Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

APAQ JIF: 2.929Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly (APAQ) is the major journal of peer-reviewed research in adapted physical activity. APAQ provides the latest scholarly inquiry related to physical activity for individuals with disabilities. It is also viewed as one of the major journals in the rehabilitation area. The journal is multidisciplinary and not confined to the use of particular methodologies. In fact, it encourages diversity of topics and approaches. APAQ is the journal of the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity. The journal encourages the submission of manuscripts addressing salient issues in adapted physical activity. 

APAQ publishes with person-first, nonsexist language, according to the guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2010).


APAQ is an international, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal designed to stimulate and communicate scholarly inquiry relating to physical activity that is adapted in order to enable and enhance performance and participation in people with disability. Physical activity implies fine, gross, functional, and interpretive movement including physical education, recreation, exercise, sport, and dance. The focus of adaptation may be the activity or task that is to be performed, environment and facilities, equipment, instructional methodology, and/or rules governing the performance setting. Among the populations considered are persons with motor, intellectual, sensory, and mental or other disabilities across the life span. Disciplines from which scholarship to this aim may originate include, but are not limited to, physical education, teacher preparation, human development, motor behavior and learning, biomechanics, exercise and sport physiology, and exercise and sport psychology. Scientific inquiry may originate from quantitative or qualitative inquiry, as well as from multimethod designs. 

APAQ is divided into seven sections, the first five of which include submitted papers. Viewpoint is an editorial section that contains commentary on current opinions, legislative and regulatory concerns, and trends in the discipline and profession. The Research section reports original and replicated research using appropriate scientific methodology. The Application section contains applied investigations in settings often requiring unique methodologies, reports of case studies, programmatic developments involving strategies and techniques, and the design of equipment and facilities. The Brief Research Note section presents shorter articles reporting original ideas, information, or insights, including technical or methodological research, case studies, novel techniques, and replication or validation studies. In contrast to all other sections, the length limit for brief research notes is 15 pages. The Review section contains papers that systematically and critically examine previously published literature. APAQ also contains a Digest of abstracts of recently published work from around the world, as well as a Books & Media review section. Not all sections necessarily appear in each issue.


Jeffrey J. Martin
Wayne State University, USA

Associate Editors

Stamatis Agiovlasitis
Mississippi State University, USA

Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos
University of Toronto, Canada

Phil Esposito
Texas Christian University, USA

Donna Goodwin
University of Alberta, Canada

Justin A. Haegele
Old Dominion University, USA

Cindy Sit
Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

Books & Media Review Editor

Seán Healy
University of Delaware, USA

Digest Editor

ZáNean D. McClain
California State University, East Bay, USA

Editors-in-Chief Emeriti

Geoffrey D. Broadhead (Founding Editor: 1984–1991)
Kent State University, USA

Greg Reid (1992–1996)
McGill University, Canada

Claudine Sherrill (1997–2001)
Texas Woman’s University, USA

David L. Porretta (2002–2006)
The Ohio State University, USA

Terry L. Rizzo (2007–2010)
California State University, San Bernardino, USA

Marcel Bouffard (2010–2013)
University of Alberta, Canada

Yeshayahu Hutzler (2014–2016)
Zinman College for Physical Education & Sport Sciences, The Wingate Institute, Israel

Editorial Board

Martin E. Block, University of Virginia, USA

Gordon A. Bloom, McGill University, Canada

Britton W. Brewer, Springfield College, USA

Janice Causgrove Dunn, University of Alberta, Canada

Robert C. Eklund, Florida State University, USA

M. Blair Evans, Western University, Canada

Hayley Fitzgerald, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK

John Foley, State University of New York at Cortland, USA

Michelle Grenier, University of New Hampshire, USA

Samuel R. Hodge, The Ohio State University, USA

Martin Kudlacek, Palacký University, Czech Republic

Lauren J. Lieberman, The College at Brockport, USA

Meghann Lloyd, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada

Megan MacDonald, Oregon State University, USA

Iva Obrusnikova, University of Delaware, USA

Eryk Przysucha, Lakehead University, Canada

Pauli Rintala, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Deborah Shapiro, Georgia State University, USA

Celina H. Shirazipour, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, USA

Alan L. Smith, Michigan State University, USA

Brett Smith, Durham University, UK

Nancy L.I. Spencer, University of Alberta, Canada

Heidi Stanish, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA

Andrea R. Taliaferro, West Virginia University, USA

Viviene Anne Temple, University of Victoria, Canada

Andrea Utley, University of Leeds, UK

E. William Vogler, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA

Human Kinetics Staff
Julia Glahn, Senior Journals Managing Editor
Christina Johnson, Editorial Assistant


Prior to submission, please carefully read and follow the submission guidelines detailed below. Authors must submit their manuscripts through the journal’s ScholarOne online submission system. To submit, click the button below:

Submit a Manuscript

Authorship Guidelines

The Journals Division at Human Kinetics adheres to the criteria for authorship as outlined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors*:

Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to:

a. Conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data; and
b. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
c. Final approval of the version to be published.

Conditions a, b, and c must all be met. Individuals who do not meet the above criteria may be listed in the acknowledgments section of the manuscript. *Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. (1991). New England Journal of Medicine, 324, 424–428.

Open Access

Human Kinetics is pleased to allow our authors the option of having their articles published Open Access. In order for an article to be published Open Access, authors must complete and return the Request for Open Access form and provide payment for this option. To learn more and request Open Access, click here.

Manuscript Guidelines

As outlined in the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly (APAQ) Mission, the journal accepts five major types of papers: Viewpoint, Review, Original Research, Brief Research Note, and Application. Occasionally, APAQ may present papers related to a specific theme; to read more about special issues, download the guidelines here.

Cover Letters. Authors must submit a separate cover letter that lists (a) the title of the manuscript, (b) the date of submission, and (c) the full names of all the authors and their institutional or corporate affiliations, as well as (d) the corresponding author's e-mail address. In addition to this essential information, a cover letter should be composed as described on pp. 230–231 of the Publication Manual of the APA (7th ed., 2020) and should include clear statements pertaining to potential fragmented publication, authorship, and other ethical considerations.

More specifically, the cover letter should include the following statements:

  • "This manuscript represents results of original work that have not been published elsewhere (except as an abstract in conference proceedings). This manuscript has not and will not be submitted for publication elsewhere until a decision is made regarding its acceptability for publication in APAQ. If accepted for publication, it will not be published elsewhere."
  • "Furthermore, if there are any perceived financial conflicts of interest related to the research reported in the manuscript, I/we (the author/s) have disclosed it in the Author's Notes."
  • "All authors acknowledge ethical responsibility for the content of the manuscript and will accept the consequences of any ethical violation."
  • "This research is not part of a larger study."

If the study is part of a larger study, authors must follow the guidelines specified in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (pp. 1720 of 7th ed.).

Editorial Decisions. Submissions that are rejected (i.e., that do not receive a minor- or major-revision decision and invitation to resubmit) should not be resubmitted to APAQ per the Publication Manual of the APA (7th ed., 2020, p. 381), which reads that any manuscript "that has been rejected by a journal may not be revised and resubmitted to that same journal.”

Preparing and Reporting Guidelines


APAQ will publish well-informed viewpoints relevant to adapted physical activity (APA) integrating the body of knowledge in a relevant area. Exchanging and debating ideas is central to the future of APA. APAQ welcomes the exchange and debate of ideas related to key issues in our field.

Different types of papers might qualify as Viewpoint. In general, Viewpoints are a subset of articles that reflect a particular position adopted by a person or a group. A Viewpoint is an articulated organized perspective about a particular topic or issue associated with APA. It is a scholarly view on a topic of importance in APA. A Viewpoint must be clearly expressed and demonstrate a thorough and broad understanding of the literature and practices in the field. The opinion expressed must be cogently presented and lead to insights and possibly new and interesting perspectives. APAQ will expect a Viewpoint paper to stimulate discussion among the APA community that will result in advancing our knowledge and understanding of contemporary issues, as well as practice, in APA.

While the subjective nature of Viewpoint manuscripts should be taken into account, high scholarly standards for relevance, documentation, organization, and content pertain. The author must establish a context for why the manuscript is justified and must point toward the implications or consequences that might follow from the opinions expressed in the article.

General Criteria

  • The article addresses a serious challenge facing the APA community.
  • The article significantly adds to or enhances our understanding of challenges and/or issues on the subject in question.
  • A good case for the Viewpoint is made.


  • The context for the article is made in the introduction and a logical case is made for the expression of the Viewpoint.
  • The purpose of the Viewpoint is clear and well articulated. The Viewpoint is cogently argued.
  • The Viewpoint is based on a thorough understanding of the present body of knowledge and/or practices.
  • As needed, the literature is thoroughly reviewed, appraised, and well-integrated.
  • Historical background is thoroughly reviewed, where appropriate.
  • Key concepts and terms are well explained.
  • The manuscript is logically organized, well written, and easy to follow.
  • The parts of the manuscript are well integrated and coherent and the conclusions follow.
  • Contrasting viewpoints or counter-arguments are considered.
  • The perceived benefits and limitations of the position advocated are clearly stated.
  • The number of references is appropriate and their selection is judicious.


Articles reviewing and synthesizing the research literature available on a specific topic within the field of APA are welcome. Please refer to specific guidelines for preparing and reporting a Review article below and/or the widely accepted CONSORT guidelines.

1. If you offer a narrative discussion of the literature and do not include a statistical analysis from the collection of studies for the purpose of integrating the findings, then tell APAQ reviewers the reasoning for doing so.

2. It is essential to include detail about the methods employed. Suggestions to consider:

  • Inclusion criteria: Prepare this as a separate section. Please address the issue of the "population" of papers including unpublished papers from proceedings, difficult-to-locate papers, dissertations, etc. You should justify/explain why you focused on studies in peer-reviewed literature. This is a usual expectation. One could easily miss a paper presented at a conference that might have good methods, etc., and the investigator may never submit it for peer review.
  • Exclusion criteria: Similarly, in a separate section, describe the types of studies you excluded (i.e., pilot studies, abstracts, technical reports, dissertations, etc.) and provide a rationale.
  • Searching: Include a section describing the systematic search following the criteria you set with the methodological filter. List the keywords in this section and make a statement about reference tracking on all included studies. It is helpful to include a flow chart demonstrating the search, inclusion, and exclusion path with the numbers of citations entering each stage.
  • Blind selection: When the paper is not single-authored, present information that indicates the extent to which co-author decisions were made. APAQ will assume that the authors of the manuscript were blind to the authors and publication years of the papers under review and independently applied the inclusion criteria. Detail how disagreements were handled. If more than one person made the decision regarding the inclusion criteria, what was the degree of interrater agreement across inclusion criteria? If two people disagreed, was a third person used for consensus? Was the Results section removed prior to examination so that you could reach a decision based on design and methods?
  • Methodological quality assessment: How did you assess methodological quality? Did you use guidelines or a rubric for systemic review? Did you have quality summary scores to distinguish between high- and low-quality studies? Did you exclude studies of low methodological quality? Please share the details with APAQ.
  • Data evaluation: How did you evaluate the data from primary studies that are relevant to the research question(s) and establish criteria for judging the adequacy of the procedures used to gather and code the data?
  • Data analysis and interpretation: Include a discussion of how, during the presentation analysis and interpretation stage, the separate data points were synthesized into a unified statement about the research questions. We recommend that you support narrative descriptions with tables summarizing the information with headings such as Participants, Methods, Interventions, Results, and Conclusions. Did you convert results into a common metric or other measure

3. Please consider framing the Results section with headers such as Study Selection, Study Description, Quality Assessment, Qualitative Analysis, and, if any, Quantitative Analysis.

4. The Discussion section should be followed by the limitations of the review, implications for research, and implications for practice, followed by references and a table (both with the authors in alphabetical order).

Empirical Research

Potential contributors of data-based manuscripts must carefully consider both the assumptions and the theoretical foundations of their work, as well as its methodology. Indicate relevance of your work by referring to theories, paradigms, or conceptual frameworks and by briefly reviewing the existing knowledge base. All empirical papers must be based on research methods and designs appropriate to the question(s) addressed, conforming to whatever standards of excellence are expected with the approach(es) adopted. Bearing in mind this condition, qualitative and quantitative methods are equally welcome. For quantitative research, please refer to the many resources available in the literature, as well as Viewpoint articles published in APAQ on the use of high-quality research and statistical methods (e.g., Sherrill & O’Connor, 1999; Sutlive & Ulrich, 1998). In particular, the reporting of effect sizes is critical. According to the 7th edition of the APA manual, “For readers to appreciate the magnitude or importance of a study’s findings, it is recommended to include some measure of effect size in the Results section" (p. 89). For qualitative research, please refer to well-established guidelines (e.g., Chapter 7 in Sparkes, A.C., & Smith, B. [2014]. Qualitative research methods in sport, exercise and health: From process to product. London: Routledge), as well as COREQ for individual qualitative research papers and ENTREQ for synthesizing qualitative work.

Brief Research Note

APAQ encourages shorter articles reporting new ideas, information, or insights. All potential manuscripts should present original data. Content could include technical or methodological research, case studies, novel techniques, and replication or validation studies. Length limit is 15 pages.


APAQ also welcomes knowledge-translation studies or the presentation of a new and promising intervention in its Application section. This section includes preexperimental designs such as single-subject designs and case study or case study series reports demonstrating well-planned and documented interventions with applicative purposes or utilization of new sport and/or measurement equipment, accompanied with a useful and illustrative set of descriptive data.


Writing the Manuscript

Using the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (PMAPA) as a guide, pay attention to all the facets related to manuscript preparation. Format papers with a 1-in. (2.50-cm) margin, 12-point font, and double spacing, including quotations. Empirical research, as well as Viewpoint, Review, or Application papers, should not exceed 30 pages including tables and figures. Brief Research Notes should not exceed 15 pages.

Check formatting against a sample paper from the PMAPA. Note that Method is singular, and the heading Participants is preferred over Subjects. Use line numbers in the left margin of each page, beginning with the abstract page; this facilitates providing line-by-line feedback. All manuscripts must include a one-paragraph abstract of up to 150 words and three to five keywords chosen from terms not used in the title.


APAQ is a multidisciplinary and international journal. As such, it accepts a wide range of language around disability, gender, age, race, etc., provided that this language is both respectful and consistent with the theoretical or disciplinary perspective(s) of the manuscript. This includes person-first language (e.g., "person with a disability") as explained in the PMAPA standards (7th ed., pp. 134–137). Pay particular attention to section 5.4. Refer to disabled citizens as individuals with disabilities. Avoid using characteristic and attribute. Instead, use demographic data, diagnostic criteria met, behaviors, or indicators. Do not assume commonalities; base language on individual assessment. APAQ also accepts the use of alternative terminology provided that there is a compelling and explicit rationale for doing so (e.g., theoretical consistency, historical accuracy, participant/community self-descriptions). APAQ acknowledges that different disciplines and communities understand and articulate disability in ways that may not align with person-first language (e.g., "disabled person," "Deaf communities," "crip theory"). APAQ welcomes these contributions and encourages all authors to be explicit and respectful in their language choices. Respectful language, in the context of disability, entails acknowledging the humanity (and diversity) of those whom we write about: for example, not referring to a person as their diagnosis (e.g., “a CP,” or “an asthmatic”) and not using potentially derogatory or tragic language (e.g., “cripple,” “confined to a wheelchair,” or “suffering from paralysis”) unless there is a compelling and explicit rationale for doing so (e.g., quoting historical sources or quoting participants’ self-descriptions). 

For more clarification see the following:

  • APAQ language policy based on Peers, Spencer-Cavaliere, & Eales (2014). Say what you mean: Rethinking disability language in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 31, 265–282.
  • American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
  • Sherrill, C., & O’Connor, J. (1999). Guidelines for improving adapted physical activity research. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 16, 1–8.
  • Sutlive, V.H., & Ulrich, D.A. (1998). Interpreting statistical significance and meaningfulness in adapted physical activity research. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 15, 103–118.

Preparation of Figures and Tables

Resolution of digital images should be 300 dpi at full size for photos and 600 dpi for line art. Figures or photos should be submitted as .jpg or .tif files. Although our online articles support color figures, bear in mind that the journal prints in black and white, and most color files will be printed in black and white. Make sure that any color figures submitted will be interpretable in grayscale/black and white. Format tables using the Table Layout function in Word rather than aligning columns in text with tabs and spaces or using text boxes.

Before Submitting

Do not submit the manuscript to another journal at the same time. Authors are advised to check the typing of the final copy, particularly the accuracy of references, and to retain a duplicate copy to guard against loss. Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication must transfer copyright to Human Kinetics, Inc. Address general correspondence to the editorial assistant (Christina Johnson) at


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About APAQ Board Membership

Criteria and Responsibilities for Editorial Board Membership

The Editorial Board is composed of Co-Editors, Associate Editors, Emeriti Editors, a Books and Media Review Editor, a Digest Editor, and Editorial Review Board members who have significant expertise and experience in Adapted Physical Activity (APA), a theoretical area associated with research in APA, and measurement models or qualitative approaches associated with APA research applications. Editorial Board members and Associate Editors are appointed by the Editor when a consensus of the Editorial Council (i.e., Emeriti Editors and Associate Editors) and current board members approve the nomination.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for appointment shall include the following:

  1. 1.  Demonstration of scholarly expertise and ethical leadership in an area not overrepresented on the existing Editorial Board.
  2. 2.  Publication of three or more manuscripts in APAQ or a journal of scholarly equivalence.
  3. 3.  Demonstration of excellence in the review process, based on independent evaluations of the Editor and Associate and/or Emeriti Editors. 
  4. 4.  A commitment to nonbiased international terminology, issues, and concerns related to individuals with disabilities.
  5. 5.  Stated commitment to attend annual Board meetings when possible and to contribute to issues affecting APAQ through the usual communication modalities.


Members of the Editorial Board of APAQ are directly accountable to the Editor of APAQ, who, in turn, is responsible to Human Kinetics, Inc. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. 1.  Provide input on editorial needs and review manuscripts as requested.
  2. 2.  Complete assigned reviews in a timely fashion. Offer mutually respectful and constructive review of manuscripts to assist in providing the highest quality papers.
  3. 3.  Maintain confidentiality and objectivity with regard to manuscripts and the APAQ review process.
  4. 4.  Participate in the evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of APAQ so as to help sustain the highest level of excellence in APA.
  5. 5.  Submit at least one manuscript to APAQ every 3 years. 
  6. 6.  If or when appropriate, encourage authors whose primary language is not English to seek mentorship or assistance from a colleague prior to submitting a manuscript for review. 

Nomination Process

Editorial Board membership (i.e., Editor, Associate Editors, Emeriti Editors, Books and Media Review Editor, Digest Editor, and Editorial Review Board) will originate from APAQ board members. Nominations are submitted in writing (electronically via e-mail or traditional mail) and addressed to the Editor or any member of the Editorial Council. All nominations will be sent to the Editor, who will then arrange for review and comment by the APAQ Editorial Board.

Candidates/applicants must submit a vita including a statement addressing their interest and suitability for Board Membership. APAQ assumes that the general readership would be able to identify the candidate by his or her reputation for scholarship of an established line of inquiry. A short list of keywords identifying areas of interest is also required.

If a candidate is approved by majority vote of the APAQ Board Members, she or he will be invited to serve by the Editor for a specified term of 3 years. Continued membership of the Editorial Board will be reviewed every 3 years by a member of the Editorial Council with a decision about candidates presented at an annual Board meeting. The number of editorial board members will not exceed 30 unless otherwise specified by the APAQ Board. 


Last updated December 1, 2008 by Terry Rizzo


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