Physical Performance of Individuals with Intellectual Disability: A 30-Year Follow-Up

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 Åbo Akademi University, Finland
  • 2 University of Jyväskylä, Finland
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Physical performance of Finnish adolescents (33 females, 44 males) with moderate intellectual disability (ID) was studied over a 30-year period. This study is an extension of Lahtinen’s previous work on documenting the performance of individuals with intellectual disabilities over time. This study consisted of analyzing data from a total of four data collection periods (1973, 1979, 1996, and 2003 in which participants ranged in age from 11-16, 17-22, 34-39 and 41-46 years old, respectively). Improvement from early to late adolescence, and decline during adulthood in abdominal strength/endurance, static balance, and manual dexterity were identified. The male adults with ID were moderately overweight (BMI), but the females with ID were obese. The IQ effect was significant on balance and manual dexterity. The gender differences in adulthood were significant, but differences were not noted for Down syndrome when controlling for IQ.

Ulla Lahtinen is with the Department of Special Education at Abo Akademi University in Vasa Finland. E-mail: Pauli Rintala is with the Department of sport Sciences and Antero Malin is with the Institute of Educational Research, both at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland

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