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Camilla Yuri Kawanishi and Márcia Greguol

This study aimed to perform a systematic review of studies that address the influence of physical activity on the quality of life and functional independence of adult individuals with spinal cord injury. The review was performed using data obtained from the MEDLINE, CINAHL, SciELO, LILACS, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, Academic Search Premier, and PEDro databases using the following keywords: quality of life; functional independence; autonomy; independence; physical activity; activities of daily living; physical exercise; tetraplegia; paraplegia; spinal cord injury; physical disabilities; and wheelchair. Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. Although there was a lack of consensus among the selected studies, the majority of them presented a strong correlation between physical activity and variables of quality of life and/or functional independence. Thus, physical activity appears to have an important influence on social relationships, functional independence, psychological factors, and physical aspects, which can enhance quality of life and independence in the performance of daily activities.

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Virginie de Bressy de Guast, Jim Golby, Anna Van Wersch, and Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville

This study presents a complete psychological skills training (PST) program with a wheelchair athlete and examines the program effectiveness using a mixed-method approach. After initial testing, the athlete followed a two-month program of self-confidence building, motivational, visualization/relaxation, and injury management techniques. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to examine the impacts on performance and psychological abilities. The triangulated results suggest that the PST program was perceived as effective by the athlete in terms of his sporting performances and mental skills. The characteristics and implications of a PST program with this wheelchair athlete are discussed, as well as the study limitations and the perspectives for future research.

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Casey M. Breslin and Mary E. Rudisill

Twenty-two children (age range of 3.5–10.92 years old) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development (Second Edition; TGMD-2) using three different protocols. The total duration of assessment time and the percentage of time engaged in on-task behavior during the assessments were measured and analyzed using within-subjects repeated measure ANOVA designs to compare performance across the three protocols. Significant differences emerged across the duration of assessment time by assessment protocol, while no significant differences emerged for time on-task during the assessments by protocol used. In addition, correlations were calculated between the TGMD-2 scores and the duration of assessment time and the percentage of time on-task. An inverse relationship was found between TGMD-2 scores and total duration of assessment time by protocol used, (r = .726, .575, .686), while a positive relationship was found between the TGMD-2 scores and time on-task (r = -.570, -.535, -.798). These results suggest a direct relationship between skill proficiency and contextually appropriate behaviors.

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Meghann Lloyd

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Dallas J. Jackson, Kevin M. Casebolt, ZáNean McClain, Daniel W. Tindall, and Katie Stanton Nichols

Edited by Phil Esposito

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Lucy Wong Hernandez

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Eryk P. Przysucha and Brian K.V. Maraj

The nature of intra- and interlimb (bimanual) coordination was examined in ten boys with (M = 10.5 years, SD = 1.0) and without DCD (M = 10.8 years, SD = .9) in a two-handed catching task. Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) caught significantly fewer balls (MDCD = 56%, SD = 17.6 vs. MnoDCD = 93%, SD = 7.5), and both groups solved the “degrees of freedom problem” differently at intralimb level of coordination. Typically developing children coupled and decoupled the respective spatial relations, whereas the majority of children with DCD segmented their actions. At interlimb level, both groups exhibited a comparable degree of spatial symmetry. However, individual profiles also showed that children with varying degrees of movement issues exhibited movement patterns that were qualitatively and functionally diverse. Overall, in the context of previous research on interlimb coordination it appears that spatial, in addition to temporal organization, may be jeopardized in at least some children with DCD.

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Megan MacDonald, Catherine Lord, and Dale A. Ulrich

Motor skill deficits are present and persist in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; Staples & Reid, 2010). Yet the focus of intervention is on core impairments, which are part of the diagnostic criteria for ASD, deficits in social communication skills. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the functional motor skills, of 6- to 15-year-old children with high-functioning ASD, predict success in standardized social communicative skills. It is hypothesized that children with better motor skills will have better social communicative skills. A total of 35 children with ASD between the ages of 6–15 years participated in this study. The univariate GLM (general linear model) tested the relationship of motor skills on social communicative skills holding constant age, IQ, ethnicity, gender, and clinical ASD diagnosis. Object-control motor skills significantly predicted calibrated ASD severity (p < .05). Children with weaker motor skills have greater social communicative skill deficits. How this relationship exists behaviorally, needs to be explored further.

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Jooyeon Jin and Joonkoo Yun

The purpose of this study was to examine three frameworks, (a) process-product, (b) student mediation, and (c) classroom ecology, to understand physical activity (PA) behavior of adolescents with and without disabilities in middle school inclusive physical education (PE). A total of 13 physical educators teaching inclusive PE and their 503 students, including 22 students with different disabilities, participated in this study. A series of multilevel regression analyses indicated that physical educators’ teaching behavior and students’ implementation intentions play important roles in promoting the students’ PA in middle school inclusive PE settings when gender, disability, lesson content, instructional model, and class location are considered simultaneously. The findings suggest that the ecological framework should be considered to effectively promote PA of adolescents with and without disabilities in middle school PE classes.

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Paddy C. Favazza, Gary N. Siperstein, Susan A. Zeisel, Samuel L. Odom, John H. Sideris, and Andrew L. Moskowitz

This study examined the effectiveness of the Young Athletes program to promote motor development in preschool-aged children with disabilities. In the study, 233 children were randomly assigned to a control group or the Young Athletes (YA) intervention group which consisted of 24 motor skill lessons delivered 3 times per week for 8 weeks. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) showed that children who participated in the YA intervention exhibited mean gains of 7–9 months on the Peabody Developmental Motor Subscales (PDMS) compared with mean gains of 3–5 months for the control group. Children in the YA intervention also exhibited significant gains on the gross motor subscale of the Vineland Teacher Rating Form (VTRF). Teachers and parents reported benefits for children not only in specific motor skills, but also kindergarten readiness skills and social/play skills. The necessity for direct and intentional instruction of motor skills, as well as the challenges of involving families in the YA program, are discussed.