Early Play and Recreation Experiences of Persons with Physical Disabilities: An Exploration

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 Kent State University
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The purpose of this exploratory study was to inquire about the childhood and adolescent social and recreational experiences of adult males having congenital orthopedic disabilities, those having acquired orthopedic disabilities, and those who were able-bodied. An interview method using a prepared questionnaire was employed to collect data from 173 men, of whom 53 had congenital disabilities, 60 had acquired disabilities, and 60 were able-bodied. They ranged in age from 20 to 40 years. The analyses, using the chi-square statistic at p = .001, revealed that men with congenital disabilities differed from each of the other two groups with respect to memories of childhood social and recreational opportunities. They recalled having had more or about the same number of childhood opportunities to play with friends, be involved in active games and in outdoor activities, and play at friends’ homes. Subjects with congenital disabilities, in contrast to the others, also recalled as adolescents having had more or about the same number of opportunities to participate in active games and go to friends’ homes.

Request reprints from Dr. Dean A. Zoerink, 265 Memorial Gym Annex, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242.

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