keppler et al., 2005). According to »olovi„ et al. (2008), early rehabilitation of children
after supracondylar elbow fracture results in significantly better elbow functioning, with
treatment supposed to begin within 15 days after removal of cast immobilization (Divjakovi„,
Mikov, & Gajdobranski, 2010), which is in compliance with our treatment since it began 1-12
days after removal of immobilization.
With patients from our sample who showed unsatisfactory results, there was statistically
significant difference in movement range (flexion and extension in elbow) before and after the
treatment, but other parameters (duration of treatment, applied surgical procedure, and physical
therapy procedures) did not show any significant difference. The fact that all accessible physical
procedures were applied and that there was no difference between groups with satisfactory and
unsatisfactory results in terms of applied procedures, we can draw a conclusion that
unsatisfactory treatment results may also be a consequence of a more complicated fractures
which caused major damages in elbow region with a consequence of incomplete recovery in
terms of achieving full range of movements.
During physical treatment of patients with elbow contractures, after supracondylar
fractures, the following therapies were most frequently applied: thermotherapy, kinesitherapy,
work therapy, and electric therapy. Kinesitherapy was applied in almost all patients, with an
average duration of 6 weeks. Our results, as well as results of other authors (Jandri„, 2007; Arena
et al., 2006; Divjakovi„ et al., 2010) indicate that movement as a therapeutic instrument, applied
through a complex of exercises within active treatment methods (kinesitherapy, and work
therapy), including applied effects of other physical agents (thermotherapy, and electrotherapy)
as an introduction to active methods of therapy, may account for a significant share of the overall
treatment of contractures.
Rehabilitation of elbow contractures in children
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Submitted November 3, 2010
Accepted December 14, 2010
Research article
Volume 2, No. 2, 2010, 63-74
UDC 796.325-055.2:796.015.68]:519.8
Milivoj Dopsaj, Nemanja Ãopi„, Goran Neöi„ and Milan Sikimi„
Faculty of Sport and Physical Education
University of Belgrade
The aim of this paper is to define a simple mathematical model for estimating general
jumping preparedness of senior female volleyball players (SCOREpoint) by applying a set of 7
variables measured by standardized tests within the field measuring conditions. The sensitivity of
this model is determined on the basis of achieved points and differences in general jumping
preparedness among female volleyball players competing in elite international competitions, elite
national competitions, state-level and regional-level competitions. Applied battery of tests has
cumulatively explained
80.64% of the total variant of measurement. The defined model
explained the criterion of general jumping preparedness of senior female volleyball players at the
level of 100% (Adj. R2 = 1.000), and with the minor error in prediction (Std. Err. Est. = 0.003
SCOREpoint points). The obtained model has the following form: SCOREpoint = -86.762 +
(0.4595 · CMJARM
+ 0.5158 · CMJNOARM + 0.4620 · SJCONARM + 0.4812 · SJCONCNOARM
+ 0.5431 ·
CMBJ + 0.5626 · SJCONCBJ + 0.138 · SLJ. The defined model has a satisfactory level of
discrimination and it is proposed for further practical use.
Keywords: volleyball, jumping ability, mathematical model, general jumping preparedness
Volleyball is a team sport played at all levels by both genders (e.g., youth, Olympic,
professional) and places an emphasis on fast and explosive movements such as jumping, hitting,
and blocking (Spence, Disch, Fred, & Coleman, 1980; Marques, Gonzalez-Badillo, & Kluka,
2006; Stojanovi„ & Kosti„, 2002; Sheppard et al., 2007; Raji„, Dopsaj, & Pablos-Abella, 2008).
Volleyball is commonly described as a complex, high speed, explosive and powerful sport.
Success in a volleyball game depends to a great extent on the movement speed without
the ball, the speed of the rhythm change and direction of movement, agility and jumping ability
(Neöi„, 2008; Suzovi„ and Nedeljkovi„, 2009). Repeated maximal or near-maximal vertical
Corresponding author. Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade, Blagoja Parovi„a 156,
11000 Belgrade, Serbia, E-mail: nemanjacopic@yahoo.com
© 2010 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
M. Dopsaj et al.
jumps, frequent change-of-direction sprints, diving to make a save, and repeated overt head
movements when spiking or blocking are among the movements that make up the game (Black,
1995; Gandeken, 1999). A volleyball match can be played up to five sets, meaning that the
duration of the match may be up to around 90 minutes. During that time a volleyball player
performs 250-300 actions in which the explosiveness of the leg muscles dominates. Out of the
total number of actions, jumps comprise 50-60%, fast movements and direction change in space
amount to around 30% and falls make around 15%. The latest data point out that the average
body height of a contemporary volleyball player is between 195 and 200cm (Ercolessi, 1999)
and for female volleyball players from 185.41±7.88 cm for the Olympic level, up to 180.88±3.03
cm for the First League level and 174.25±3.07 cm for the regional-level (Second League ñ
North). (Dopsaj, Neöi„ & -oki„, 2010). The average height of the vertical jump of the spike
receiver, spiker and middle blocker is from 345 to 355cm and in the block from 320 to 335cm
1999). The explosive power and speed strength is dominant in spike and block
actions and in most cases it is the key factor in winning points or the quality of defense actions in
a block.
An average action in volleyball lasts about 6 seconds, and is followed by an average rest
period of 14 seconds, not including player substitutions or timeouts (Gandeken, 1999). This
action work-rest ratio suggests that athletes primarily use the adenosine triphosphate
phosphocreatine system. There are about 50 rallies per a game. As a result, energy-system train-
ing for volleyball should consist of 50 or more repeats lasting 5-10 seconds. These efforts should
consist of jumping, running, and/or diving, involving frequent changes of direction, followed by
10-15 seconds of rest (Black, 1995).
Bearing in mind that during a match volleyball players make jumps applying various
jumping techniques (with and without arm swings), that they make jumps with a dominant
vertical or horizontal component of movement direction of the gravity center of the body, and
that the given elements are made in relation with various regimes of muscle contractions of leg
stretchers (Stretch Shortening Cycle i.e. excentric-concentric muscle regime type of contraction,
only concentric muscle type of contraction and different combination of contraction as well as
isometric-concentric, excentric-isometric-concentric, pre-stretch deep jump impact-concentric
etc.), it is supposed that from a methodological aspect, the sum of the results of various types and
kinds of jumps would give a better general (summary) estimation about the level of general
jumping preparedness of the female players in relation with the information obtained by an
individual test. Also, the given kind of testing could be realized within the space-time conditions
of usual trainings without disturbing the training rhythm, where the information on current level
of development of the examined level of preparedness could be done by applying the method of
field testing by means of the model load (Dopsaj, 2010).
The aim of this paper is to define a simple mathematical model for estimation of general
level of jumping preparedness of senior female volleyball players. The sensitivity of this model
will be determined on the basis of achieved points and differences in general jumping
preparedness among the female volleyball players who have been successful in volleyball on
various levels: in elite international competitions (the Olympics), elite national competitions
(Super League), and state-level (First League) and regional-level (Second League ñ North)
competitions. In that way a simple and operational method of testing female volleyball players
will be defined, and the obtained results can be used in the process of staged training tests of
jumping readiness in the function of long-term training process.
A mathematical model for estimating jumping preparedness
The main method used in this research is the field testing method (Dopsaj, 2010). As far
as measuring is concerned, a method of direct measuring was used where the Abalakís method
was applied (Zaciorski & Kraemer, 2006), that is, Belt Jump Test (Klavora, 2000) (Figure 1).
Prior to each testing, the players were explained the purpose and ways of the measuring, and
each of them gave an oral consent to participate in the study in accordance with the norms of the
Ethical Committee of the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education of the University in Belgrade.
All measuring were performed in the afternoons in training gyms with the same type of flooring
(wooden parquet floor). All the measuring was done by qualified experts ñ three Physical
Education teachers.
Figure 1. A device for measuring height of vertical jump (Abalakís method).
Sample of the examined players
Sample consisted of 59 female players (N): 15 players of the Olympic selection (OS), 12
players of the VC RadniËki (SL) who participated in the competitions of the Super League of
Serbia, 20 players of the VC Vizura (FL) who played in the First League of Serbia and 12
players of the VC Kikinda (SLN) who took part in the competitions of the Second League ñ
An average age and length of training period of the female volleyball players from the
Olympic selection was 22.6±3.2 and 12.3±2.5 years. The players of the VC RadniËki were
20.0±2.1 and 7.4±1.7 years of age. The players of the VC Vizura 19.4±2.6 and 8.4±3.0 and with
the players VC Kikinda 18.4±2.7 i 6.2±2.9 years respectively.
All players had been informed about the subject, goal and objectives of the research and
in cooperation with their trainers gave a voluntary consent to participate in the research.
Table 1
Basic descriptive indicators of the sample of all four teams
Average age
Training period
Olympic Selection
Super league
First league
Second league -North
M. Dopsaj et al.
Variables samples
In order to define a simple mathematical model, tests were selected by the criterion of
simplicity, informativeness and practical usage in function of application from the aspect of field
measuring. From the aspect of motoric structure, the jumps were selected which are the most
representative from the analytical, diagnostical and situational aspect in function of defining the
profile of jumping ability in volleyball (Spence et al., 1980; Fleck et al., 1985; Klavora, 2000;
Young et al., 2001; Sheppard et al., 2007; Marques et al., 2004; Ãopi„, Dopsaj, Neöi„, &
Sikimi„, 2010).
A battery of tests by which jumping ability was assessed, both in function of basic
vertical and in function of basic horizontal component, contained the following 7 different types
of jumps which represented individual variables of the measured space:
Seven variables for assessment of different types of jumps are:
double leg vertical countermovement jump with arm swing (CMJARM)
measured in cm (Figure 2)
double leg vertical countermovement jump-no arm swing allowed
(CMJNOARM) measured in cm
(Figure 3)
double leg concentric vertical squat jump (SJCONARM )
measured in cm (Figure 4)
double leg concentric vertical squat jump (SJCONCNOARM)
measured in cm (Figure 5)
double leg vertical countermovement standing block jump (CMBJ)
measured in cm (Figure 6)
double leg vertical squat standing block jump (SJCONCBJ)
measured in cm (Figure 7)
Standing long jump (SLJ) measured in cm.
Figure 2. Double leg vertical countermovement jump with arm swing (CMJARM).
A mathematical model for estimating jumping preparedness
Figure 3. Double leg vertical countermovement jump-no arm swing allowed (CMJNOARM).
Figure 4. Double leg concentric vertical squat jump (SJCONARM ).
Figure 5. Double leg concentric vertical squat jump (SJCONCNOARM).
Figure 6. Double leg vertical countermovement standing block jump (CMBJ).
M. Dopsaj et al.
Figure 7. Standing long jump (SLJ).
Measuring methods
The measurement was performed by the Abalakís method, i.e. belt jump method in which
the standard PVC measuring belt was fixed on the upper side in the position around the
umbiculus (in front of the stomach) of the examined player, and from the lower side on the
parquet in the front projection of the standing point. The belt was pulled through the measuring
fixator from the lower side which was firmly fixed to the floor so that the belt could freely move
(in the direction of pull-out movement) through it (Klavora, 2000). The examined players did a
set series consisting of 6 vertical jumps, each jump was repeated twice, while the break between
the jumps lasted 30 seconds. Each jump was made with maximal intensity with a task to jump
back onto the same place. The position of jump-up and jump-down was marked on the parquet
(Figure 1). In case an examined player jumped down out of the marked jump-down zone, that
attempt was not recorded and the measuring was repeated. A better result in each jump type was
recorded as the final score of that particular jump type. After that measuring, the examined
players were tested on another place by the standing long jump test which was realized by a
standardized procedure (Zaciorsky & Kraemer, 2006).
Statistical methods
Raw data were analyzed in the first phase by application of descriptive statistics in order
to calculate the basic descriptive indicators, the mean values (mean) and the standard deviations
(sd) in particular. For the purpose of calculating general difference between the jumping ability
in function of examined sub-samples, the ANOVA was used (Hair, Anderson, Tatham, & Black,
1998). Definition of the Index of general jumping preparedness (SCOREpoint) was made by
applying the method of mathematical analogy where the value of position of the factor score of
each examined player was turned into an analogue point score defined from 0 points (as
hypothetical minimum) to 100 points (as hypothetical maximum). In the consequent statistical
process of defining a mathematical model the value of the SCORE point represented a criterion
variable, while the individual score obtained by application of the battery of 7 jumping tests
stood for a system of predictable variables. The final form of the model was defined by
application of the Multivariant regressive analysis. All analyses were done in the statistical
package SPSS 12.0 and the difference criterion was defined on the level p=0.05 (Hair et al.,
1998) .
A mathematical model for estimating jumping preparedness
Table 2 presents the KMO results of measuring of the sample adequacy where it is
possible to see that the raw data belong to a homogenous group with the reliability level from
88.30% (p=0.000). In that way it was proved that they can be validly analyzed by the method of
multi-variant statistics, and that they can be validly interpreted as well.
Table 2
The results of KMO measurement of the sample adequacy KMO and Bartlett's Test
Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling
Approx. Chi-Square
Bartlett's Test of
Table 3 shows the communalities of the variables, and it is evident that all the used
variables are highly projected on to the common measuring variance, i.e. they belong to the same
measurement space. In such a way it can be claimed that the given set of tests can be treated as a
battery of tests for evaluation of general level of jumping abilities. Of all single test tasks,
CMJARM, with its extraction level of
84.3%, has the greatest projection onto the common
measurement space, while SJCONCNOARM at the extraction level of 70.4%, has the lowest level.
Table 3
Communalities of the used variables for general jumping preparedness evaluation
Initial Extraction
Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.
Table 4 shows the result of separate cumulative variance projected onto the first factor.
The used battery of tests has cumulatively accounted for 80.64% of the total measurement
variance, which means that at the level of 80.64%, it defined the general jumping preparedness
of female volleyball players of senior/varsity age.
M. Dopsaj et al.
Table 4
Cumulative level of explained measurement variance
Total Variance Explained
Initial Eigenvalues
Extraction Sums of Squared
% of Cumulative % Total
% of Cumulative %
Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.
Table 5 shows the results of multiple regression analysis where the SCOREpoint represented the
value of criteria variables, and the results of the separate tests showed the predictive variables.
Table 5
Results of multiple regression analysis
Unstandardized Standardized
95,0% Confidence
Interval for B
Lower Upper
B Std. Error
Bound Bound
Model Summaryb
R Square
Adj. R Square
Std. Error of the Estimate
a. Predictors: (Constant), CMJA
b. Dependent Variable: SCOREpoint
Table 6 presents the results of ANOVA; there are statistically significant differences in
comparison with the index of general jumping preparedness
(SCOREpoint) between the
analyzed groups, i.e. female players from high-level international competitions (the Olympics),
high-level national competitions (Super League), and state-level (First League) and regional-
level (Second League ñ North) competitions; at a level of F ñ 17.38, p = 0.000.
A mathematical model for estimating jumping preparedness
Table 6
The results of ANOVA index of general jumping preparedness (SCOREpoint) in comparison with
the tested groups of examined players
Tests of Between-Subjects Effects
Dependent Variable:SCOREpoint
Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square
a. R Squared = 0.487 (Adjusted R Squared = 0.459)
Table 7 and Graph 1 show the basic descriptive data of the SCOREpoint with determined
differences between groups of tested female volleyball players from high-level international
competitions (the Olympics), high-level national competitions (Super League), and state-level
(First League) and regional-level (Second League ñ North).
Table 7
Results of the descriptive statistics
OS (N=15)
SL (N=12)
PL (N=20)
DLS (N=12)
mean± sd
mean± sd
mean± sd
mean± sd
OS vs DLSÜ; SL vs PL$; SL vs DLS p> 0.05;
Graph 1. The overview of the basic descriptive indicator (mean±sd) SCOREpoint with
determined differences between the groups of athletes from elite international competitions (the
Olympics), elite national competitions
(Super League), and state-level
(First League) and
regional-level (Second League ñ North).
M. Dopsaj et al.
At the end, the finally defined simple mathematical model for evaluation of general
jumping preparedness (SCOREpoint) has the following form:
= -86.762 + (0.4595 · CMJARM + 0.5158 · CMJNOARM + 0.4620 · SJCONARM +
0.4812 · SJCONCNOARM + 0.5431 · CMBJ + 0.5626 · SJCONCBJ + 0.138 · SLJ)
A simple mathematical model was defined on basis of the obtained results which
explained the measurement space i.e. a criterion of general jumping preparedness of senior
female volleyball players at the level of 100% (Adj. R2 = 1.000, Table 5). In other words, it
explained this with the negligible prediction error (Table 5, Std. Err. Est. = 0.003 SCOREpoint).
The results also showed that the defined model has a satisfactory level of discrimination, for it
turned out there is a statistically significant criterion difference in comparison with the tested
group that represented players selected with respect to different competition level ñ high-level
international competitions (the Olympics), high-level national competitions (Super League), and
state-level (First League) and regional-level (Second League ñ North) competitions, at a level of
F ñ 17.38, p = 0.000 (Table 6).
Results of an interaction of influences of separate variables of various types of jumps
have showed that the greatest influence on general jumping ability
(the largest value of
coefficient of regression influence) has SJconcBJ = 0.5626, followed by CMBJ = 0.5431 and so
on, while the smallest one has SLJ = 0.1381 (Table 5). It is obvious that the largest impact on
total variability of general jumping preparedness is by types and variants of jumps that within a
given motoric task bear also a specific structure of movement, that is, they directly represent a
specific volleyball jumping technique. Examples of these are double leg vertical squat standing
block jump (SJConcBJ, Image 7) and double leg vertical countermovement standing block jump
(CMBJ, Image 6).
On the other hand, the smallest impact on any given indicator have the jumps that
dominantly represent the motoric task that defines the general level of preparedness when it
comes to jumps without any additional jump technique. Those are double leg vertical
countermovement jump with arm swing (form of excentric-concentric action of leg stretching
muscles with circular arm motion CMJArm, Picture 2), and Standing long jump with arm swing
(form of excentric-concentric exertion of leg-stretching muscles with circular arm motion and
dominantly horizontal body movement ñ SLJ).
In this way it was also shown that the selected battery of jumps is valid both in respect
with its composition and structure since it is not only of statistically significant validity in
evaluating the general jumping preparedness, but also sensitive enough when considering the
level of separate impact of result attained in jumps with motoric structure that bears
informational complexness of jumping techniques specific to volleyball.
Since the results have shown that the defined model has a satisfactory level of
discrimination it is recommended for practical use, for the purpose of a simple testing method in
the process of evaluating given preparedness with respect to phases of preparation of senior
female volleyball players.
A mathematical model for estimating jumping preparedness
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Submitted November 15 , 2010
Accepted December 14, 2010
Research article
Volume 2, No. 2, 2010, 75-84
UDC 796.332-055.1:[316.644:615.035.3
Miroslav Smaji„
Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Novi Sad;
Dragoljub Bekvalac
Football Club ''Hajdukì, Kula
Alen Kapidûi„
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Tuzla
Usage of unallowed stimulative drugs for recovery implies consuming or giving to others
substances which artificially improve physical and psychical condition of an athlete and thus
improve his/her success in sport. The goal of the study is to examine attitudes of football players
of various length of sports experience, towards unallowed stimulative substances for recovery.
The sample of examinees consists of 120 football players divided into two groups, on basis of
the sports experience length (first group: 4-8 years of sport experience, second group: 9-14
years). The sample of variables consists of a system of 10 items (claims) assessed on a 5-grade
scale. The importance of the differences between the groups was determined by a multivariate
and univariate analysis of variance, discriminative analysis, Royís test, Pearson's coefficient of
contingency and the coefficient of multiple correlation. It is evident that football players of
different length of sport experience differ among themselves in their attitudes towards unallowed
drugs for recovery, however, those differences are not big.
Keywords: unallowed stimulative drugs for recovery, football players, attitudes, length of sport
Usage of unallowed stimulative drugs for recovery implies consuming or giving to an
athlete those substances which artificially improve his physical and psychological condition and
thereby improve his success in sport. Consuming substances which can be synthetizied by a
healthy organism itself such as hormones (testosterone, cortisone, growth hormone and others)
Corresponding author. Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Lov„enska 16, 21000
Novi Sad, Serbia, e-mail: miroslav.smajic@gmail.com
© 2010 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
M. Smaji et al.
also falls into the definition of doping. Doping substances differ by their chemical structure and
by their impact on athleteís body.
Some studies have lead to a conclusion that it is important to take measures in order to
help young athletes and people close to them (parents, coaches, friends, etc. ) to prevent the risks
related with doping (Llorens, 2008).
Usage and misusage of various performance enhancing drugs has been recorded without
exception in all professions where success depends on physical abilities and performance
(Sekuli„, Kosti„ & Mileti„, 2008).
Numerous studies have tried to find out motives for usage of doping. High-ranking
sportsmen are motivated to use performance enhancing drugs mainly in order to maintain or
improve physical functioning, cope better with social or psychological pressures or to realize
social and psychological goals. Majority of sportsmen have a negative attitude towards doping in
sport, insisting that it is necessary to undertake certain concrete steps to prevent the usage of
performance enhancing drugs in sport. Besides, they are concerned with the ways tests are
performed, in other words, about reliability and integrity of the testing procedure. Although the
evidence gained through numerous research projects in that area is scarce, it is evident that
athletes ask for more intensive doping tests, and express their wish that more information is
obtained by the National Administration bodies and anti-doping agencies (Backhouse, McKenna,
Robinson, & Atkin, 2006).
The beginnings of doping can be traced back in the distant past, since people have always
searched for a way to make a better performance in what they were doing or minimize fatigue. In
the modern sport which praises only the first places in competitions, athletes do not choose
means to realize their goals. Doing so, they pay little or no attention to many negative
consequences that occur frequently as a result of consumption of various non-approved
performance-enhancing drugs. A sportsman should be aware of the reasons for not consuming
those drugs before taking them is quite long and includes condemnation by family, friends and
general public, then financial punishment, taking back medals, and a series of health
consequences (hormonal disorders, tumours, heart attacks, and stroke) (Pipe & Ayote, 2002).
Some authors point out that the most dangerous problem of usage of doping is the threat
that the consequences may occur in the following generations (Nagli„ & Miloöevi„,
Majority of sportsmen have not developed addiction to the improving performances or addiction
to the performance of enhancing drugs. However, in practice there are individuals who go in for
sport and use the performance-enhancing drugs intensively and thereby have been exposed to a
greater risk of development of diseases and syndrome of addiction (Franques, Auriacombe, &
Tignol, 2001).
Sportsmen spend much more time recovering than training. However, much attention has
been paid to training and little to recovery. The recovery can be divided into three groups: (1)
recovery immediately after the strain; (2) shortñterm recovery between repeated actions (for
example between sets of resistance or fight intervals, and (3) training recovery between trainings
(Bishop, Jones, & Woods, 2008).
Great attention has been paid nowadays to unapproved, non-allowed stimulative drugs for
recovery. However, in our country there is little research in the area of usage of these drugs,
especially if we are speaking about studies that are methodologically correct. That is why only
the papers mainly referring to the attitude of sportsmen towards training process (which is in
function of preparation system) and training or some other recovery drugs can be used in a
comparative study (Smaji„, Molnar, & Popovi„, 2009; Smaji„, Molnar, Popovi„, & Tomi„, 2009,
Smaji„, Tomi„, Kapidûi„, & Joksimovi„, 2009; Smaji„, Mihajlovi„, & Bekvalac, 2010).
Comparing attitudes towards sport (of sportsmen of various competition ranks and non-
athletes), the studies have shown that sportsmen of lower rank competitions had the highest
Attitude of football players towards doping
value of the general attitude towards sport, high-rank competition sportsmen had somewhat
lower values, while non-sportsmen had mainly positive general attitude towards sport (Havelka
& Lazarevi„, 1981).
Reasons why usage of unallowed stimulative recovery drugs is banned are of health
nature (various groups of these drugs cause many different, mostly harmful consequences on
health) and ethical (consuming various performance enhancing drugs is in opposition to basic
sport principles; sport competitions should be competitions of participants, not pharmacologists
and physicians; from medical point of view, it is wrong to give drugs to a healthy person, and
different synthetical substances can cause unwanted side effects). Besides, practical experiences
lead to a conclusion that the doping problem is becoming more and more a legal problem,
placing medical and other aspects (sociological and ethical) in the second place (Malacko &
Radjo, 2004.). The goal of this research is to examine attitudes of football players of different
length of sporting experience towards unallowed stimulative drugs for recovery.
The examinees sample consists of
120 football players from
9 clubs of various
competition ranks within the area of the Football Association of Vojvodina (Super league of
Serbia = 43, First League of Serbia = 40 and Serbian League = 37), who have been divided in
two groups according to their sport experience length (first group (62) with 4-8 years of sport
experience, second group (58) 9-14 years).
The variable sample was made up of 10 items (claims) which have been assessed on a
five- grade scale
(completely disagree, partially disagree, indecisive, partially agree, completely
agree). The items applied in the study were: 1. In spite of the possible bad consequences on
health, in order to achieve the best possible results, sportsmen should take unallowed, non-
approved stimulative drugs
(stimulants, narcotics, anabolics);
2. A sportsman should take
unapproved stimulative drugs only in case he/she wants to recover as soon as possible for further
training; 3. Unapproved stimulative drugs are not harmful for the athletesí health. 4. Athletes
should take narcotic analgesics (morphine, methadone, etc.) in case of an injury to be able to
withstand the strain ìunder the influence of the shotî; 5. Athletes may use blood doping; 6. The
use of alcohol and marijuana is completely forbidden in sports; 7. Taking various medicinal
substances is contrary to basic sport principles; 8. It is athletes who should compete in sport, and
not pharmacologists or doctors; 9. From a medical standpoint it is wrong to give medication to a
healthy person; 10. Various synthetic medicines can cause all sorts of unwanted side effects and
can have very serious consequences for the athletes' health, and thus should not be used (data on
the author of the questionnaire are missing).
In order not to lose information and bearing in mind the non-parametric nature of the
data, the data have been scaled on the tables of contingency. On basis of frequency, each class
has got a real number. The fact that it is possible to apply steps related with the ratio scale on the
scaled values, shows that in this way it is possible to reach new knowledge in research work
which could not have been obtained applying steps and methods related with non-parametric
scales. Scaling of the data does not exclude application of non-parametric tests, so that on the
scaled data it is possible to apply the Multivariate analysis of variance
discriminative analysis, and other parametric steps and methods. Several univariant steps were
applied: Royís test, Pearsonís coefficient of contingency (), coefficient of multiple correlation
M. Smaji et al.
Tables 1-10 show the frequencies of the examineesí answers (both at individual and at
the whole sample level) about the unallowed stimulative recovery substances.
Table 1
Frequency of answers to item 1 ñ Regardless of the negative consequences for the health, for the
sake of attaining good results, athletes should take unallowed stimulative substances (stimulants,
narcotics, anabolics)
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 2
Frequency of answers to item 2 ñ An athlete should take unallowed stimulative substances only
when s/he wants a faster recovery
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 3
Frequency of answers to item 3 ñ Unallowed stimulative substances are not harmful for athletesí
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Attitude of football players towards doping
Table 4
Frequency of answers to item ñ Athletes should take narcotic analgesics (morphine, methadone,
etc.) in the event of an injury to be able to withstand the strain ìwhile on the shotî
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 5
Frequency of answers to item 5 ñ Athletes may use blood doping
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 6
Frequency of answers to item 6 ñ The use of alcohol and marijuana is completely forbidden in sport
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 7
Frequency of answers to item 7 ñ Taking various medical substances is contrary to basic sport
M. Smaji et al.
Table 8
Frequency of answers to item 8 ñ It is athletes who should compete in sport, and not
pharmacologists or doctors
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 9
Frequency of answers to item 9 ñ From a medical standpoint it is wrong to give medication to a
healthy person
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 10
Frequency of answers to item 10 ñ Various synthetic medicines can cause all sorts of undesired
side effects and can have very serious consequences on athletes' health, and thus should not be
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Results of the multivariate analysis (MANOVA) are shown in Table 2. Based on obtained
results, it can be determined that the two groups of examinees formed on basis of their length of
sport experience, statistically speaking, significantly differ at the level of p=0.02.
Attitude of football players towards doping
Table 11
Multivariate significance of differences between football players with different sporting
experience with respect to their attitude to non-allowed stimulative substances for recovery
The univariate analysis (Table 12) shows that statistically significant differences exist in
four statements (items under ordinal numbers 5, 7, 9, 10). Out of the four statements, the largest
F test is in statement 7 with the largest significance of p=0.01. The statement in the question is
"Taking various medical substances is contrary to the basic sport principles". Differences in the
attitude towards blood doping (item 5) are significant at a level of p=0.03, while the differences
in items 9 and 10 ("From a medical standpoint it is wrong to give medication to a healthy
person" and " Various synthetic medicines can cause all sorts of unwanted side effects and can
have very serious consequences for the athletes' health, and thus should not be used") are at a
border level of significance.
Based on value of Pearson correlation coefficient (R) and contingency coefficient (Table
12) it can be concluded that correlation of opinions to length of service of an athlete is very low,
i.e. it can be said that their opinions do not depend on their length of service in the sport.
Table 12
Univariate significance of difference between football players of different sporting experience
regarding their attitude to non-allowed stimulative substances for recovery
Roy's test and ANOVA
Cr = .0337
Disc. Coef.
M. Smaji et al.
By analyzing the results obtained (Tables 13 and 14) it can be seen that the opinions that
most discriminated the two groups were 5 and 7, the ones that do make the discriminative
function structure at p=0.00.
Table 13
Discriminative significance of differences between football players of different sport experience
regarding their attitude to ìnon-allowed stimulative substances for recovery"
The differences obtained are in favour of the second group (with sporting experience of
over 8 years), which is obvious from the centroid values (Table 14).
Table 14
Centroids and the borderline between football players of different sporting experience with
respect to their attitude to "non-allowed stimulative substances for recovery"
Table 15
Homogeneousness between football players of different sporting experience with respect to their
attitude to "non-allowed stimulative substances for recovery"
In statement 5 (Athletes may use blood doping) the football players from the second
group have given a larger number of negative answers, which shows their being better informed
in connection with this forbidden method. In statement 7 (Taking various medicinal substances is
contrary to the basic sport principles) the second group with longer sporting experience (9 to 14
years) has given the opinions that are in accordance with the statement, which can again be
ascribed to the better understanding of the negative effect of using synthetic medication in sport.
It should be pointed out that even though there is a statistically significant discrimination
function, the differences between these two groups with respect to the length of sport experience
are not explicit, which is also evident from the relatively low homogeneousness of the first group
(Table 15). Namely, a large number of football players of shorter length of sport experience
(nearly 50%) have the same opinion profile like the ones from the second group (longer sporting
Attitude of football players towards doping
Generally speaking, it can be noticed that football players of different sporting experience
differ; however those differences are not explicit. The groups are very similar when it comes to
opinions about unallowed stimulative substances for recovery, unlike in previous research
projects where the difference was explicit (Smaji„, Molnar, & Popovi„, 2009, Smaji„, Molnar,
Popovi„, & Tomi„, 2009; Smaji„, Tomi„ et al., 2009, Smaji„ et al., 2010). It should only be
pointed out that while determining the opinions of the player groups, they differed most in the
statement about taking various medical substances (item 7); this was also the case regarding the
opinions of players from various leagues (Smaji„, Molnar, Popovi„, & Tomi„, 2009). Some
authors have hold the view that players aged between 18 and 24 are best informed about doping
(Sas-Nowosielski, & ⁄wi¹tkowska, 2007).
With respect to the issue of using unallowed stimulative substances for the recovery of
athletes, the examinees were unanimous in their opinions that they do not want to use those as
they are harmful for athletes' health; they were also unanimous with respect to taking stimulative
substances stating that it is contrary to the basic sport principles. However, their opinions
regarding blood doping were divided.
The respondents' opinions about alcohol and marijuana use (most of them agreed with the
statement that those are completely forbidden in sports) indicate to their lack of knowledge
regarding the legal regulations of the International Olympic Committee (Backhouse et al., 2006).
It can be concluded that in connection with using prohibited stimulative substances for recovery,
athletes are not sufficiently informed neither about the health, ethic and legal regulations, nor
about the consequences of using such substances. It is necessary that athletes in the sports clubs
be better informed and educated about prohibited stimulative substances for recovery through
adequate professional brochures, lectures and talks with experts.
A key step in athletes' education probably involves collecting data and creating a greater
database based on more information submitted by top athletes with respect to their opinions and
experiences about doping, all for the benefit of further research into this very complex issue
(Backhouse et al. 2006).
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Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 22(3), 1015-1024.
Franques, P., Auriacombe, M., & Tignol, J. (2001). Sports, use of performance enhancing drugs
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Havelka, N., & Lazarevi„, Lj. (1981). Sport i liËnost. Beograd: Sportska knjiga.
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Submitted October 18, 2010
Accepted December 14, 2010