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.
Kyrah K. Brown, Jerrise Smith, Tamaya N. Bailey, Gennel Ortiz, Xiangli Gu, and Priscila Tamplain
Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Natasha Bruno, Krystn Orr, Roxy O’Rourke, Virginia Wright, Rebecca Renwick, Kirsten Bobbie, and James Noronha
This cross-sectional study examined experiential elements facilitating quality sport experiences for youth (ages 12–24 years) in Special Olympics, and the associated influences of sport program and sociodemographic characteristics. A total of 451 athletes involved in the 2019 Special Olympics Youth Games completed a survey assessing elements of quality participation (autonomy, belongingness, challenge, engagement, mastery, and meaning). The t tests investigated whether athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities rated elements differently across Traditional and Unified Sport programs. Regression analyses explored whether sport program and sociodemographic characteristics were predictors of these elements. Youth reported high mean scores across the elements, with no significant differences between athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Traditional or Unified Sport. Athletes with no reported disability rated higher autonomy than those who reported disability (p = .01). Women tended to report greater engagement in sport than men (p = .07). Findings provide theoretical and practical insights into quality sport participation among youth in Special Olympics.
Jacqueline C. Ladwig, Tamires C. do Prado, Stephanie J. Tomy, Jonathan J. Marotta, and Cheryl M. Glazebrook
Improvements in functional reaching directly support improvements in independence. The addition of auditory inputs (e.g., music, rhythmic counting) may improve goal-directed reaching for individuals with cerebral palsy (CP). To effectively integrate auditory stimuli into adapted teaching and rehabilitation protocols, it is necessary to understand how auditory stimuli may enhance limb control. This study considered the influence of auditory stimuli during the planning or execution phases of goal-directed reaches. Adults (with CP = 10, without CP = 10) reached from a home switch to two targets. Three conditions were presented—no sound, sound before, and sound during—and three-dimensional movement trajectories were recorded. Reaction times were shorter for both groups in the sound before condition, while the group with CP also reached peak velocity relatively earlier in the sound before condition. The group with CP executed more consistent movements in both sound conditions. Sound presented before movement initiation improved both the planning and execution of reaching movements for adults with CP.
Carly Albaum, Annie Mills, Diane Morin, and Jonathan A. Weiss
Direct, meaningful contact with people with intellectual disability, such as through integrated sport, may be related to positive attitudes. The current study aimed to compare implicit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) attitudes between adults involved in integrated sport events and those in a comparison group who were not and examine the association between attitudes and degree of integrated sport involvement. An online survey measuring attitudes was completed by 295 adults without intellectual disability who participated in integrated sport activities and 450 adults who did not. Individuals involved in integrated sport reported less negative behavioral and affective attitudes relative to the comparison group, with mixed results for cognitive attitudes. Groups did not differ on implicit attitudes. Greater integrated sport involvement was related to some aspects of explicit attitudes. Involvement in integrated sport may be linked to how participants view intellectual disability, which has important implications for enhancing social inclusion and informing positive attitudes.
Nima Dehghansai, Veronica Allan, Ross A. Pinder, and Joe Baker
Research has recently examined the role of impairment onset on athlete development in Paralympic sport; however, less is known on how impairment type can impact athlete sporting pathways. In this study, 187 Australian and Canadian Paralympic sport athletes completed a survey. Participants were divided into the following four groups: impaired muscle power (n = 79); ataxia, athetosis, and hypertonia (n = 44); limb deficiencies (n = 42); and other physical impairments (n = 22). Mechanisms of initiation into Paralympic sport varied between groups with some drawn to sport through friends and/or family (i.e., limb deficiencies and other physical impairments groups) while others through talent search programs (i.e., ataxia, athetosis, and hypertonia group) or health care professionals/rehabilitation centers (i.e., impaired muscle power group). Results revealed no significant differences between groups in the chronological age or absolute years for achieving milestones. However, considering the high variability within the sample, more research is necessary to better understand how athletes with different physical impairments navigate through their sporting careers.
Luke F. Olsson, Michael C. Grugan, Joseph N. Martin, and Daniel J. Madigan
Perfectionism is a consistent predictor of athlete burnout. Researchers have therefore sought to examine the psychological mechanisms that may explain this relationship. In the present study, guided by Smith’s cognitive-affective stress model, we extend existing research by examining whether perceived stress is one such explanatory factor. A sample of 256 adult athletes completed measures of perfectionism (perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns), perceived stress, and burnout. Correlational analyses indicated that perfectionistic concerns was positively related to burnout, while perfectionistic strivings was either negatively related or unrelated to burnout. Tests of bias-corrected bootstrapped indirect effects showed that perceived stress mediated the positive relationship between perfectionistic concerns and burnout. This finding was evident when examining total burnout and all three burnout symptoms. It appears that athletes high in perfectionistic concerns are likely to experience heightened levels of stress in sport which may in turn render them more vulnerable to burnout.
Andrea Biscarini, Roberto Panichi, Cristina V. Dieni, and Samuele Contemori
A biomechanical model has been developed to assess the effects of a voluntary effort of quadriceps–hamstring cocontraction on tibiofemoral force during isometric knee flexion and knee extension exercises with constant external resistance. The model establishes the analytic condition in the moment arms and traction angles of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles that determines the direction (anterior/posterior) of the tibiofemoral shear force developed by the cocontraction. This model also establishes the mechanical effect (loading/unloading) on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). At about 15° of knee flexion (where the ACL experiences its maximum quadriceps-induced strain) a voluntary quadriceps–hamstring cocontraction effort yields: (1) nearly the same enhancement in hamstring and quadriceps activation, (2) an increase in hamstring force about 1.5 times higher than that of the quadriceps, and (3) posterior (ACL unloading) tibial pull and compressive tibiofemoral force that increase linearly with the level of quadriceps and hamstring activation. The sensitivity of the results to intersubject variability in the posterior slope of the tibial plateau and muscle moment arms has been estimated with the use of anatomic data available in the literature. An anterior (ACL loading) tibial pull is actually developed at 15° of knee flexion by a voluntary effort of quadriceps–hamstring cocontraction as the posterior tibial slope exceeds 14°.
Bruno G. Straiotto, David P. Cook, Darren C. James, and P. John Seeley
Patterns of interjoint coordination in the kicking legs of taekwondo players were investigated to understand movement pattern variability as a functional property of skill level. Elite and nonelite players performed roundhouse kicks against a custom-built moving target fitted with an accelerometer, and movements were recorded by motion capture. Average foot segment velocities of 13.6 and 11.4 m/s were recorded for elite and nonelite players, respectively (P < .05), corresponding to target accelerations of 87.5 and 70.8g (P < .05). Gradient values derived from piecewise linear regression of continuous relative phase curves established the comparative incoordination of nonelite taekwondo players in the form of an overshoot behavior during the crucial period leading to target impact (P < .05). This overshoot was apparent in both knee–hip and ankle–knee continuous relative phase curves. Elite players generated greater limb speed and impact force through more effective limb segment coordination. The combination of continuous relative phase and piecewise linear regression techniques allowed identification of alternate joint control approaches in the 2 groups.
Joseph G. Wasser, Julian C. Acasio, Ross H. Miller, and Brad D. Hendershot
Individuals with lower limb loss often walk with altered/asymmetric movement mechanics, postulated as a catalyst for development of low back and knee pain. Here, the authors simultaneously investigated trunk-pelvic movement patterns and lower limb joint kinematics and kinetics among 38 males with traumatic, unilateral lower limb loss (23 transtibial and 15 transfemoral), and 15 males without limb loss, at a self-selected and 2 standardized (1.0 and 1.6 m/s) speeds. Individuals with versus without lower limb loss walked with greater trunk range of motion in the frontal and transverse planes at all speeds (despite ∼10% slower self-selected speeds). At all speeds, individuals with versus without limb loss exhibited +29% larger medial ground reaction forces, and at 1.6 m/s also exhibited +50% to 110% larger vertical hip power generation, +27% to 80% larger vertical hip power absorption, and +21% to 90% larger medial–lateral hip power absorption. Moreover, pervasive biomechanical differences between transtibial versus transfemoral limb loss identify amputation-level movement strategies. Overall, greater demands on the musculoskeletal system across walking speeds, particularly at the hip, knee, and low back, highlight potential risk factors for the development/recurrence of prevalent secondary musculoskeletal conditions (eg, joint degeneration and pain) following limb loss.
Jana Fogaca, Illene Cupit, and Matthew Gonzalez
Although there is awareness of the impact of grief on survivors’ well-being, almost no research exists on the impact of death on sports team bereavement. The present study surveyed 40 members of athletic teams (coaches, staff, and athletes) from various levels to determine what happens in the aftermath of a team member’s death. Findings of the survey indicated that many of the respondents experienced acute grief responses affecting performance, which memorialization and community support was helpful whereas the news media was often not. In addition, a need for appropriate resources and a school bereavement policy specific to student athletes was seen. In line with the dual process model, the responses indicated use of both emotion focused and restoration focused coping. Implications of the findings suggested that addressing bereavement needs for athletes, and their coaches was tantamount to mitigating some of the complications associated with disenfranchised grief.