Identifying Physical Activity Determinants in Youth with Autistic Spectrum Disorders

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Youth age, parent modeling and support, and time spent in sedentary pursuits influence physical activity (PA) in youth without disabilities, but have not been explored in youth with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Therefore, these were selected as variables of interest to examine as PA determinants in this population.

Methods:

Parents (n = 48) and youth (n = 30) wore an accelerometer for 7 d and parents completed a PA support questionnaire. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate the influence of selected variables on youth PA.

Results:

Youth age (r22 = -0.59, P < 0.01) and sedentary pursuits (r22 = -0.47, P < 0.05) were negatively correlated with and accounted for 30% and 13% of the variance in youth PA, respectively. Parent variables did not significantly contribute to the explained variance.

Conclusion:

Contrary to findings in youth without disabilities, parent PA and support were not predictors of PA in youth with ASD.

Pan is with the Dept of Physical Education, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan. Frey is with the Dept of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408.

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