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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.

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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.

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Suzanna Rocco Dillon, K.M. Casebolt, Daniel W. Tindall, Phil Esposito, Aaron Moffett, and Iva Obrusnikova

Edited by Kristi Sayers Menear

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Viviene A Temple

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Eliane Mauerberg-deCastro, Carmila Souza Lucena, Bruna W. Cuba, Rosana C. Boni, Debra Frances Campbell, and Renato Moraes

This study assessed the effects of haptic information on the postural control systems of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID), through the use of a nonrigid tool that we call the “anchor system” (e.g., ropes attached to graduated weights that rest on the floor). Eleven participants with ID were asked to stand, blindfolded, on a balance beam placed at two heights (10 and 20 cm), for 30 s, while using the anchor system at two weights. The lighter anchor weight appeared to improve the individuals’ balance in contrast to a control task condition; therefore, we concluded that haptic sensitivity was more significant in helping to orient the body than was the anchor’s mechanical support alone.

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Carlos M. Cervantes and David L. Porretta

This review examined the literature on physical activity measurement among individuals with disabilities utilizing Yun and Ulrich’s (2002) view on measurement validity. Specific inclusion criteria were identified. The search produced 115 articles; however, only 28 met all specified criteria. Findings revealed that self-reports and accelerometers were the most common approaches to measuring physical activity, and individuals with orthopedic impairments, those with mental retardation, and those with other health impairments received the most attention. Of the 28 articles, 17 (61%) reported validity and reliability evidence. Among those studies reporting validity, criterion-related evidence was the most common; however, a number of methodological limitations relative to validity were observed. Given the importance of using multiple physical activity measures, only five (18%) studies reported the use of multiple measures. Findings are discussed relative to conducting future physical activity research on persons with disabilities.

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Hyun-Kyoung Oh and Francis M. Kozub

The study was designed to estimate the psychometric properties of Hastings and Brown’s (2002a) Difficult Behavior Self-efficacy Scale. Participants were two samples of physical educators teaching in Korea (n = 229) and the United States (U.S.; n = 139). An initial translation of the questionnaire to Korean and pilot study were conducted along with the larger study using a confirmatory factor analysis procedure. Internal consistency estimates (weighed Omega) for the five-item scale were 0.88 both the Korean and U.S. samples. The average variances extracted for the one factor were 0.59 for the total data set and 0.57 each for the Korean and U.S. samples. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a five-item, unidimensional model for self-efficacy for the total sample: Goodness of Fit Index (GFI) = 0.97, Nonnormed Fit Index (NNFI) = 0.95, Comparative Fit Index (CFI) = 0.98, and Standardized Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR) = 0.03. Only the Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA = 0.12) fell below criterion levels of acceptable fit, with similar fit indices occurring in separate analyses of the Korean and U.S. samples. Invariance testing across the two samples supported metric invariance (similarity of factor loadings) but not scalar invariance (U.S. means higher on all five items). The factor structure for the self-efficacy scale provides an initial estimate of validity and internal consistency for use with different teacher groups.

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Iva Obrusnikova, Martin Block, and Suzanna Dillon

Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991) was used to elicit salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs of children without disabilities toward playing with a hypothetical peer with a disability in general physical education. Participants were 350 elementary and middle school students who completed two questionnaires. Questionnaires were assessed for content validity. Participants provided more affective (68%) than instrumental (32%) responses for favorable behavioral beliefs and more instrumental (76%) than affective (24%) responses for unfavorable beliefs. Peer social pressure was prevalent in favorable (69%) and unfavorable (99%) responses. Social pressure significantly varied across five grades, χ2(4, N = 448) = 40.51, p < .01. Participants responded many factors in the class would positively (76%) or negatively (89%) influence the behavior.