The purpose of this study was to explore historical research trends in adapted physical activity by analyzing abstracts published under special populations by AAHPERD conventions from 1968 to 2004. There were 562 abstracts retrieved that were coded into seven categories: (a) number of authors, (b) data source, (c) sample size, (d) disability type, (e) data analysis, (f) type of study, and (g) focus of study. The coded data are presented as descriptive statistics and linear regression equations. The results of descriptive statistics describe an overall picture of the knowledge accumulation in adapted physical activity. The results of linear regression equations reveal a number of trends over the 37-year period. These trends suggest that adapted physical activity is a growing profession distinguished by several important research directions.
Jiabei Zhang and Lee deLisle are with the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com. Shihui Chen is with the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science at The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Tai Po, NT, Hong Kong.