The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess the effectiveness of a disability sport unit in shaping perceptions of disability. Data from interviews, observations, and documents were collected on 87 elementary-aged students, one physical education teacher, and one teaching intern. Comparisons were drawn between fifth graders engaged in a five-week disability sport unit to fourth graders participating in their standard physical education curriculum. Findings revealed differences in the way fourth and fifth graders came to view individuals with disabilities. The results support an analysis of curriculum development that underscores the significance of the social model in positively impacting constructions of disability. Recommendations include the use of disability sports in physical education as an effective strategy for educating students in game play, knowledge of the Paralympics, and the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in a variety of sporting venues.
Michelle Grenier, Karen Collins, Steven Wright, and Catherine Kearns
Øyvind F. Standal
Through the increased use of qualitative research methods, the term phenomenology has become a quite familiar notion for researchers in adapted physical activity (APA). In contrast to this increasing interest in phenomenology as methodology, relatively little work has focused on phenomenology as philosophy or as an approach to professional practice. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine the relevance of phenomenology as philosophy and as pedagogy to the field of APA. First, phenomenology as philosophy is introduced through three key notions, namely the first-person perspective, embodiment, and life-world. The relevance of these terms to APA is then outlined. Second, the concept of phenomenological pedagogy is introduced, and its application and potential for APA are discussed. In conclusion, it is argued that phenomenology can help theorize ways of understanding human difference in movement contexts and form a basis of action-oriented research aiming at developing professional practice.
Stamatis Agiovlasitis and Robert W. Motl
This study examined whether the relationship between metabolic equivalent units (METs) and step-rate is altered in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) and developed step-rate thresholds for activity intensity for these persons. Participants were 24 persons with MS (20 women; age = 44 ± 12) and 24 healthy persons without MS (20 women; age = 41 ± 11). The MS group was divided using the 12-item MS Walking Scale (MSWS-12) into two walking impairment subgroups: (a) minimal (n = 13, MSWS-12 ≤ 12.5) and (b) mild-moderate (n = 11, MSWS-12 > 12.5). METs were measured with spirometry and step-rate with hand-tally. Steprate, height, group, the step-rate by group interaction, and the square of step-rate significantly predicted METs. At a given height, the step-rate thresholds at 3 and 6 METs were lower for persons with minimal impairment than persons without MS and even lower for persons with mild-moderate impairment. The relationship between METs and step-rate is altered in persons with MS, lowering their step-rate thresholds for activity intensity, especially for persons with MS who have higher levels of walking impairment.
John T. Foley, Meghann Lloyd, and Viviene A. Temple
This study examined temporal trends in body mass index (BMI) among United States adults with intellectual disability (ID) participating in Special Olympics from 2005 to 2010. In addition, the prevalence of obesity was compared with published National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) statistics. After data cleaning, 6,004 height and weight records (male = 57%) were available from the Special Olympics International Healthy Athletes Health Promotion database for the calculation of BMI. Rates of overweight and obesity were very high but generally stable over time. Compared with NHANES statistics, the prevalence of obesity was significantly higher for Special Olympics female participants in each data collection cycle. Integrated efforts to understand the social, environmental, behavioral, and biological determinants of obesity and among Special Olympics participants are needed.
Katrina Wynnyk and Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore children with disabilities’ social relationships and motivation to take part in sledge hockey. Harter’s (1978) theory of Competence Motivation was used as the conceptual framework. Ten children (1 girl and 9 boys) between ages 11–16 years, who experienced a range of disabilities, participated. Primary data were collected using semistructured interviews, participant observations, and field and reflective notes. The thematic analysis led to four themes: (a) coach feedback, (b) parental involvement, (c) skill and belonging, and (d) (dis)ability sport. The findings revealed that interactions with significant others contributed extensively to the participant’s perceptions of competence and motivation to participate, as did the sport’s competitive nature. The findings are discussed in the context of Harter’s theory and the children’s sport and adapted physical activity inclusion literature.
Phil Esposito, Dallas J. Jackson, and Kevin M. Casebolt
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.
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.
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.