Documentary Analysis of Survey Research in Adapted Physical Activity: 1984-1998

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 Ohio State University
  • 2 Pennsylvania State University
  • 3 Ohio State University
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Articles related to adapted physical activity appearing in professional journals (1984-1998) were analyzed. Of the 111 articles reviewed, 30 (27%), 39 (35%), and 42 (38%) were published during the 1984-1988, 1989-1993, and 1994-1998 time periods, respectively. Two thirds of the studies concerned conditions/demographics/practices rather than attitudes. Only 34 (31%) surveys were mailed as opposed to other forms of delivery (e.g., face to face interviews, telephone, etc.). While validity and reliability reporting increased over the three time periods, in total, only 59 (53%) reported validity and 62 (56%) reported reliability. A sample frame was clearly identified in only 43 (39%) studies. Only 7 (6%) articles addressed nonresponse bias, a critical element in survey research design. Future investigators need to report validity and reliability, clearly define sample frames, and account for nonresponse bias.

David L. Porretta and Fabio L. Lisboa are with the School of Physical Activity and Educational Services at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210; Francis M. Kozub is with the Department of Kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 16802.

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