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To successfully conduct quality research, professionals in adapted physical activity (APA) must address a number of unique and challenging issues. These issues include difficulty in acquiring large and homogenous samples; developing valid, reliable, and commercially available test instruments and protocols specific to persons with disabilities; properly training doctoral students to conduct quality research; and maintaining a specific research focus. With regard to these issues, this paper provides the following recommendations: utilize alternative research designs; acquire adequate graduate research training; develop a research focus as an adapted physical activity researcher; and promote an interdisciplinary, collaborative research effort among professionals. Most important, through continued scholarly research adapted physical activity professionals will be able to expand the scientific body of knowledge.
Barry Lavay is with the Department of Physical Education at California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840. Peggy Lasko-McCarthey was with the Department of Physical Education at San Diego State University at the time of this study.