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Matthew J. Leineweber, Dominik Wyss, Sophie-Krystale Dufour, Claire Gane, Karl Zabjek, Laurent J. Bouyer, Désirée B. Maltais, Julien I.A. Voisin and Jan Andrysek

This study evaluated the effects of intense physical exercise on postural stability of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Center of pressure (CoP) was measured in 9 typically developing (TD) children and 8 with CP before and after a maximal aerobic shuttle-run test (SRT) using a single force plate. Anteroposterior and mediolateral sway velocities, sway area, and sway regularity were calculated from the CoP data and compared between pre- and postexercise levels and between groups. Children with CP demonstrated significantly higher pre-SRT CoP velocities than TD children in the sagittal (18.6 ± 7.6 vs. 6.75 1.78 m/s) and frontal planes (15.4 ± 5.3 vs. 8.04 ± 1.51 m/s). Post-SRT, CoP velocities significantly increased for children with CP in the sagittal plane (27.0 ± 1.2 m/s), with near-significant increases in the frontal plane (25.0 ± 1.5m/s). Similarly, children with CP evidenced larger sway areas than the TD children both pre- and postexercise. The diminished postural stability in children with CP after short but intense physical exercise may have important implications including increased risk of falls and injury.

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Adam Love and Stamatis Agiovlasitis

Adults with Down syndrome (DS) tend to have low physical activity levels, which may relate to how they perceive participation in physical activities. The current study entailed interviews with 30 adults with DS (age 18–71 yr, 18 women) to examine how they perceived physical activity, exercise, and sport. Through qualitative analysis informed by grounded theory, the investigators found that adults with DS have positive perceptions of physical activity that center on enjoyment. Three facets of enjoyment were identified: interaction, achievement, and process. Interaction reflected enjoyment of social contact with others including relatives, peers, caregivers, and animals. Achievement involved enjoyment of achieving particular ends including accomplishment of tasks, material rewards, formation of athletic identities, and improvement of health. Process represented enjoyment from performing a particular activity itself. This multifaceted enjoyment expressed by adults with DS may facilitate physical activity and should be considered when developing programs to improve their well-being.

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Luis Columna, Luz Amelia Hoyos-Cuartas, John T. Foley, Jose Rafael Prado-Perez, Dana Milena Chavarro-Bermeo, Ana Lorena Mora, Maria Antonieta Ozols-Rosales, Luis Álvarez-del Cid and Ivana Rivero

Purpose:

To analyze Latin American physical education (PE) teachers’ intentions toward teaching students with disabilities.

Participants:

474 in-service PE teachers from 5 different Latin American countries.

Method:

Descriptive survey. Data were collected using a modified version of the Physical Educators’ Intention Toward Teaching Individuals With Disabilities Survey. Multiple-regression analysis showed significant differences in the attitudes of teachers by gender, the number of adapted-PE courses taken, and years of experience working with individuals with disabilities.

Results:

The predictor variables had a significant impact on the participants’ intentions toward teaching children with disabilities; however, the effects of these predictor variables differed between countries.

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Yeshayahu Hutzler and Devora Hellerstein

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Jie Yu, Cindy H.P. Sit, Angus Burnett, Catherine M. Capio, Amy S.C. Ha and Wendy Y.J. Huang

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of fundamental movement skills (FMS) training on FMS proficiency, self-perceived physical competence (SPC), physical activity (PA), and sleep disturbance in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) compared with children with typical development (TD). A total of 84 children were allocated into either experimental group (DCD[exp], TD[exp]) who received 6 weeks of FMS training or control groups (DCD[con], TD[con]). FMS were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2, whereas PA was monitored using accelerometers. SPC and sleep disturbance were evaluated using questionnaires. Results showed that the DCD[exp] group had significantly higher scores in FMS and SPC compared with the DCD[con] group at posttest. The DCD[exp] group scored lower in sleep disturbance at follow-up when compared with posttest. It is suggested that short-term FMS training is effective in improving FMS and SPC and reducing sleep disturbances for children with DCD.

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Megan MacDonald and Heidi Wegis

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Andrea R. Taliaferro and Lindsay Hammond

Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) tend to have low rates of participation in voluntary or prescribed physical activity. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to identify the barriers, facilitators, and needs influencing physical activity participation of adults with ID within the framework of a social ecological model. A qualitative approach consisted of data collected from surveys and guided focus groups. Participants included adults with ID (n = 6) and their primary caregiver (n = 6). Barriers were categorized under three themes: organizational barriers, individual constraints, and external influences. Examples of subthemes included information dissemination, reliance on others, and caregiver considerations. Facilitators included primary caregivers as champions and camaraderie. Needs centered on family program involvement, improved programmatic structure, and programmatic support. Results indicate the need for community programs to examine barriers and facilitators applicable to their unique setting and population across all levels of a social ecological model.

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Mary Ann Devine

College years are an experimental phase in young adulthood and can lay the foundation for lifelong behaviors. One type of behavior developed during these years is the use of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA). LTPA experiences of typical college students have been examined, but there is a lack of studies examining the experiences of students with disabilities. The purpose of this inquiry is to understand the experiences of college students with disabilities and their LTPA, with focus on factors that facilitate or create barriers to engagement. Grounded theory was used to understand LTPA with undergraduates with mobility or visual impairments. Results indicated a theme of culture of physical activity and disability as they received a message that engagement in LTPA was “unnecessary” or “heroic,” which altered their LTPA experiences. Barriers to LTPA can be understood through a social relational lens to recognize the multidimensionality of barriers and facilitators to LTPA.

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Edited by Phil Esposito