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Sally Taunton Miedema, Ali Brian, Adam Pennell, Lauren Lieberman, Larissa True, Collin Webster, and David Stodden

Many interventions feature a singular component approach to targeting children’s motor competency and proficiency. Yet, little is known about the use of integrative interventions to meet the complex developmental needs of children aged 3–6 years. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an integrative universally designed intervention on children with and without disabilities’ motor competency and proficiency. We selected children (N = 111; disability = 24; no disability = 87) to participate in either a school-based integrative motor intervention (n = 53) or a control condition (n = 58). Children in the integrative motor intervention both with and without disabilities showed significant improvement in motor competency and proficiency (p < .001) as compared with peers with and without disabilities in a control condition. Early childhood center directors (e.g., preschool and kindergarten) should consider implementing integrative universally designed interventions targeting multiple aspects of motor development to remediate delays in children with and without disabilities.

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Matteo Briguglio, Roberta Galentino, Sara De Michele, Bernardo Dell’Osso, Leonardo Fogassi, and Mauro Porta

The learning process in humans requires continuous contacts with environmental stimuli, especially during neurodevelopmental growth. These functions are assisted by the coding potential of mirror neurons to serve social interactions. This ability to learn imitating the observed behavior is no longer necessary during adulthood, and control mechanisms prevent automatic mirroring. However, children with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome could encounter coding errors at the level of the mirror neurons system as these cortical regions are themselves the ones affected in the syndrome. Combined with impulsivity, the resulting sign would be a manifest echopraxia that persists throughout adulthood, averting these individuals from the appraisal of a spot-on motor control.

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Werner A.F. van de Ven, Jurjen Bosga, Wim Hullegie, Wiebe C. Verra, and Ruud G.J. Meulenbroek

The present study explores variations in the degree of automaticity and predictability of cyclical arm and leg movements. Twenty healthy adults were asked to walk on a treadmill at a lower-than-preferred speed, their preferred speed, and at a higher-than-preferred speed. In a separate, repetitive punching task, the three walking frequencies were used to cue the target pace of the cyclical arm movements. Movements of the arms, legs, and trunk were digitized with inertial sensors. Whereas absolute slope values (|β|) of the linear fit to the power spectrum of the digitized movements (p < .001, η2 = .676) were systematically smaller in treadmill walking than in repetitive punching, sample entropy measures (p < .001, η2 = .570) were larger reflecting the former task being more automated but also less predictable than the latter task. In both tasks, increased speeds enhanced automatized control (p < .001, η2 = .475) but reduced movement predictability (p = .008, η2 = .225). The latter findings are potentially relevant when evaluating effects of task demand changes in clinical contexts.

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Jackie D. Zehr, Jessa M. Buchman-Pearle, Tyson A.C. Beach, Chad E. Gooyers, and Jack P. Callaghan

The relationship between internal loading dose and low-back injury risk during lifting is well known. However, the implications of movement parameters that influence joint loading rates—movement frequency and speed—on time-dependent spine loading responses remain less documented. This study quantified the effect of loading rate and frequency on the tolerated cumulative loading dose and its relation to joint lifespan. Thirty-two porcine spinal units were exposed to biofidelic compression loading paradigms that differed by joint compression rate (4.2 and 8.3 kN/s) and frequency (30 and 60 cycles per minute). Cyclic compression testing was applied until failure was detected or 10,800 continuous cycles were tolerated. Instantaneous weighting factors were calculated to evaluate the cumulative load and Kaplan–Meier survival probability functions were examined following nonlinear dose normalization of the cyclic lifespan. Significant reductions in cumulative compression were tolerated when spinal units were compressed at 8.3 kN/s (P < .001, 67%) and when loaded at 30 cycles per minute (P = .008, 45%). There was a positive moderate relationship between cumulative load tolerance and normalized cyclic lifespan (R2 = .52), which was supported by joint survivorship functions. The frequency and speed of movement execution should be evaluated in parallel to loading dose for the management of low-back training exposures.

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Nima Dehghansai, Ross A. Pinder, and Joseph Baker

This three-part investigation conducted a comprehensive analysis of 213 Australian and Canadian athletes’ developmental trajectories, training histories, and experiences in organized sports from 18 Paralympic sports (PS). While athletes with early-onset impairments (i.e., congenital, preadolescent) reached milestones and commenced various types of training at a significantly younger age than athletes with later-onset impairments (i.e., early adulthood, adulthood), the latter groups progressed through their careers and incorporated various trainings at a faster pace (i.e., fewer years). Preferences to certain training conditions varied between groups. Eighty-two percent of the athletes with acquired impairments had experience in able-bodied sports before the onset of their impairment, with 70% noting involvement in sports similar to their current PS. The participation rates (38%) and sport similarity (53%) were lower in PS. The amalgamation of findings from this series of studies highlights the complexity associated with PS athletes’ development and demonstrates the importance of taking an individualized approach.

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Hiromasa Ueno, Tadashi Suga, Kenji Takao, Masafumi Terada, Akinori Nagano, and Tadao Isaka

This study examined the relationship between body segment mass and running performance in endurance runners. The total (muscle, fat, and bone masses), lean (muscle mass), and fat masses of the leg, arm, and trunk segments in 37 well-trained endurance runners were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometer. The relative segment mass was calculated by normalizing the absolute mass to body mass. There were no significant correlations between absolute total, lean, and fat masses of all 3 segments and personal best 5000-m race time. No significant correlations were also observed between all 3 relative masses of the arm segment and personal best 5000-m race time. In contrast, medium positive correlations were observed between the relative total and lean masses of the leg segment and personal best 5000-m race time (r = .387 and .335, respectively, both P ≤ .031). Furthermore, large negative correlations were observed between the relative total and lean masses of the trunk segment and personal best 5000-m race time (r = −.500 and −.548, respectively, both P ≤ .002). These findings suggest that a mass distribution with smaller leg mass and greater trunk mass may be advantageous for achieving better running performance in endurance runners.

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Andreia Bauermann, Karina S.G. de Sá, Zilda A. Santos, and Anselmo A. Costa e Silva

This systematic review aimed to identify nutritional interventions and supplements that improve the performance for wheelchair athletes. Intervention trials involving high-performance wheelchair athletes were analyzed, including those that comprised a nutritional intervention, defined as any intervention related to food, beverages, and supplementation aiming at evaluating the performance of wheelchair athletes. Of the included studies, four evaluated caffeine supplementation, of which one also evaluated sodium citrate supplementation; two studies evaluated vitamin D supplementation; one study assessed creatine monohydrate supplementation; and one assessed carbohydrate supplementation. Most studies were conducted on athletes with spinal cord injury. Athletes who consumed caffeine exhibited an improvement in performance, but this finding is not strong enough to become a recommendation.

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J.P. Barfield, Stephanie Williams, Madison R. Currie, and Xiuyan Guo

The purpose of this study was to initiate the development of an evidence-based sport classification system for powerchair football, a sport that serves athletes with physical impairments. Sport classification is designed to increase participation by minimizing the impact of impairment on competition outcome, and powerchair football lacks an evidence-based system of classification which is required of Paralympic sports. A number of approaches were used to build the theoretical model of sport performance (Step 2 of the International Paralympic Committee model). Key sport activities were identified through surveys of stakeholders and underlying determinants of those key activities were identified through game and database analyses. Current findings support drive control, ball control, communication, and adjustment to the ball as key activities in powerchair football with joint-specific strength and range of motion, sensory, and neurological variables identified as underlying determinants.

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Anna Carin Aho, Elisabeth Renmarker, Malin Axelsson, and Jenny Jakobsson

Volt hockey is a team sport developed for persons with physical disabilities, but its influence on well-being is unknown. Elements of well-being have been described as positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement constituting a theoretical framework referred to as PERMA. The purpose of this study was to describe how well-being according to PERMA is reflected in the experiences of playing volt hockey. Data were collected through focus group and individual interviews including 21 players. A deductive analysis was conducted using the elements in PERMA as preexisting main categories with an additional main category, named resources needed. Findings showed that all five elements constituting well-being according to PERMA were reflected in the experiences of playing volt hockey. In addition, players emphasized the importance of having the resources needed to play volt hockey. In conclusion, having the opportunity to enjoy playing volt hockey enabled the players to flourish and experience feelings of subjective well-being.

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Kyrah K. Brown, Jerrise Smith, Tamaya N. Bailey, Gennel Ortiz, Xiangli Gu, and Priscila Tamplain

Introduction: Parents play a critical role in their child’s participation in community-based intervention programs. Yet, their perspectives remain largely overlooked in the literature. This qualitative program evaluation used social cognitive theory to understand parents’ motivators and barriers to participation in a community-based intervention program designed for children with motor skill difficulties. Method: Parents (n = 15) of children with motor skill difficulties enrolled in a community-based intervention program participated in semistructured interviews. Results: Thematic analysis revealed six motivators (child needs, satisfaction, perceived impact, affordability, design, and program culture) and three perceived barriers (parent knowledge, access, and accommodations). Discussion: Parents’ motivators and barriers reflected a combination of personal and environmental factors consistent with social cognitive theory. This study revealed novel insight into program-related environmental motivators and barriers. Program leaders should consider ongoing evaluation and application of parental perspectives to optimize family participation and retention in community-based interventions.