Aquatic Instructors’ Attitudes Toward Teaching Students with Disabilities

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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The purpose was to examine attitudes of aquatic instructors (female, n = 59; male, n = 23) toward teaching swimming to students with mild to severe disabilities in an inclusive setting. Aquatic instructors from 28 states representing 75 cities across the U.S. participated in this study. Data were collected by mail with a modified version of Rizzo’s (1984) “Attitudes of Physical Educators Toward Teaching Handicapped Pupils” (renamed “Physical Educators’ Attitudes Toward Teaching Individuals with Disabilities - Swim”). A correlated t test showed that aquatic instructors were significantly more favorable toward teaching aquatics to students with mild disabilities than students with severe disabilities. Stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated that conducting an inclusive aquatic program was the best predictor of favorable attitudes toward including students with mild disabilities, while having more certifications in aquatics was the best predictor of favorable attitudes toward including students with severe disabilities in regular aquatic programs.

Phillip Conatser is with the Health and Physical Education Department at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, PA 16057; Martin Block is with the Health and Physical Education Department at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903; Monica Lepore is with the Health Sciences Center at West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383.

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