Effects of Special Olympics Participation on the Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance of Mentally Retarded Children

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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Little research has been conducted on the psychosocial outcomes that may occur in adapted populations who participate in Special Olympics. This study examined changes in perceived competence of participants and nonparticipants of a 1 1/2-day Special Olympics track and field meet. Pre- and posttest measures of the physical, cognitive, peer acceptance, and maternal acceptance subscales of the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children were obtained from participants (N=24) and non-participant controls (N=24). A test of homogeneity of variance on pretest scores revealed that both groups were equivalent on the perceived competence and social acceptance measures. A MAHOVA was conducted to compare gain scores on all four measures between the two groups. Results indicated that both groups differed significantly on the perceived physical competence and peer acceptance measures. The stability of gains in perceived competence over time, and further examination of perceived competence and its correlates with adapted populations, were suggested as future directions for research.

Request reprints from Sandra L. Gibbons, Department of Physical Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.

Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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