Brantley K. Ballenger, Emma E. Schultz, Melody Dale, Bo Fernhall, Robert W. Motl, and Stamatis Agiovlasitis
This systematic review examined whether physical activity interventions improve health outcomes in adults with Down syndrome (DS). We searched PubMed, APA PsycInfo, SPORTDiscus, APA PsycARTICLES, and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection using keywords related to DS and physical activity. We included 35 studies published in English since January 1, 1990. Modes of exercise training programs included aerobic exercise, strength training, combined aerobic and strength training, aquatic, sport and gaming, and aerobic and strength exercise interventions combined with health education. The evidence base indicates that aerobic and strength exercise training improve physical fitness variables including maximal oxygen uptake, maximal heart rate, upper and lower body strength, body weight, and body fat percentage. Sport and gaming interventions improve functional mobility, work task performance, and sport skill performance. We concluded that adults with DS can accrue health benefits from properly designed physical activity and exercise interventions.
Xiaoxia Zhang, Zackary G. Kern, and Joonkoo Yun
This study aimed to examine physical activity (PA) levels and mental health status (i.e., anxiety and depression) among parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Secondary data analysis was conducted using the 2018 National Health Interview Survey. We identified 139 parents of children with ASD and 4,470 parents of children with no disability. Their PA levels, anxiety, and depression were analyzed. Compared with parents of children with no disability, parents of children with ASD were significantly less likely to meet the PA guideline for Americans and had lower odds of vigorous PA (aOR = 0.702), strengthening PA (aOR = 0.885), and light to moderate PA (aOR = 0.994). Parents of children with ASD reported significantly higher odds of anxiety (aOR = 1.559) and depression (aOR = 1.885). This study revealed lower PA levels and higher risks of anxiety and depression in parents of children with ASD.
Jurate Pozeriene, Arūnas Emeljanovas, Vida Ostaseviciene, Kestutis Skucas, Kristina Bradauskiene, Renatas Mizeras, Ausrine Packeviciute, Kristina Venckuniene, Vaida Pokvytyte, Diana Reklaitiene, and Kwok Ng
Despite the recognized benefits of physical activity (PA) for children and adolescents with disabilities (CAWD), collective information on this is lacking in Lithuania. The purpose of this study was to investigate the current “state of the nation” PA levels of CAWD, based on the 10 indicators from the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Global Matrix 4.0 methodology. Scientific articles, practical reports, and published theses related to the 10 indicators from the Global Matrix 4.0 on CAWD age 6–19 years were reviewed, and data were converted to grades from A to F. (A) Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis was carried out to interpret the grades by four experts. Data on organized sport participation (F), school (D), community & environment (D), and government (C) were available. Data on other indicators are largely missing yet are needed for policymakers and researchers to be aware of the current state of PA among CAWD.
José Francisco López-Gil, Susana Aznar, Blanca Roman-Viñas, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Rocío Izquierdo-Gómez, Sabina Barrios-Fernández, Olga Rodríguez Ferrán, and Salome Aubert
This report aims to provide a better understanding of physical activity (PA) and related factors among Spanish children and adolescents living with disabilities. The 10 indicators used for the Global Matrix on Para Report Cards of children and adolescents living with disabilities were evaluated based on the best available data in Spain. An analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats based on data provision was drafted by three experts and critically reviewed by the authorship team to provide a national perspective for each evaluated indicator. Government was the indicator with the highest grade (C+), followed by Sedentary Behaviors (C−), School (D), Overall PA (D−), and Community & Environment (F). The remaining indicators received an incomplete grade. There were low levels of PA in Spanish children and adolescents living with disabilities. Yet, opportunities to improve the current surveillance of PA among this population exist.
Lindsey A. Nowland and Justin A. Haegele
The purpose of this article is to examine the content of previously published empirical literature utilizing self-efficacy theory with regard to physical education teachers’ perceived self-confidence to teach students with disabilities in general physical education. Keyword searches were used to identify relevant literature from electronic databases published from 2000 to 2022. Twenty-four articles, from 11 countries, met all inclusion criteria, and relevant data regarding participants, theory, measurement, research design, and dependent variables were extracted. Of the 24 studies, nine were survey validation, eight were experimental, six were cross-sectional, and one was mixed-methods design. Major findings across the examined studies indicate that teachers’ perceptions of training, amount of experience, and support from personnel significantly influence their self-efficacy toward teaching students with disabilities.
Sana Affes, Rihab Borji, Nidhal Zarrouk, Thouraya Fendri, Sonia Sahli, and Haithem Rebai
This study explored the acute effects of different running intensities on cognitive and motor performances in individuals with intellectual disability (ID). An ID group (age, M = 15.25 years, SD = 2.76) and a control group without ID (age, M = 15.11 years, SD = 1.54) performed visual simple and choice reaction times, auditory simple reaction time, and finger tapping tests before and after running at low or moderate intensity (30% and 60% of heart rate reserve [HRR], respectively). Visual simple reaction time values decreased (p < .001) after both intensities at all time points with higher (p = .007) extend after the 60% HRR intensity for both groups. After both intensities, the VCRT decreased (p < .001) in the ID group at all time points compared with preexercise (Pre-EX) while, in the control group, these values decreased (p < .001) only immediately (IM-EX) and after 10 min (Post-10) of exercise cessation. Compared withs Pre-EX, in the ID group, the auditory simple reaction time values decreased (p < .001) at all time points after the 30% HHR intensity whereas, after the 60% HRR, these values decreased only at IM-EX (p < .001), Post-10 (p = .001) and Post-20 (p < .001). In the control group, auditory simple reaction time values decreased (p = .002) only after the 30% HRR intensity at IM-EX. The finger tapping test increased at IM-EX (p < .001) and at Post-20 (p = .001) compared to Pre-EX in both groups only after the 30% HHR intensity and for the dominant hand. The effect of physical exercise on cognitive performances in individuals with ID seems to depend on the cognitive test type as well as the exercise intensity.
Roxy Helliker O’Rourke, Krystn Orr, Rebecca Renwick, F. Virginia Wright, James Noronha, Kirsten Bobbie, and Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos
School sports programs intentionally created for students with and without disabilities may increase social participation of students with intellectual disabilities (IDs). Special Olympics Unified Sports is one program where students with and without ID participate on one team. Guided by a critical realist paradigm, this study explored the perceptions of students with and without ID and coaches of in-school Unified Sports. Interviews were conducted with 21 youths (12 with ID) and 14 coaches. Thematic analysis resulted in four developed themes (identified is outdated language): Inclusion—Is it a “we” or a “they?” Roles and Responsibilities, Educational Context for Inclusion, and Buy-In. Findings suggest students with and without ID and coaches value the inclusive nature of Unified Sports. Future research should explore training for coaches on inclusive practices (e.g., language), and optimal methods for consistent training (e.g., use of training manuals) to foster the philosophy of inclusion within school sports.
Adam S. Forbes and Joonkoo Yun
Visual supports have been advocated as one strategy to teach children with autism in physical education. However, empirical studies documented inconsistencies in their effectiveness, with some demonstrating positive effects while others reported limited support for their use. Without a clear synthesis of information, physical educators may have difficulties in identifying and meaningfully utilizing visual supports. A systematic literature review on visual supports was conducted with synthesized current literature for physical educators to make informed decisions regarding their use for children with autism in physical education. A total of 27 articles were reviewed, which included empirical- and narrative-based manuscripts. Results suggest that picture task cards, visual activity schedules, and video prompting can be potential strategies that physical educators can use to teach motor skills to children on the spectrum. However, video modeling may need to be further investigated to fully understand how to use it in the context of physical education.
Yeshayahu Hutzler, Sharon Barak, Salomé Aubert, Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Riki Tesler, Cindy Sit, Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Piritta Asunta, Jurate Pozeriene, José Francisco López-Gil, and Kwok Ng
The purpose was to synthesize information gathered from the interpretation and conclusion sections of the Global Matrix of Para Report Cards on the physical activity of children and adolescents with disabilities. The synthesis was based on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats framework. The procedure consisted of three stages: (a) the application of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health as the theoretical framework; (b) identifying and aligning Global Matrix indicators and benchmarks with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health components through a Delphi approach; and (c) using content analysis to identify themes from specific report cards. Outcomes reveal that further attention toward including children and adolescents with disabilities in fitness assessments is needed as well as adapted assessment methods. Program availability, equipment and facilities, and professional training emerged as strengths but need further development to overcome weaknesses. Paralympic inspiration was an opportunity, whereas extreme weather conditions presented potential threats to physical activity participation among children and adolescents with disabilities.