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Teri A. Todd, Keely Ahrold, Danielle N. Jarvis, and Melissa A. Mache

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically demonstrate deficits in gross motor skills such as the overhand throw. It has not been determined whether such deficits persist into adulthood. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the kinematics and developmental level of overhand throws among young adults with and without ASD. Three-dimensional motion-capture data were collected during overhand throwing trials performed by 20 college students (10 students with ASD). Individuals with ASD demonstrated similar throw duration, stride length, and step width but a longer acceleration phase and slower ball velocity than individuals without ASD. Young adults with ASD also performed the overhand throw with less developmental proficiency than those without ASD. Specifically, individuals with ASD exhibited developmental deficits in the backswing and composite throwing score. Motor skill interventions for individuals with ASD should address throwing skills, with a particular focus on the preparatory phase of the overhand throw.

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Kerri L. Staples, E. Andrew Pitchford, and Dale A. Ulrich

The Test of Gross Motor Development is among the most commonly used measures of gross motor competency in children. An important attribute of any developmental assessment is its sensitivity to detect change. The purpose of this study was to examine the instructional sensitivity of the Test of Gross Motor Development—third edition (TGMD-3) performance criteria to changes in performance for 48 children (age 4–7 years) with and without Down syndrome following 10 weeks of physical education. Paired t tests identified significant improvements for all children on locomotor (p < .01) and ball skills (p < .01). These significant differences were associated with moderate to large effect sizes. SEM was low relative to the maximum raw score for each subtest, indicating high confidence in the scores. These findings provide evidence that the TGMD-3 is sensitive to change in performance for children with and without Down syndrome.

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Marte Bentzen, Danielle Alexander, Gordon A. Bloom, and Göran Kenttä

The purpose of this scoping review was to provide a broad overview of the literature pertaining to parasport coaches, including information regarding the size and scope of research, the populations and perspectives obtained, and the type of methods used to conduct the research. Data were collected and analyzed using a six-stage framework for conducting scoping reviews. The results revealed that the majority of articles were based on interviews, and an overwhelming majority of the participants were men coaching at the high-performance level in North America. Three of the most frequent topics were becoming a parasport coach, being a parasport coach, and having general parasport coaching knowledge. Articles ranged in date from 1991 to 2018, with 70% of empirical articles published from 2014 onward, indicating an emerging interest in this field of research. This review has the potential to advance the science and practice of parasport coaching at all levels.

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Alex Brun and Michelle A. Sandrey

Context: Joint mobilizations have been studied extensively in the literature for the glenohumeral joint and talocrural joint (ankle). Consequently, joint mobilizations have been established as an effective means of improving range of motion (ROM) within these joints. However, there is a lack of extant research to suggest these effects may apply within another critical joint in the body, the hip. Objective: To examine the immediate effects of hip joint mobilizations on hip ROM and functional outcomes. Secondarily, this study sought to examine the efficacy of a novel hip mobilization protocol. Design: A prospective exploratory study. Setting: Two research labs. Patients or Other Participants: The study included 19 active male (n = 8) and female (n = 11) college students (20.56 [1.5] y, 171.70 [8.6] cm, 72.23 [12.9] kg). Interventions: Bilateral hip mobilizations were administered with the use of a mobilization belt. Each participant received hip joint mobilization treatments once during 3 weekly sessions followed immediately by preintervention and postintervention testing/measurements. Testing for each participant occurred once per week, at the same time of day, for 3 consecutive weeks. Hip ROM was the first week, followed by modified Star Excursion Balance Test the second week and agility T test during the third week. Main Outcomes Measures: Pretest and posttest measurements included hip ROM for hip flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, internal and external rotation, as well as scores on the modified Star Excursion Balance Test (anterior, posterolateral, and posteromedial directions) and agility T test. Results: A significant effect for time was found for hip adduction, internal and external rotation ROM, as well as the posterolateral and posteromedial directions of the modified Star Excursion Balance Test. A separate main effect for both limbs was found for adduction and internal rotation ROM. Conclusion: Isolated immediate changes in ROM and functional outcomes were evident. Further evaluation is needed.

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Saša Krstulović, Andrea De Giorgio, Óscar DelCastillo Andrés, Emerson Franchini, and Goran Kuvačić

The main aim of this investigation was to determine the effect of high contextual interference (HCI) and low contextual interference (LCI) on motor learning of falling techniques. Thirty-five kinesiology students (21 males and 14 females; mean ± SD, age = 19.4 ± 0.69 years) were randomly assigned to the HCI or LCI practice group. The participants’ task was to learn two judo falling techniques on both sides over 3 weeks. The two-way analysis of variance found no difference between LCI and HCI in the performance at the pretest, posttest, retention, and transfer. Both groups improved posttest and retention performance. Finally, differences were found for both groups between the falling performance in the posttest and the application test (except for the right yoko ukemi fall in the HCI). Lower application test scores led to the conclusion that the 3-week treatment was insufficient to reach the application level of the falling techniques.

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Stefanie N. Foster, Michael D. Harris, Mary K. Hastings, Michael J. Mueller, Gretchen B. Salsich, and Marcie Harris-Hayes

Context: The authors hypothesized that in people with hip-related groin pain, less static ankle dorsiflexion could lead to compensatory hip adduction and contralateral pelvic drop during step-down. Ankle dorsiflexion may be a modifiable factor to improve ability in those with hip-related groin pain to decrease hip/pelvic motion during functional tasks and improve function. Objective: To determine whether smaller static ankle dorsiflexion angles were associated with altered ankle, hip, and pelvis kinematics during step-down in people with hip-related groin pain. Design: Cross-sectional Setting: Academic medical center. Patients : A total of 30 people with hip-related groin pain (12 males and 18 females; 28.7 [5.3] y) participated. Intervention: None. Main Outcome Measures: Weight-bearing static ankle dorsiflexion with knee flexed and knee extended were measured via digital inclinometer. Pelvis, hip, and ankle kinematics during forward step-down were measured via 3D motion capture. Static ankle dorsiflexion and kinematics were compared with bivariate correlations. Results: Smaller static ankle dorsiflexion angles were associated with smaller ankle dorsiflexion angles during the step-down for both the knee flexed and knee extended static measures. Among the total sample, smaller static ankle dorsiflexion angle with knee flexed was associated with greater anterior pelvic tilt and greater contralateral pelvic drop during the step-down. Among only those who did not require a lowered step for safety, smaller static ankle dorsiflexion angles with knee flexed and knee extended were associated with greater anterior pelvic tilt, greater contralateral pelvic drop, and greater hip flexion. Conclusions: Among those with hip-related groin pain, smaller static ankle dorsiflexion angles are associated with less ankle dorsiflexion motion and altered pelvis and hip kinematics during a step-down. Future research is needed to assess the effect of treating restricted ankle dorsiflexion on quality of motion and symptoms in patients with hip-related groin pain.

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Hannah W. Tucker, Emily R. Tobin, and Matthew F. Moran

Context: Performance on single-leg hopping (SLH) assessments is commonly included within return-to-sport criteria for rehabilitating athletes. Triaxial accelerometers have been used to quantify impact loading in a variety of movements, including hopping; however, they have never been attached to the tibia during SLH, and their method of fixation has not been investigated. Objective: The purpose of this study was to quantify triaxial accelerations and evaluate the influence of the fixation method of a lightweight inertial measurement unit (Blue Trident) mounted to the tibia during SLH performance. Design: Single cohort, repeated-measures experimental design. Participants: Sixteen healthy participants (10 females and 6 males; 20 [0.9] y; 1.67 [0.08] m; 66.0 [8.5] kg) met the inclusion criteria, volunteered, and completed this study. Interventions: Participants performed 2 sets of 3 SLH trials with an inertial measurement unit (1500 Hz) fixated to the tibia, each set with 1 of 2 attachment methods (double-sided tape [DST] with athletic tape and silicon strap [SS] with Velcro adhesion). Main Outcome Measures: Hop distance, peak tibial acceleration (PTA), time to PTA, and the acceleration slope were assessed during each hop landing. Results: Repeated-measures analysis of variance determined no significant effect of the attachment method on hop metrics (P = .252). Across 3 trials, both fixation methods (DST and SS) had excellent reliability values (intraclass correlation coefficient: .868–.941) for PTA and acceleration slope but not for time to PTA (intraclass correlation coefficient: .397–.768). The PTA for DST (27.22 [7.94] g) and SS (26.21 [10.48] g) was comparable and had a moderate, positive relationship (DST: r = .72, P < .01; SS: r = .77, P < .01) to SLH distance. Conclusions: Tibial inertial measurement units with triaxial accelerometers can reliably assess PTA during performance of the SLH, and SS is a viable alternative tibial attachment to DST.

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Nicholas G. Gomez, Kelton K. Gubler, Kenneth Bo Foreman, and Andrew S. Merryweather

The factors that contribute to the difficulties persons with Parkinson Disease (PwPD) have when negotiating transitions in walking surfaces are not completely known. The authors investigated if PwPD adjusted their step characteristics when negotiating a familiar outdoor surface transition between synthetic concrete and synthetic turf. Force plate and motion capture data were collected for 10 participants with mild to moderate Parkinson disease and 5 healthy older control participants ambulating bidirectionally across the transition between synthetic concrete and synthetic turf. Between groups, PwPD had a significantly higher minimum toe clearance (P = .007) for both directions of travel compared with the healthy control group. Within groups, PwPD significantly increased their hip (P < .001) and ankle (P = .016) range of motion walking from concrete to turf, while the healthy control participants significantly increased their minimum toe clearance (P = .013), margin of stability (P = .019), hip (P < .001) and ankle (P = .038) range of motion, and step length (P < .001). Walking from turf to concrete, both the Parkinson disease group (P = .014) and the healthy control group (P < .001) increased their knee range of motion. Both groups adjusted their step characteristics when negotiating known surface transitions, indicating that surface transitions result in step changes regardless of health status. However, PwPD exhibited overcompensations, particularly in their minimum toe clearance.

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Andrew M. Colombo-Dougovito and Jihyun Lee

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.

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ZáNean McClain, Daniel W. Tindall, and Jill Pawlowski