The unqualified use of statistical significance tests for interpreting the results of empirical research has been called into question by researchers in a number of behavioral disciplines. This paper reviews what statistical significance tells us and what it does not, with particular attention paid to criticisms of using the results of these tests as the sole basis for evaluating the overall significance of research findings. In addition, implications for adapted physical activity research are discussed. Based on the recent literature of other disciplines, several recommendations for evaluating and reporting research findings are made. They include calculating and reporting effect sizes, selecting an alpha level larger than the conventional .05 level, placing greater emphasis on replication of results, evaluating results in a sample size context, and employing simple research designs. Adapted physical activity researchers are encouraged to use specific modifiers when describing findings as significant.
Vinson H. Sutlive is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Dale A. Ulrich is with the Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405.