Exploring the Interaction of Disability Status and Childhood Predictors of Physical Activity and Sport Participation: An Exploratory Decision-Tree Analysis

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 West Virginia University
  • 2 Oregon State University
  • 3 East Carolina University
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A secondary data analysis of 33,093 children and adolescents age 6–17 years (12% with disabilities) from a 2016–2017 National Survey of Children’s Health nonrepresentative sample aimed to identify (a) unique clusters of sociodemographic characteristics and (b) the relative importance of disability status in predicting participation in daily physical activity (PA) and sports. Exploratory classification tree analyses identified hierarchical predictors of daily PA and sport participation separately. Disability status was not a primary predictor of daily PA. Instead, it emerged in the fifth level after age, sex, body mass index, and income, highlighting the dynamic intersection of disability with sociodemographic factors influencing PA levels. In comparison, disability status was a second-level predictor for sport participation, suggesting that unique factors influencing PA level are likely experienced by disabled children and adolescents. The authors employ an intersectionality lens to critically discuss implications for research in adapted PA.

Ross is with Coaching and Teaching Studies, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA. Smit is with Public Health, Epidemiology, School of Biological & Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health & Human Sciences; Bogart, the School of Psychological Science; Hatfield, Human Development and Family Studies, School of Social & Behavioral Health Sciences; and Logan, Kinesiology, Adapted Physical Activity, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA. Yun is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA.

Ross (Samantha.Ross2@mail.wvu.edu) is corresponding author.
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