Claudia Verret, Phillip Gardiner, and Louise Béliveau
The purpose of this study was to assess fitness and gross motor performance of children with ADHD, including users and nonusers of methylphenidate medication. Seventy boys took part in the study. Fitness level of children with ADHD using medication or not, including body composition, flexibility, and muscular endurance, was similar to that of a control group. The only difference was observed for body mass index, which was lower in children with ADHD using medication. Aerobic capacity was also similar when measured by a treadmill test. A lower performance was observed when aerobic capacity was estimated using a field shuttle test, however, suggesting that the methodology used is important. Finally, both groups of children with ADHD presented significantly lower scores for locomotion skills.
Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere and E. Jane Watkinson
This study explored the perspectives of children with disabilities regarding the concept of inclusion in physical activity. Participants were children (two girls, nine boys, Mage = 10 years, five months, age range: 8–12 years) with disabilities, including cerebral palsy, fine and gross motor delays, developmental coordination disorder, muscular dystrophy, nemaline myopathy, brachial plexus injury, and severe asthma. Children’s perspectives on inclusion in physical activity (e.g., sports, games, and play) were explored through semistructured interviews. Interviews were digitally audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed through content analysis. Three themes emerged from the data: gaining entry to play, feeling like a legitimate participant, and having friends. These themes were associated with feeling included to varying degrees in sports, games, and play. In essence, it was the actions of others that were the prominent features identified by children that contributed to feeling more or less included in physical activity contexts. These results are discussed in relation to inclusion in physical education, recreation, and unstructured free play.
Deborah R. Shapiro and Jeffrey J. Martin
The purposes of this investigation were first to predict reported PA (physical activity) behavior and self-esteem using a multidimensional physical self-concept model and second to describe perceptions of multidimensional physical self-concept (e.g., strength, endurance, sport competence) among athletes with physical disabilities. Athletes (N = 36, M age = 16.11, SD age = 2.8) completed the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire. Participants reported mostly positive perceptions of self-esteem, global physical self-concept, endurance, body fat, sport competence, strength, flexibility, and physical activity (Ms ranging from 3.9 to 5.6 out of 6). Correlations indicated a number of significant relationships among self-esteem and reported PA and various dimensions of physical self-concept. Using physical self-concept, strength, endurance, and flexibility in the first regression equation and sport competence and endurance simultaneously in the second equation, 47 and 31% of the variance was accounted for in self-esteem and reported PA, respectively. The findings support the value of examining multidimensional physical self-concept as different aspects of the physical self appear to have different influences on reported PA engagement versus self-esteem.
Erwin Borremans, Pauli Rintala, and Jeffrey A. McCubbin
While physical activity is beneficial for youth with developmental disabilities, little is known about those individuals’ fitness profile and levels of activity. Therefore the purpose of this study was to investigate the physical fitness profile and physical activity level of 30 adolescents with and without Asperger syndrome (AS). Evaluations were done using the Eurofit physical fitness test and the Baecke Habitual Physical Activity questionnaire. A 2 × 2 MANOVA indicated that adolescents with AS scored significantly lower than the comparison group on all physical fitness subtests, including balance, coordination, flexibility, muscular strength, running speed, and cardio-respiratory endurance (p < .001). Adolescents with AS were also less physically active (p < .001). Engagement in physical activities is therefore recommended.
Debbie Van Biesen, Joeri Verellen, Christophe Meyer, Jennifer Mactavish, Peter Van de Vliet, and Yves Vanlandewijck
In this study the ability of elite table tennis players with intellectual disability (ID) to adapt their service/return to specific ball spin characteristics was investigated. This was done by examining the performance of 39 players with ID and a reference group of 8 players without ID on a standardized table tennis specific test battery. The battery included 16 sets of 15 identical serves that had to be returned to a fixed target, and two additional tests measuring reaction time and upper limb speed. A 2 × 4 ANOVA (with group and type of spin as independent variables) with repeated measurements (15 consecutive returns) supported the hypothesis that elite table tennis players with ID were significantly less proficient than their counterparts without ID, but both groups demonstrated a comparable progression in learning. Spearman correlation coefficients indicated a positive relationship between accuracy of return and upper limb speed (rho = 0.42: p < .05) and reaction time (rho = 0.41: p < .05), showing that these generic factors are useful in partially explaining skill variations in specific sports.
Teri Todd, Greg Reid, and Lynn Butler-Kisber
Individuals with autism often lack motivation to engage in sustained physical activity. Three adolescents with severe autism participated in a 16-week program and each regularly completed 30 min of cycling at the end of program. This study investigated the effect of a self-regulation instructional strategy on sustained cycling, which included self-monitoring, goal setting, and self-reinforcement. Of particular interest was the development of self-efficacy during the physical activity as a mediator of goal setting. A multiple baseline changing criterion design established the effectiveness of the intervention. The results suggest that self-regulation interventions can promote sustained participation in physical activity for adolescents with severe autism.