Exploring the Meaning of Parental Involvement in Physical Education for Students With Developmental Disabilities

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Jihoun An Texas State University–San Marcos, USA

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Samuel R. Hodge The Ohio State University, USA

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The purpose of this phenomenological inquiry was to explore the experiences and meaning of parental involvement in physical education from the perspectives of the parents of students with developmental disabilities. The stories of four mothers of elementary aged children (3 boys, 1 girl), two mothers and one couple (mother and father) of secondary-aged youth (1 girl, 2 boys) with developmental disabilities, were gathered by using interviews, photographs, school documents, and the researcher’s journal. Bronfenbrenner’s (2005) ecological system theory provided a conceptual framework to interpret the findings of this inquiry. Three themes emerged from thematic analysis: being an advocate for my child, understanding the big picture, and collaborative partnerships undeveloped in GPE. The findings lend additional support to the need for establishing collaborative partnerships in physical education between home and school environments (An & Goodwin, 2007; Tekin, 2011).

Jihoun An is with the Health and Human Performance Department at Texas State University in San Marcos. Samuel R Hodge is with the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University in Columbus.

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