Understanding the motivations for people to volunteer with the management and execution of major sporting events is important for the recruitment and retention of the volunteers. This research investigated volunteer motivations at the first National Special Olympics held in Ames, Iowa, USA in July 2006. A total of 289 participants completed the 28 item Special Event Volunteer Motivation Scale. The top motivations related to the purposive incentives of wanting to help make the event a success and to do something good for the community. Factor analysis revealed a five-factor model, with the altruistic factor (purposive) being the most important. A MANCOVA was also used to compare subjects using both gender and experience as independent variables. Small but significant differences in motivation were observed.
Selina Khoo and Rich Engelhorn
Fiona Moola, Caroline Fusco, and Joel A. Kirsh
Despite the benefits of physical activity for youth with congenital heart disease (CHD), most patients are inactive. Although literature has addressed medical and psychological barriers to participation, little is known about the social barriers that youth encounter. This qualitative study explored sociocultural barriers to physical activity from the perspective of 17 youth with CHD. The main theme, “what I wish you knew,” was related to all other themes-youths’ efforts to resolve “disclosure dilemmas,” the barriers they encounter during physical education, and their struggle to understand themselves as normal. The participants’ narratives illuminate the centrality of their sociocultural world to physical activity. The findings call on researchers and educators to attend to the social and cultural environments where these youth live and play.
E. Andrew Pitchford and Joonkoo Yun
The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of spring-levered and piezoelectric pedometers for adults with and without Down syndrome (DS). Twenty adults with DS and 24 adults without a disability walked for two minute periods on a predetermined indoor course at a self-selected, slower and faster pace. Pedometer recorded and criterion observed steps were compared to determine pedometer error. There was a significant interaction between pedometer model and walking speed. Piezoelectric pedometers demonstrated significantly less measurement error than spring-levered pedometers, particularly at slower walking speeds. There were also significant differences in pedometer error between adults with and without DS. The study concludes that pedometer measurement error is significantly different for adults with DS but also that piezoelectric pedometers can be used in the future to measure walking activity for adults with and without DS.
Phil Esposito, Iva Obrusnikova, and Daniel W. Tindall
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.