The purpose of this study was to investigate parent perceptions of the physical activity (PA) engagement of their adult children with autism spectrum disorders. The theoretical framework used in this study was social ecology. Participants were nine parents from families with one adult child with autism spectrum disorder whose ages ranged from 18 to 42. Using phenomenological interviews, which explored parents’ life experience and meaning making, four themes were generated: supports and advocacy for PA, engaging in PA independently, benefits of PA, and barriers to or reasons for disengaging in particular activities. Parents’ interview comments showed that intrapersonal factors, interpersonal relationships, and community factors were essential for keeping the individuals with autism spectrum disorder engaged in PA. Families and practitioners can take advantage of that by seeking PA opportunities in community settings or with other individuals.
Alice M. Buchanan, Benjamin Miedema, and Georgia C. Frey
Kwok Ng, Jorma Tynjälä, Dagmar Sigmundová, Lilly Augustine, Mariane Sentenac, Pauli Rintala, and Jo Inchley
Physical activity (PA) is an important health-promoting behavior from which adolescents with long-term illnesses or disabilities (LTID) can benefit. It is important to monitor differences across countries in adherence with PA recommendations for health. The aim of this study was to compare PA levels among 15 European countries after disaggregating data by disability. Data from pupils (mean age = 13.6 years, SD = 1.64) participating in the 2013/2014 Health Behavior in School-aged Children study were analyzed to compare adolescents without LTID, with LTID, and with LTID that affects their participation (affected LTID). Logistic regression models adjusted for age and family affluence, stratified by gender and country group with PA recommendations for health as the outcome variable. With the data pooled, 15% (n = 9,372) of adolescents reported having LTID and 4% (n = 2,566) having affected LTID. Overall, fewer boys with LTID met PA recommendations for health than boys without LTID, although it was not statistically significant either at the national levels or for girls.
Gabriella McLoughlin, Courtney Weisman Fecske, Yvette Castaneda, Candace Gwin, and Kim Graber
There are many reasons why individuals are motivated to participate in sports. Less attention, however, is given for studying motivation and athlete development in adapted sport. The purpose of this study was to identify the motivations, facilitators, and barriers to sports participation of elite athletes with a physical disability. Participants (N = 23, 17 males, six females, mean age: 24.3 years) were recruited through online listservs, e-mails, and snowball sampling. A semistructured interview guide was employed. Analysis was conducted and grounded in self-determination theory and literature surrounding barriers and facilitators of sports participation. Through coding by multiple researchers, six themes emerged. Themes indicated that athletes attributed participation to constructs of self-determination theory as well as overcoming specific barriers such as cost, time constraints, and lack of opportunity. Among facilitators to their athletic development, there were empowerment and advocacy, increased health, college scholarships, and achieving performance-related goals.
Kenneth Aggerholm and Kristian Møller Moltke Martiny
This article contributes to the understanding of embodied practices and experiences within adapted physical activity. It presents a study of a 4-day winter sports camp for young people with cerebral palsy. The experiences of the participants were investigated through qualitative interviews. The findings are analyzed through a phenomenological framework of embodiment and the notions of body schema and body image. By paying special attention to the bodily experience of “I can,” this study shows that participants learned new ways of approaching challenges, gained bodily control in challenging situations, expanded their fields of possible actions through practicing, as well as learned to understand and accept themselves. These findings reveal central values of bodily interventions for people with cerebral palsy and have the potential to inform pedagogical work within the area of adapted physical activity.
Wendy M. Holmes and Madeleine E. Hackney
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of 16 individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) partaking in an adapted tango class and the perceived impact on participation and quality of life (QOL). The Ecology of Human Performance and the International Classification of Function were the theoretical frameworks for the study. Data collection involved focus groups conducted during the intervention and at a follow-up six months later. Data analysis followed inductive thematic analysis techniques. The themes addressed living with PD, the class structure and experiences, the participants’ expectations for the class, and the multiple effects experienced by participants at both time periods. The results suggest that adapted tango, when offered in a structured environment with skilled instruction, may improve skills for participation in daily activities and contribute to increased QOL for persons with PD.
Emma V. Richardson, Brett Smith, and Anthony Papathomas
Using a dialogical narrative approach, we explored how disabled people made sense of their gym experiences as part of a peer group. Interviews were conducted with 18 disabled people (10 men and 8 women, aged 23–60) who had experience exercising in the gym as part of a group. Data were rigorously analyzed using a dialogical narrative analysis. Within their peer group, participants crafted a collective story that they used to resist disablism in the gym. The dialogical components of the collective story functioned to (a) validate participants’ experiences of oppression in the gym, (b) forge an unspoken understanding with peers, (c) craft a more affirmative identity, and (d) instill a sense of empowerment in participants so that they can tell their own story. This study extends knowledge in the field of exercise and disability by showing that despite the oppression disabled people experienced in the gym, they can create a collective story, which is useful for helping to promote and sustain exercise in this space.
ZáNean McClain, E. Andrew Pitchford, E. Kipling Webster, and Daniel W. Tindall
Terese Wilhelmsen and Marit Sørensen
This systematic review examines research published from 2009 to 2015 on inclusion of children with disabilities in physical education according to the PRISMA guidelines. We have used a stakeholder approach as a framework for organizing and discussing the results. The searches yielded 535 studies, of which 112 were included. The systematic review outlines which stakeholder perspectives received the most attention, the main themes and findings, the methodological trends that governed the research contribution, and the country of data collection. The main findings indicated that perspectives of pre- and in-service teachers and studies of attitudes still dominate the research contributions. The strengths and limitations of the research conducted to date highlight that several other perspectives need to be discussed. Especially important is seeking information from children with disabilities themselves. Other barriers and facilitators perceived by those actively involved in the inclusion process need to be sought.