• Effects of a cognitive intervention on motor performance, motor performance self-efficacy, and combat event readiness self-efficacy in Navy recruits

      Adams, Barry D.; Harrington, Donna (2007)
      This study used a randomized two-group pre-posttest with repeated measures (RM) design to evaluate the effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention on gross motor skills as measured by the U.S. Navy's Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA), including pushups, situps, and 1.5 mile run, and fine motor skills (dart throwing proficiency). The study further evaluated self-efficacy (SE) perceptions related to each of the two types of motor tasks and to a third exploratory self-efficacy scale for combat/high-stress, high-risk (C/HSHR) mental readiness. The study sample included 95 Navy recruit trainees (60 men and 35 women) assigned to a remedial physical fitness program. Participants were randomly assigned to the one-hour Operational Readiness Cognitive Training (ORCT) group or a one-hour control group. Each of the study's three iterations was conducted over a seven-day period with pre-test measures occurring on day 1 and post-test measures occurring on day 7 in order to help control for possible effects of additional strength, endurance, or skills improvement. Repeated measures analyses were conducted on each dependent variable at pre-test and post-test. Results indicated improvement from time 1 to time 2 on PFA scores, self-efficacy for dart throwing, and self-efficacy for C/HSHR mental readiness, but not for Dart scores, or self-efficacy for PFA. Differences between groups from time 1 to time 2 on all five measures were nonsignificant; however, on fine motor (Dart) scores results approached significance ( p = .055) with the ORCT intervention group showing more improvement than the control group. While caution is warranted in drawing conclusions, the study indicates potential benefits from using strategic cognitive interventions on fine motor skills such as dart exercises conducted under a degree of pressure while controlling for effects of additional training but not for gross motor (PFA) skills. Implications for future research from this study and related research studies are discussed.