Researchers posit that physical activity (PA) settings may provide an increased opportunity for social interaction. However, little consensus exists regarding the construct of social skills. Moreover, little is known about what type or amount of PA is necessary for individuals on the autism spectrum to benefit from this increased interaction. Thus, this scoping review synthesized the components (e.g., design, participants, independent and dependent variables, etc.) and findings of PA-based interventions that included social skill components to identify how interventions have incorporated these skills in different settings. Based on a review of 25 articles, this review revealed a great deal of variability in the types of PA, social skills, and instruments studied, as well as the intensity of intervention delivery in the published findings. No longitudinal studies were identified as a part of the search. These results provide a foundation for the design of effective PA-based interventions that may have an increased impact on the social skills of individuals on the autism spectrum. Future research should employ longitudinal designs to capture the relationship between social skills and PA, as well as to increase the likelihood of capturing change.
ZáNean McClain, Daniel W. Tindall, and Jill Pawlowski
E. Andrew Pitchford and E. Kipling Webster
The Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD) measures fundamental motor skills competency and is frequently used for eligibility determination of adapted physical education services in children with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to determine if the TGMD-3 is clinically sensitive to detect deficits in the fundamental motor skills of children with disabilities (i.e., intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, language and articulation disorders). Eighty-five children with disabilities and 85 matched controls (i.e., typically developing, individually matched on age, sex, ethnicity, and race) completed the TGMD-3. Mann–Whitney U tests identified significant differences in the total TGMD-3 scores for children with intellectual disability (p < .001), autism spectrum disorder (p < .001), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (p = .032). No differences were identified for children with language and articulation disorders. Comparisons of subscales (i.e., locomotor and ball skills) differed across disability groups. This study provides evidence that the TGMD-3 is clinically sensitive to identify deficits in fundamental motor skills competency.
Celina H. Shirazipour and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung
A gap in knowledge exists regarding how to maintain physical activity (PA) for individuals with acquired disabilities following initial introductory experiences. The current study aimed to contribute to filling this gap by exploring the PA pathways of military veterans with a physical disability, particularly those who maintain long-term PA, from impairment to the present. Veterans with a physical disability (N = 18) participated in interviews exploring their PA history and experiences. A reflexive thematic analysis was conducted to generate common pathways in PA participation, as well as to examine which elements of participation supported PA maintenance. Three long-term pathways were identified—two parasport pathways and one recreational PA pathway. Four elements of participation (i.e., mastery, challenge, belongingness, meaning) supported to maintain PA at key junctures. This knowledge provides further understanding of how to promote long-term PA for individuals with acquired disabilities and can support advancements in theory, as well as program development.
Yi Wang, Wing K. Lam, Charis K. Wong, Lok Y. Park, Mohammad F. Tan, and Aaron K.L. Leung
This study examined the effect of foot orthoses used on ground reaction forces, ankle, and knee kinematics when running at preferred and nonpreferred speeds. Sixteen runners ran on instrumented treadmills at various speeds (90%, 100%, and 110% of preferred speed) when wearing arch-support and flat-control orthoses. Two-way repeated analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed on the mean and coefficient of variation of all variables. Results indicated that arch-support orthoses experienced larger maximum loading rates than flat-control orthoses (P = .017, 95% CI, 2.22 to 19.53). Slower speed was related to smaller loading rates (preferred: P = .002, 95% CI, −17.02 to −4.20; faster: P = .003, 95% CI, −29.78 to −6.17), shorter stride length (preferred: P < .001, 95% CI, −0.204 to −0.090; faster: P < .001, 95% CI, −0.382 to −0.237), and longer contact time (preferred: P < .001, 95% CI, 0.006–0.021; faster: 95% CI, 0.012–0.042). In arch-support condition, preferred speed induced higher stride length coefficient of variation (P = .046, 95% CI, 0.035–1.117) than faster speed, while displaying no differences in flat-control condition. These findings suggest that the use of arch-support orthoses would influence impact loading, but not spatial-temporal and joint kinematics in recreational runners.
Audrey G. Evers, Jessica A Somogie, Ian L. Wong, Jennifer D. Allen, and Adolfo G. Cuevas
The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a pilot mindfulness program for student athletes by assessing mental health, mindfulness ability, and perceived stress before and after the intervention. The mindfulness program was adapted from a program developed at the University of Southern California. The four-session intervention taught the basics of mindfulness, self-care skills, and guided meditations. Participants completed surveys before and after the intervention. Mindfulness ability was assessed with the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale, mental health was assessed with a modified Short Form Health Survey, and stress was assessed with the Perceived Stress Scale. After the intervention, participants reported improvement in mindfulness ability, t(28) = −2.61, p = .014, mental health, t(28) = −2.87, p = .008, and a trending improvement in perceived stress, t(28) = 1.86, p = .073. A short mindfulness program may be effective for improving mental health and mindfulness ability in collegiate student athletes.
Luca Correale, Vittoria Carnevale Pellino, Luca Marin, Massimiliano Febbi, and Matteo Vandoni
Spatiotemporal parameters of walking are used to identify gait impairments and provide a tailored therapy program. Baropodometric platforms are not often used for measuring spatiotemporal parameters and walking speed and it is required to determine accuracy. The aim of this study was to compare FreeMed® Platform gait outcomes with a validated inertial measurement unit. There were 40 healthy adults without walking impairments enrolled. Each subject walked along a 15-m walkway at self and slow self-selected speed wearing an inertial measurement unit on the FreeMed® Platform. Stride length and time, right and left stance, swing time, and walking speed were recorded. Walking speed, stride length, and step time showed a very high level of agreement at slow walking speed and a high and moderate level of agreement at normal walking speed. FreeMed® Platform is useful to assess gait outcomes and could improve the exercise prescription.