The authors compared physical activity enjoyment, perceived barriers, beliefs, and self-efficacy between adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing (TD) adolescents. A questionnaire was verbally administered to 35 adolescents with ASD and 60 TD adolescents. Compared with TD adolescents, fewer adolescents with ASD enjoyed team sports (65% vs. 95%, p < .001) and physical education (84% vs. 98%, p = .02). A greater proportion of adolescents with ASD perceived that physical activities were too hard to learn (16% vs. 0%, p < .01), and fewer believed that physical activity was a way to make friends (68% vs. 97%, p < .001). Fewer adolescents with ASD preferred to do physical activity in their free time (25% vs. 58%, p < .01). Most adolescents with ASD felt that physical activity is fun (84%), but the proportion was lower than in TD adolescents (98%, p = .03). Some perceptions about physical activity were similar between the 2 groups, but differences identified may inform program development.
Heidi Stanish, Carol Curtin, Aviva Must, Sarah Phillips, Melissa Maslin, and Linda Bandini
Sangwoo Lee, Ronald Davis, Lawrence W. Judge, Young-Hoo Kwon, Kihoon Han, Jemin Kim, Jaewoong Kim, and Jaehwa Kim
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among release factors (speed, height, and angle) and distance thrown in Paralympic seated shot put. Fortyeight trials performed by 11 men and 5 women during the 2012 US Paralympic trials in track and field were analyzed. With both genders combined, release speed (r = .95, p < .01) and angle (r = .51, p < .01) showed significant correlations to distance thrown. Release speed (r = .94, p < .01) in men and all release factors (r = .60–.98, p < .02) in women showed significant correlations to distance. Release speed and angle were identified as important predictors of the distance, explaining over 89–96% of the variance in distance thrown. Unlike athletes without disability, seated shotputters exhibited significant positive speed–angle correlations (combined: r = .37, p < .01; women: r = .57, p = .03). Application of these results should address a focus in training on generating speed through the release point with a consistent release angle.
Cathy McKay, Martin Block, and Jung Yeon Park
The purpose of this study was to determine if Paralympic School Day (PSD), a published disability awareness program, would have a positive impact on the attitudes of students without disabilities toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in physical education classes. Participants were 143 sixth-grade students who were divided into 2 groups (experimental n = 71, control n = 72), with the experimental group receiving the PSD treatment. Participants responded 2 times to Siperstein’s Adjective Checklist and Block’s Children’s Attitudes Toward Integrated Physical Education–Revised (CAIPE-R) questionnaire. Four ANCOVA tests were conducted. Results indicated a significant PSD treatment effect across all 4 measures: Adjective Checklist (p = .046, η2 = .03), CAIPE-R (p = .002, η2 = .04), inclusion subscale (p = .001, η2 = .05), and sport-modification subscale (p = .027, η2 = .02).
Stefania Korologou, Vassilis Barkoukis, Lambros Lazuras, and Haralambos Tsorbatzoudis
The current study used the transtheoretical model (TTM) as a guiding theoretical framework to assess differences in processes of change, decisional balance, and self-efficacy among deaf individuals with different levels of physical activity. Overall, 146 participants (M age = 26.4 yr, SD = 4.28) completed anonymous questionnaires assessing the dimensions of the TTM, stages of change, processes of change, decisional balance, and self-efficacy. Analysis of variance showed that both experiential and behavioral processes of change were higher in the preparation, action, and maintenance stages than in the other stages. Accordingly, the benefits of physical activity participation were stronger in the preparation stage, whereas the costs were more evident in the precontemplation stage. Finally, self-efficacy at the preparation stage was higher than in the other stages. The findings revealed how different stages of physical activity participation can be explained through the TTM, and the implications for physical activity intervention are discussed.
William R. Falcão, Gordon A. Bloom, and Todd M. Loughead
The purpose of this study was to investigate Paralympic coaches’ perceptions of team cohesion. Seven head coaches of summer and winter Canadian Paralympic sport teams participated in the study. Four participants coached individual sports and 3 coached team sports. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and analyzed using thematic analysis. The results addressed the coaches’ perceptions of cohesion in the Paralympic sport setting and strategies used to foster cohesion with their teams. Participants described using techniques and strategies for enhancing cohesion that were similar to those in nondisability sport, such as task-related activities, goal setting, and regularly communicating with their athletes. They also listed how cohesion was distinct to the Paralympic setting, such as the importance of interpersonal activities to build social cohesion. The implications of these results for coaching athletes with a disability are also presented.
Hannah Macdougall, Paul O’Halloran, Nora Shields, and Emma Sherry
This systematic review included 12 studies that compared the well-being of Para and Olympic sport athletes. Meta-analyses revealed that Para athletes, compared with Olympic sport athletes, had lower levels of self-acceptance, indicated by athletic identity, d = -0.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) [-0.77, -0.16], and body-image perceptions, d = -0.33, 95% CI [-0.59, -0.07], and differed from Olympic sport athletes in terms of their motivation, indicated by a greater mastery-oriented climate, d = 0.74, 95% CI [0.46, 1.03]. Given an inability to pool the remaining data for meta-analysis, individual standardized mean differences were calculated for other dimensions of psychological and subjective well-being. The results have implications for professionals and coaches aiming to facilitate the well-being needs of athletes under their care. Future research would benefit from incorporating established models of well-being based on theoretical rationale combined with rigorous study designs.
In the article by Jeong, M., Kim, S-Y., & Lee, E., “Parents’ beliefs and intentions toward supporting physical activity participation for their children with disabilities,” in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 32(2), 93–105, the third author’s name was misspelled in the print version. It was printed as Euikyung Lee, but the correct spelling is Eunkyung Lee.
Boris Blumenstein and Iris Orbach
Since the first Paralympics in 1960 there has been an increase in social and scientific interest in Paralympic athletes’ personality, their preparation, and their sport results. During the last 20 yr, researchers and practitioners have been focused on psychological-skills programs for athletes with disabilities. The purpose of this article was to describe a psychological-preparation program for Israeli Paralympic athletes. Two subprograms, the learning-modification-application approach and the Simulation Training Exercise Program, were adapted to athletes’ disability and sport demands. Two case studies, from table tennis and sailing (Sonar 3-person keelboat), are described to demonstrate how systematic sport psychology preparation can be effectively integrated into the training process of Paralympic athletes. Some recommendations for Paralympic athletes are presented.