This paper examines the need for interdisciplinary knowledge in the formation of public health models for health-promoting physical activity (PA) for people experiencing disability. PA promotion for people experiencing disability is a multifaceted endeavor and requires navigating a multitude of complicated and interactive factors. Both disability and health are multifaceted constructs and the relationship between PA and health is embedded within a complicated web of interactive influences. PA promotion must consider interacting biological and psychosocial factors within the person and in the sociopolitical environment. Models for research and practice need to evolve from value and belief systems that center on people experiencing disability without stigmatizing them. We argue that interdisciplinary research and practice is needed in navigating the intricacies of PA promotion toward improving the health of people experiencing disability and facilitating inclusion, empowerment, and dignity.
Stamatis Agiovlasitis, Joonkoo Yun, Jooyeon Jin, Jeffrey A. McCubbin, and Robert W. Motl
ZáNean McClain and E. Andrew Pitchford
Arya M. Sharma, Donna L. Goodwin, and Janice Causgrove Dunn
Dr. Arya M. Sharma challenges the conventional wisdom of relying simply on “lifestyle” approaches involving exercise, diet, and behavioral interventions for managing obesity, suggesting that people living with obesity should receive comprehensive medical interventions similar to the approach taken for other chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes or hypertension. He purports that the stigma-inducing focus on self-failing (e.g., coping through food, laziness, lack of self-regulation) does not address biological processes that make obesity a lifelong problem for which there is no easy solution. Interdisciplinary approaches to obesity are advocated, including that of adapted physical activity. Physical activity has multifaceted impacts beyond increasing caloric expenditure, including improved sleep, better mood, increased energy levels, enhanced self-esteem, reduced stress, and an enhanced sense of well-being. The interview with Dr. Sharma, transcribed from a keynote address delivered at the North American Adapted Physical Activity Symposium on September 22, 2016, in Edmonton, AB, Canada, outlines his rationale for approaching obesity as a chronic disease.
Maureen Connolly and William J. Harvey
Critical pedagogy owes much of its emergence, development, and ongoing relevance to the work of Paulo Freire whose legacy remains relevant for a next generation of scholars who seek to explore issues of inclusion, oppression, social justice, and authentic expression. An interdisciplinary dialogue between critical pedagogy and adapted physical activity is timely, appropriate, and should focus on complex profiles of neurodiversity, mental illness, and mental health, with emphasis on pedagogic practices of practitioners in service delivery and teacher educators who prepare them for professional practice. A case-based scenario approach is used to present practitioner and teacher educator practices. Concrete examples are provided for analyzing and understanding deeper issues and challenges related to neurodiversity in a variety of embodied dimensions in educational and activity contexts. We work with Szostak’s approach to interdisciplinary research and model an analysis strategy that integrates and applies the methodological features of interdisciplinarity, adapted physical activity, and critical pedagogy.
In this article, I explore the concept of axiology in the context of adapted physical activity research and analyze its connection to the more commonly discussed paradigmatic assumptions of epistemology and ontology. Following methodological scholars, I argue for an acknowledgment of the pivotal role that axiology already plays in adapted physical activity research and for the potential interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary opportunities that could be enabled by engaging with axiology in more explicit ways. I discuss a number of potential axiological gaps between the field of adapted physical activity and disability communities, arguing that such differences may undermine attempts at doing meaningful transdisciplinary research with such communities. I offer strategies for bridging these axiological gaps, encouraging us to work together in axiologically reflexive ways in order to increase meaningful opportunities for more people with disabilities to be engaged in the movement-based activities and communities of their choice.
In the article Stanish, H., Curtin, C., Must, A., Phillips, S., Maslin, M., and Bandini, L. (2015). Enjoyment, barriers, and beliefs about physical activity in adolescents with and without autism spectrum disorder. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 32(4), 302-317. doi:10.1123/APAQ.2015-0038, the authors omitted acknowledgment that the study was an extension of a larger (parent) study that compared physical activity levels and correlates among adolescents with intellectual disabilities (ID) and typically developing (TD) adolescents. Some of the methods for the study published in this journal are identical to those in the parent study, and the same comparison group of TD adolescents was used for both disability groups (ID and autism spectrum disorder). The online version of the article has been corrected.
The parent study was published as Stanish, H.I., Curtin, C., Must, A., Phillips, S., Maslin, M., & Bandini, L. (2016). Physical activity enjoyment, perceived barriers, and beliefs among adolescents with and without intellectual disabilities. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 13(1), 102–110. doi:10.1123/jpah.2014-0548.
Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Celina Shirazipour, and Krystn Orr
Donna L. Goodwin and Janice Causgrove Dunn
What do disability labels give us and what do they steal from us? How possible is it to live our lives without categories when life is necessarily categorical? In this brief provocation, I want to explore the disability labels through recourse to three perspectives that have much to say about categorization, disability, and the human condition: the biopsychological, the biopolitical, and, what I term, an in-between-all politics. It is my view that disability categories intervene in the world in some complex and often contradictory ways. One way of living with contradictions is to work across disciplinary boundaries, thus situating ourselves across divides and embracing uncertainty and contradiction to enhance all our lives. I will conclude with some interdisciplinary thoughts for the field of adapted physical activity.