This study aimed to examine the associations between perceived social support, perceived competence, and physical activity in children with physical and intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the third wave of the pandemic in Hong Kong (i.e., July through December 2020), 291 participants age 6–17 years from 27 special schools were included. After controlling for demographic variables, the total variance explained by perceived social support and perceived competence was 24%, F(2, 240) = 12.42, p < .001, with perceived competence having a stronger association with physical activity (β = 0.29, p < .001) than perceived social support (β = 0.07, p = .22). This study highlights two key facilitators for shaping physical activity involvement among children with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ming Hui Li, Jane Jie Yu, Stephen Heung Sang Wong, Raymond Kim Wai Sum, and Cindy Hui Ping Sit
Lara Pomerleau-Fontaine, Gordon A. Bloom, and Danielle Alexander
The majority of research on the coach–athlete relationship has been explored from the perspective of able-bodied athletes. The purpose of this study was to explore wheelchair basketball athletes’ perceptions of the coach–athlete relationship. Timelining and semistructured interviews were conducted with six wheelchair basketball athletes, and data were analyzed using a reflexive thematic analysis. Athletes highlighted the important role that parasport coaches played in fostering an enjoyable wheelchair basketball environment and valued coaches who displayed expertise regarding their athletes’ equipment and had personal parasport athletic experiences. Additionally, athletes identified personal preferences, including coaches who addressed sex differences and maintained professional relationships at the national level as contributing factors to the coach–athlete relationship. The current results benefit both parasport coaches and athletes by providing a portrayal of coaching behaviors, characteristics, and expertise that not only influence the parasport coach–athlete dyad but also affect the well-being and athletic development of parasport athletes.
Emma Streatch, Natasha Bruno, and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung
Quality experiences in sport programming for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can promote physical and psychosocial benefits and long-term quality participation (QP). Unfortunately, children with ASD often experience sport participation barriers and, consequently, participate less in sport compared with children without disabilities. This study investigated QP priorities and strategies that could foster QP for children with ASD. Caregivers (n = 13), volunteers (n = 26), and staff (n = 14) involved in sport programming for children with ASD rated experiential elements of QP using the Measure of Experiential Aspects of Participation. In addition , a two-round Delphi survey with staff (Round 1: n = 11; Round 2: n = 13) generated 22 strategies for promoting QP—each rated highly with regard to importance (5.69–6.85 on a 7-point scale). Strategies were substantiated with published research evidence. Findings informed the development of a QP tool designed to help instructors implement identified strategies in hopes of improving sport experiences for children with ASD.
Cindy H.P. Sit, Wendy Y.J. Huang, Stephen H.S. Wong, Martin C.S. Wong, Raymond K.W. Sum, and Venus M.H. Li
Background: Following the 2019 Hong Kong Para Report Card, the 2022 Hong Kong Para Report Card aimed to provide an updated and evidence-based assessment for nine indicators related to physical activity in children and adolescents with special educational needs and to assess the results using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. Methods: Using a systematic process, the best available data on nine indicators were searched from the past 10 years and were assessed by a research work group. Letter grades were assigned and considered by stakeholders and auditors. Results: Four indicators were assigned a letter grade (overall physical activity: F [mixed device-measured and self-reported data]; sedentary behaviors: D [device-measured data]; active transportation: D−; government strategies & investment: C+). SWOT analysis highlighted opportunities for facilitating children and adolescents with special educational needs to achieve health recommendations. Conclusion: There were deteriorating trends in physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Effective, multilevel, and cross-sector interventions are recommended to promote active behavior in children and adolescents with special educational needs.
Susann Arnell, Kajsa Jerlinder, and Lars-Olov Lundqvist
Background: Participation in physical activity among adolescents with autism is often conditional. However, there is a lack of methods for identifying these specific conditions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop and investigate the feasibility of a Q-sort tool to map individual-specific conditions for participation in physical activity among adolescents with autism and to identify different viewpoints regarding conditions for such participation. Method: An exploratory mixed-methods design was employed to investigate the feasibility of using Q methodology and the Q-sort procedure to identify what individual-specific conditions are important for participation in physical activity for adolescents with autism. Results: The adolescents ranked the statements with varying levels of ease. Two viewpoints were identified: Autonomous participation without surprises and Enjoyment of activity in a safe social context. Conclusion: Q-sort is a feasible method for mapping conditions for participation, which can guide the development of tailored physical activity interventions.
San Hong, Jieun Yang, Donghyun Kim, and Yongho Lee
The purpose of this study was to draw consensus among an expert panel regarding essential elements of an accessible fitness center guide for people with intellectual disabilities that will enable them to engage in physical activity fully and effectively. The study was situated in the socioecological model of disability. Researchers drew expert consensus regarding the essential features of accessible guides in fitness environments. A three-round Delphi procedure was used, involving repeated circulation of the questionnaire to an expert panel (N = 33). The panel was asked to rate the importance and adequacy of 66 items regarding the accessible fitness guide. A consensus was reached regarding 43 items after three rounds. The items include 7 body-weight exercises, 2 machine exercises, 12 environment-related items, 15 exercise preparations, 4 social etiquettes, and 3 emergencies.
Jeffrey J. Martin
Morgan Cleveringa and E. Andrew Pitchford
Adults with intellectual disabilities have increasing life expectancy but may be susceptible to early aging-related conditions. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between the presence of low muscle strength, low bone mineral density, and high body mass index with age and sex in adult Special Olympics athletes. Grip strength (n = 6,477; 40.9% female), chair stand time (n = 6,444; 40.5% female), body mass index (n = 7,824; 43.7% female), and bone mineral density (n = 3,091; 43.2% female) measurements were provided by Special Olympics International. Poor grip strength, chair stand time, bone mineral density, and body mass index were identified in 43.8%, 46.2%, 28.7%, and 50.3% of each sample, respectively. Increasing age was a risk factor for all conditions (odds ratio = 1.30–10.89; p < .05). High rates of adverse health conditions were observed in a sample of adults with intellectual disabilities. Increased risk was observed as early as the fourth decade of life.