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Do Motor–Cognitive and Motor–Motor Dual-Task Training Differently Affect Dual-Task Interference in Individuals With Intellectual Disability?

Rihab Borji, Rym Baccouch, Rabeb Laatar, Sirine Falhi, Sonia Sahli, and Haithem Rebai

This study explored the effect of different dual-task (DT) training programs on DT interference in adults with intellectual disability. Center-of-pressure (CoP) mean velocity in single-task (ST) and cognitive-DT conditions and the Timed Up-and-Go Test (TUGT) during ST, cognitive-DT, and motor-DT conditions were assessed before and after intervention in a cognitive–motor training group, a motor–motor training group, and a control group. Before training, CoP mean velocity and TUGT time increased (p < .001) in DT compared with the ST condition. After training, the CoP mean velocity values remained unchanged (p = .07) in DT compared with the ST condition among the cognitive–motor training group. Furthermore, compared with the ST condition, no increase (p = 1) was reported in the TUGT time during the cognitive-DT condition for the cognitive–motor training group and during the motor-DT for the motor–motor training group (p = .12). The effect of DT training on DT interference depends on the training modality.

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Evaluating the Validity of Tests to Predict Sprint and Change of Direction Speed in Para-Athletes With Brain Impairments

Raul Reina, Emma M. Beckman, Mark J. Connick, Jemima G. Spathis, and Sean M. Tweedy

Maximum running speed is a performance determinant in para-athletics and cerebral palsy football. Sixty international para-athletes with brain impairments completed five activity-limitation tests (standing broad jump, four bounds for distance, split jumps, 10-m speed skip, and running in place) and two criterion tests (40-m sprint and modified agility test). The same three tests (standing broad jump, four bounds for distance, and 10-m speed skip) that correlated with running performance in nondisabled runners (.67 < r < −.82; p < .05; 75% of variance) also correlated in para-athletes with brain impairments (.41 < r <  −.62; p < .01; 55% of variance). Standing broad jump, four bounds for distance, split jumps, and running in place also correlated with change-of-direction speed (.43 < r <  −.63; p < .01; 58% of variance). Results indicate that methods of classification for para-athletics with nondisabled runners are also valid with para-athletes with brain impairments, and new sport-specific relationships were found for assessing the performance of rapid and short sprints toward different directions, specific of a team para-sport like cerebral palsy football.

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Volume 41 (2024): Issue 3 (Jul 2024)

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“I Found Comfort in Exercising”: Exploring Experiences With Exercise for Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Anusha V. Ramji, Eleanor J. Dommett, and Oliver R. Runswick

Little is known about how adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience exercise, resulting in a lack of recommendations for supporting this population. We aimed to explore how adults with ADHD experience exercise as a management tool before and after diagnosis and how and why individuals experience issues related to exercise dependence. Fifteen active adults with a diagnosis of ADHD participated in semistructured interviews. Three overarching themes were identified: (a) exercise as a necessity for ADHD, reflecting the need to exercise before a formal ADHD diagnosis, and use of exercise as a management tool postdiagnosis; (b) goals and achievements to live by, reflecting how exercise patterns revolved around a need to make progress toward targets; and (c) activity or exercise: a roller coaster journey, covering the ups and downs of exercise journeys. This article highlights the importance of exercise for adults to manage ADHD and how this can be encouraged and supported.

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Adapted Physical Activity Across the Life Span

Paul R. Malinowski, Paul H. Warner, and Wesley J. Wilson,

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Special Olympics: Inclusion Debates and Equity in Sport, 1st Edition

Wonjun Choi and Sophia D. Min

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Relegated to the Sidelines: A Qualitative Inquiry of Gatekeepers’ Perspectives and Values of Physical Education for Disabled Children

Scott W.T. McNamara, Patrica Craig, Megan Henly, and Jill Gravink

Several institutional aspects within the U.S. public school system impede the delivery of adapted physical education (APE) services to disabled children, including a lack of understanding and prioritization of these services by the special education team and a lack of qualified APE professionals to deliver these services. Thus, we conducted a qualitative inquiry grounded in a critical-ableism perspective to explore special education gatekeepers’ experiences and perspectives of APE. Gatekeepers included parents, physical educators, and school administrators. Using a reflexive thematic analysis, we developed four interrelated themes: (a) disregard, negative, and charity mindsets toward disability; (b) systemic challenges in valuing and prioritizing APE; (c) presence as inclusion: (un)intentional marginalization in physical education; and (d) physical education for my child was a nightmare. These findings illustrate the complexities around the provision of physical education and APE to disabled children.

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Swim, Strength, or Combined Programs: Effect on Health-Related Physical Fitness in Adolescents With Down Syndrome

Borja Suarez-Villadat, Kabir Sadarangani, Rui Manuel Corredeira, Mario Veiga, and Ariel Villagra

The adolescent population with Down syndrome (DS) appears to show higher levels of body fat and lower levels of cardiorespiratory fitness or muscle strength than their peers without disabilities. There is a need to create physical activity programs to improve these data. The aim of this research was to determine the effects of a 16-week swimming program, strength program, and combined program (swimming and strength training) on body composition and health-related physical fitness on adolescents with DS and to assess whether there are differences in the results of the different training programs. Forty-five adolescents (17 female and 28 male; average age 15.5 [1.53] years) with DS were recruited and randomized to three groups (swim [n = 15], strength [n = 15], and combined [n = 15]). Results showed that the swim group had significant improvements in all health-related physical fitness variables and there was an improvement in some body-composition variables (p < .05). The strength and combined groups obtained minor improvements in the variables analyzed. In summary, a 16-week swim program consisting of three sessions of 60 min is able to improve levels of body composition and health-related physical fitness in adolescents with DS. The swim training program seems to be more effective in improving body composition and health-related physical fitness than the strength or combined program. These findings could be useful in different special-education centers due to the predisposition shown by the population with DS to this sport modality.

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Combined Virtual-Reality- and Gym-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Children With a Developmental Disability: Effects on Physical Activity Levels, Motor Skills, and Social Skills

Hoo Kyung Lee and Jooyeon Jin

This study examined the effects of a combined virtual-reality- and gym-based physical activity (PA) program on PA levels, motor skills, and social skills of children with a developmental disability (DD). Twenty-five children with DD were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The intervention was conducted for 60 min, two times a week, for 12 weeks. Pre- and postintervention assessments encompassing PA levels measured via Gravity Estimator of Normal Everyday Activity, motor skills evaluated using the Test of Gross Motor Development-Third Edition, and social skills gauged via the Social Skills Rating System-Parent were conducted. Additionally, a follow-up assessment was administered to the experimental group 12 weeks postintervention. The findings unequivocally demonstrate that the combined virtual-reality- and gym-based PA program yielded significant enhancements in PA levels, motor skills, and social skills among children with DD in the experimental group. Notably, these improvements were sustained 12 weeks after the intervention. These findings may help professionals develop and implement better PA programs for children with DD.

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“Now We Can Speak”: Wheelchair Sport Participation in Areas of Armed Conflict

T.N. Kirk, Cathy McKay, and Katherine Holland

This study sought to understand the lived experiences of wheelchair basketball athletes from low- and middle-income countries of recent or current armed conflict and the meaning that they ascribed to their participation. Wheelchair basketball athletes (N = 108) from eight national teams participated in semistructured focus-group interviews. Study data were analyzed thematically using an interpretive descriptive approach. Three themes were developed: “I can do anything I want; not only basketball,” self-concept changes through sport participation; “Now they see me as a respectable person,” societal belonging through sport; and “I have motivated other disabled people,” influence on nonparticipating disabled persons. The findings indicated that participation in wheelchair sports may help disabled persons see themselves as capable individuals on the court and in aspects of daily living, perhaps even peer role models for other disabled persons in their communities and countries.