Professional and Disciplinary Status of Adapted Physical Activity

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Greg Reid McGill University

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Heidi Stanish St. Francis Xavier University

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Adapted physical activity has debated its professional and disciplinary status, but agreement has not been achieved. As a means of objectively evaluating the field for evidence of discipline status, the contents of APAQ (all issues between 1984-2000) and Clinical Kinesiology (1991-2000) were reviewed and compared against four criteria of a discipline: unique knowledge base, methodology, theoretical framework, and terminology. The review indicated that adapted physical activity has a distinct knowledge base but borrows considerable terminology, research methodology, and theory from allied fields. This is likely a reflection of our history, which has been tied to medicine, kinesiology, physical and special education, and some therapies. We conclude that adapted physical activity is a professional field of study with a crossdisciplinary knowledge base, rather than a discipline in its own right.

Greg Reid is with the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, McGill University, 475 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H2W 1S4. E-Mail: gregory.reid@mcgill.ca. Heidi Stanish is with the Department of Human Kinetics, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, B2G 2W5. E-mail: hstanish@stfx.ca.

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