Although the Paralympic Games have been around for over 60 years, women remain underrepresented in almost all aspects of the Paralympic Movement. It has been suggested that a way to increase women’s involvement is through the implementation of mixed-gender events. On paper, this approach makes sense. However, when it comes to the implementation of mixed-gender opportunities for women, it is less clear how effective these events are in increasing participation by women in Para sport. Through document analysis and interviews with athletes and organizers of mixed-gender Paralympic sport, we explore the various strategies that four mixed-gender sports have used to address the issue of gender parity. Using critical feminist theories, we illustrate how larger social, political, and cultural ideas about gender influence women’s experiences within these events and discuss the potential of using mixed-gender initiatives to address gender parity within the Paralympic Movement.
“It Looks Good on Paper, But It Was Never Meant to Be Real”: Mixed-Gender Events in the Paralympic Movement
Nikolaus A. Dean, Andrea Bundon, P. David Howe, and Natalie Abele
Exploring Physical Educators’ Self-Efficacy to Teach Students With Disabilities in General Physical Education
Lindsey A. Nowland
The purpose of this study was to explore the ways in which in-service physical education teachers construct their self-efficacy beliefs toward teaching students with disabilities in general physical education classes. Using a qualitative descriptive approach situated within self-efficacy theory, data were collected via semistructured audio-recorded interviews with 16 in-service physical educators. Three interrelated themes were constructed: (a) The more I do it, the better I feel: the importance of professional experiences; (b) I’ve learned from others: the influence of colleagues; and (c) Being in the general educational setting is a challenge: the impact of contextual factors. Findings supported the influence of the four sources of self-efficacy (i.e., mastery experience, vicarious experience, social persuasion, and affective and physiological state), in addition to potential contextual factors (i.e., class sizes and availability of hands-on support), impacting participants’ self-efficacy to teach students with disabilities in general physical education classes.
Promoting Physical Activity and Fitness: Supporting Individuals With Childhood-Onset Disabilities
Myung Ha Sur
Morality- and Norm-Based Subgroups of Disability-Sport Athletes Differ on Their Anticipated Guilt and Intentions Toward Doping
Tyler S. Harris, Alan L. Smith, and Ian Boardley
The purpose of this study was to examine whether subgroups of disability-sport athletes exist on morality- and norm-based doping cognitions and whether these groups differ in anticipated guilt or doping intentions. A survey was completed by 186 athletes (M age = 37.5 years, 78.0% male, 45.1% wheelchair basketball) assessing norms, doping moral disengagement, anticipated guilt, and intentions to dope. Cluster analysis revealed four distinct subgroups of athletes, including one potentially high-risk subgroup characterized by relatively high scores on doping moral disengagement, subjective norms, and descriptive norms. One-way analysis of variance revealed significantly lower anticipated guilt in two athlete subgroups characterized by relatively higher doping moral disengagement than the other two subgroups. Moreover, the potentially high-risk group had a greater proportion of athletes showing some presence of intention to dope. This study suggests there is a small subgroup of disability-sport athletes at elevated risk of doping who might benefit from targeted antidoping interventions.
A Systematic Review of Digital Interventions to Promote Physical Activity in People With Intellectual Disabilities and/or Autism
Debbie Van Biesen, Tine Van Damme, Natalia Morgulec-Adamowicz, Aleksandra Buchholz, Momna Anjum, and Séan Healy
This systematic review synthesized the literature on digital health interventions for the promotion of physical activity (PA) among people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism. From an initial screening of 553 records, 10 studies underwent full-text review. Data were extracted relating to study, intervention, and sample characteristics and PA-related findings. Methodological quality was evaluated using the Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool. There were mixed findings pertaining to the effectiveness of digital health interventions for promoting PA among these populations. Positive results were reported for three of five active-video-game interventions, two of three social-media-based interventions, and one of two e-learning/multicomponent interventions. Digital health interventions can potentially be effective for promoting PA among people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism. However, the large variation in the samples and intervention types and a reliance on pre- and quasi-experimental research designs suggest that inferences should be made with caution and additional research is needed.
Volume 40 (2023): Issue 4 (Oct 2023)
Leveraging Disability Sport Events: Impacts, Promises, and Possibilities, 1st Edition
Perceptions of High-Intensity Interval Training Among People With Spinal Cord Injury: A Mixed-Methods Analysis
Joseph Peters, Kellie Halloran, Alexander Teague, Emily Erlenbach, Libak Abou, Mariana Kersh, and Ian Rice
This mixed-method project investigated how people with spinal cord injury perceive high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Using a recumbent hand cycle, 11 active men and 9 active women with spinal cord injury or related disease participated in a single HIIT and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) session. Following exercise, participants completed surveys assessing enjoyment, self-efficacy, and outcome expectations. Ten participants were randomly selected to participate in a semistructured interview to assess perceptions toward HIIT. Quantitative survey data revealed that participants trended toward enjoying HIIT over MICT (p = .06) with similar levels of self-efficacy and outcome expectations toward HIIT and MICT (p > .05). Qualitative data revealed that participants believed HIIT would enhance long-term physical and self-evaluative outcomes; several barriers emerged that could prevent widespread adoption among the general population with spinal cord injury. Results support HIIT as a viable exercise option, although research should begin exploring ways to remove HIIT-related barriers that people with spinal cord injury may encounter.
Structure and Organization of Sport for People With Intellectual Disabilities Across Europe
Adriana Marin-Urquiza, Jan Burns, Natalia Morgulec-Adamowicz, and Debbie Van Biesen
Opportunities to participate and compete in sports for athletes with intellectual disability (ID) have increased; however, this group still encounters limitations in accessing a comprehensive range of sports. This study addressed the current knowledge on how sport for people with ID is organized and the relationships between the major sport organizations for people with ID across 10 European countries. The participants were 29 national sport organizations for people with ID. Data were collected using semistructured interviews with representatives from the key organizations and analyzed thematically. From the results, two major themes emerged: (a) connection and networking between sport organizations and (b) organizational landscape of each nation (i.e., ID, multidisability, or mainstream). The results of this study contribute to understanding how sport for people with ID is organized across the participating nations, demonstrating different models of development and examples of good practice.
Assessing the Fundamental Movement Skills of Children With Intellectual Disabilities in the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program
Hayley Kavanagh, Mika Manninen, Sarah Meegan, and Johann Issartel
Mastering the ability to move proficiently from a young age is an important contributor to lifelong physical activity participation. This study examined fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency in children with intellectual disabilities (n = 96, 60% boys, age 5–12 years) and typically developing children (n = 96, 60% boys, age 5–12 years). Participants were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development–3rd edition and balance subtest from the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency 2. The FMS proficiency of typically developing children including mastery/near mastery level (combined variable representing mastery, which is achieving all criteria for the skill, over both trials and near mastery, wherein a participant performs all but one of the components of the skill correctly) was significantly higher than for children with intellectual disabilities. A similar observation was made with multiple linear regression analysis testing the interaction effect of participant group and age/gender on all three FMS subcomponents. The results presented will help establish a baseline of FMS proficiency and guidelines for future intervention for children with intellectual disabilities.