The purpose of this study was to determine changes in balance, postural sway, and quality of life after 6 wk of simulated horseback riding in adults diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Eight older adults completed two 60-min riding sessions weekly for 6 wk. Variables of balance, postural sway, and quality of life were measured 6 wks before and within 1 wk before and after the intervention. Berg Balance Scale scores decreased from baseline to preintervention (48.36 ± 5.97 vs. 45.86 ± 6.42, p = .050) and increased from preintervention to postintervention (45.86 ± 6.42 vs. 50.00 ± 4.38, p = .002). Cognitive impairment, a dimension of quality of life, improved from baseline to postintervention (37.5 ± 20.5 vs. 21.5 ± 14.4, p = .007). Six weeks of simulated horseback riding may improve balance and cognitive impairment in older adults with Parkinson’s disease.
Leah S. Goudy, Brandon Rhett Rigby, Lisa Silliman-French and Kevin A. Becker
ZáNean McClain, E. Andrew Pitchford and Jill Pawlowski
Rafael L. Kons, Kai Krabben, David L. Mann, Gabriela Fischer and Daniele Detanico
In judo competition for visual impairment, athletes of different classes compete against each other in the same category; B1 athletes are totally blind, whereas B2 and B3 athletes are partially sighted. To test for potential competition disparities due a single category of athletes, this study aimed to compare competitive and technical–tactical performance in visually impaired judo athletes with different degrees of visual impairment. The authors analyzed 340 judo matches from the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games. The scores, penalties, efficiency index, and types of medals were examined, as well as the technical variation and temporal structure. The main finding was that blind judo athletes presented lower scores (p < .05; effect size [ES] = 0.43–0.73), medals (p < .05), and efficiency (p < .05; ES = 0.40–0.73); different patterns of play; and a shorter time to lose than partially sighted athletes (p = .027; ES = 0.10–0.14). However, the penalties were similar between classes (p > .05; ES = 0.07–0.14). The odds ratio of a winning medal was 3.5–8 times less in blind athletes than in partially sighted athletes (p < .01). In conclusion, blind judo athletes presented lower competitive and technical–tactical performance than athletes with some residual functional vision. These findings provide support for the development of new evidence-based criteria for judo classification based on vision impairment.
Rachael C. Stone, Shane N. Sweet, Marie-Josée Perrier, Tara MacDonald, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung
Identifying as a regular exerciser has been found to effectively alter stereotypes related to warmth and competence for adults with a physical disability; however, it remains unclear how sport participation can influence this trend. Therefore, this study aimed to examine warmth and competence perceptions of adults with a physical disability portrayed as elite and nonelite athletes relative to other athletic and nonathletic subgroups of adults with and without a physical disability in the context of the stereotype content model. Using survey data from able-bodied participants (N = 302), cluster analyses were applied to a behaviors from intergroup affect and stereotypes map for displaying the intersection of warmth and competence perceptions. The results demonstrated that adults with a physical disability who are described as elite athletes (i.e., Paralympians) are clustered with high warmth and high competence, similar to their able-bodied athletic counterparts (i.e., Olympians). The findings suggest that perceiving athletic and elite sport statuses for adults with a physical disability may counter the stereotypes commonly applied to this group.
Paul E. Yeatts, Ronald Davis, Jun Oh and Gwang-Yon Hwang
Participation in physical activity has been shown to improve components of psychological well-being (i.e., affect). Programs such as the Warrior Games have been designed to promote physical activity in wounded military personnel. However, sport competition typically yields a winner and a loser (i.e., game outcome). The experience of a win or a loss may affect how wounded athletes respond to game outcome. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the affective changes (positive affect, negative affect, tranquility, and fatigue) according to game outcome in a sample of wounded military wheelchair basketball players participating in a weekend tournament. The results indicated that the participants who experienced a win reported significantly higher positive affect and tranquility and significantly lower negative affect than those experiencing a loss. These findings have important implications for wounded veteran athletes, as well as coaches and administrative personnel.
Mohsen Shafizadeh, Nicola Theis and Keith Davids
The aim of this study was to examine strategies to absorb impact shock during RaceRunning in participants with neurological motor disorders. For this purpose, 8 RaceRunning athletes (4 male and 4 female) voluntarily took part in the study. Each participant performed a series of 100-m sprints with a RaceRunning bike. Acceleration of the tibia and head was measured with 2 inertial measurement units and used to calculate foot-impact shock measures. Results showed that RaceRunning pattern was characterized by a lack of impact peak in foot–ground contact time and the existence of an active peak after foot contact. Due to the ergonomic properties of the RaceRunning bike, shock is attenuated throughout the stance phase. In conclusion, the results revealed that RaceRunning athletes with neurological motor disorders are capable of absorbing impact shock during assisted RaceRunning using a strategy that mimics runners without disabilities.
Jeffrey Martin, Mario Vassallo, Jacklyn Carrico and Ellen Armstrong
The purpose of this study was to predict Paralympian swimmers’ happiness as a result of winning 2016 Paralympic medals. Understanding potential antecedents of athletes’ happiness has theoretical and practical value. Medal winners (N = 138) had their facial expressions rated for happiness at the race finish. Three predictors were examined: finish place (i.e., first, second, or third), swimmers’ expectations for race place, and race time. A multiple-regression analysis predicting happiness was significant, F(3, 98) = 3.66, p < .015, accounting for 10% of the variance. Significant beta weights for race place (β = −0.551) and finishing higher than their 2015 world ranking (β = 0.551) indicated that higher-finishing swimmers were happier than lower-finishing swimmers, and swimmers who finished better than their 2015 ranking were happier than swimmers who finished lower than their ranking. The authors also found partial support for the counterfactual-thinking hypothesis for male swimmers and evidence of gender and country differences in happiness.
Justin A. Haegele, Carrie J. Aigner and Sean Healy
The purpose of this study was to compare the degree to which children and adolescents with and without visual impairments (VIs) met national physical activity, screen-time, and sleep guidelines. This observational, cross-sectional analysis of the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health focused on children (age 6–12 yr) and adolescents (age 13–17 yr) with and without VIs. The sample included 241 (weighted n = 472,127) and 17,610 (weighted n = 28,249,833) children, and 255 (weighted n = 505,401) and 17,417 (weighted n = 20,071,557) adolescents with and without VIs, respectively. Chi-square statistics were computed to examine the degree to which participants with and without VIs met health-behavior guidelines. Children (p = .02) with VIs were less likely to meet screen-time guidelines, but adolescents with VIs were not (p = .87). VI status was not associated with the likelihood of meeting physical activity or sleep guidelines (p < .05). Low numbers of children and adolescents with and without VIs meeting health-behavior guidelines warrant targeted interventions aimed at enhancing engagement.
Mey A. van Munster, Laureen J. Lieberman and Michelle A. Grenier
The aim of this case study was to describe the distinct approaches used by physical education (PE) teachers to accommodate students with disabilities in New York elementary school PE classes. The participants included 1 adapted PE specialist, 5 PE teachers, and 5 elementary school students with various impairments. Through thematic analysis, observations and interviews revealed 3 main approaches: (a) normalized instruction—traditional curriculum with no differentiation in the program; (b) differentiated instruction—adaptations tailored specifically to the needs of each student with disability; and (c) universally designed instruction based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and accessibility to all students. Differentiated instruction, entailing modifications in the program and pedagogical accommodations, was the most prevalent approach at the research site, but lessons based on UDL principles were also observed. In association, the 2 approaches (differentiated instruction and UDL) represented significant resources to accommodate students with disabilities in PE.