Despite the rising interest in intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder, the extent to which interventions are effective on gross motor outcomes is currently unknown. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of different intervention approaches on gross motor outcomes among children with autism spectrum disorder using meta-analysis. A total of 18 studies met the inclusion criteria for quantitative analysis. Pre- and posttest means and SDs were extracted to calculate effect sizes. Potential moderator variables were chosen based on important intervention characteristics. The results suggest that interventions have a large effect on gross motor outcomes among children with autism spectrum disorder (δ = 0.99, SE = 0.19, p < .001, 95% confidence interval [0.62, 1.36]). The interventions that were 16 total hours or longer had a significantly larger effect than those less than 16 hr. In addition, the interventions in experimental settings had significantly larger effects than the interventions in practical settings. Future interventions should consider intensity, including not only the duration of the intervention but also the intensity in which specific intervention goals are targeted.
Iva Obrusnikova, Haley M. Novak and Albert R. Cavalier
Adults with intellectual disability have significantly lower musculoskeletal fitness than their peers without a disability. Appropriate instructional strategies are needed to facilitate their acquisition and maintenance of musculoskeletal fitness. In this multiple-baseline across-participants single-subject study, the authors evaluated the effects of a multicomponent package that included a video-enhanced system of least-to-most prompts on the acquisition of 5 muscle-strengthening exercises in 3 women with mild intellectual disability, age 24–37 yr. Results show substantive gains in correct and independent performance of steps in the 5 exercises during the treatment condition. The improved performance was maintained 2 wk after the last treatment session and in a large YMCA gym. The study suggests that use of the video-enhanced system of least-to-most prompts can lead to improved acquisition and maintenance of muscle-strengthening exercises by adults with mild intellectual disability.
Xihe Zhu and Justin A. Haegele
The purpose of this study was to examine reactivity to accelerometer measurement in children with visual impairments (VI), their sighted siblings, and their parents. A sample of 66 participants (including 22 children with VI, 22 siblings, and 22 parents) completed a demographic survey and wore triaxial accelerometers for at least 4 consecutive days for 8 hr. An analysis of covariances with repeated measures was conducted, controlling for participant gender. Children with VI had 8.1% less moderate to vigorous physical activity time on Day 1 than Days 2–4 average. Their sighted siblings and parents had 7.8% and 7.1% more moderate to vigorous physical activity time on Day 1 than their Days 2–4 average, respectively. The reactivity percentage for parents and children without VI is consistent with existing literature. However, an inverse reactivity for children with VI was found, which is a unique contribution to the literature and will have implications for researchers using accelerometers for this population.
Kirsti Van Dornick and Nancy L.I. Spencer
The purpose of this study was to examine the classification experiences (perspectives and reflections) of paraswimmers. Classification provides a structure for parasport, with the goal of reducing the impact of impairment on the outcome of competition. Guided by interpretive description, nine paraswimmers ranging in swimming experience and sport class were interviewed. Reflective notes were also collected. Transcribed interviews were analyzed inductively, followed by a deductive analysis using Nordenfelt’s dignity framework. Three themes represent the findings: access, diversity, and (un)certainty. Despite several positive experiences, paraswimmers also discussed inconsistencies in the process leading them to question competition fairness and classification accuracy. These findings suggest that continued efforts to improve the classification system are required. In addition, paraswimmers and their allies (e.g., coaches) require more information about the classification process to better understand the outcomes and to effectively advocate for their needs.
Soubhagyalaxmi Mohanty, Balaram Pradhan and Alex Hankey
Physical activities provide fundamental benefits to children’s health and well-being. They are vital for development and healthy life, but participation of children with visual impairment is limited. Herein, the authors report results of a 16-wk yoga program, evaluating its effects on physical fitness in children with visual impairment. Eighty-three children age 9–16 years (12.37 ± 2.19) participated in a 2-arm, single-blind wait-list-controlled study at a residential school in south India. Participants (yoga group 41, controls 42) were assessed on muscle strength, flexibility, endurance, coordination, and respiratory health. Significant improvements in physical fitness were observed after the yoga intervention (Group × Time interactions for right-hand grip strength, p < .001; sit-up, p < .001; sit and reach, p < .001; bilateral plate tapping, p < .001; and peak expiratory flow rate, p < .001). Left-hand grip strength showed main effects of time, although there were no Group × Time interactions. Results demonstrate yoga’s ability to improve a wide range of physical variables in children with visual impairment.
Wesley J. Wilson and K. Andrew R. Richards
Occupational socialization theory has been used to understand the recruitment, education, and socialization of physical education teachers for nearly 40 yr. It has, however, only recently been applied to the study of adapted physical education teachers. The purpose of this descriptive case study was to understand the socialization of preservice teachers in an adapted physical education teacher education graduate-level program. Participants included 17 purposefully selected preservice teachers (5 male and 12 female) enrolled in a yearlong graduate-level adapted physical education teacher education program. Qualitative data were collected using interviews, reflective journaling, and field notes taken during teaching and coursework observations. Data analysis resulted in the construction of 3 themes: overcoming contextual challenges to meet learners’ needs, the importance of field-based teacher education, and coping with the challenges of marginalization. The discussion connects to and advances occupational socialization theory in adapted physical education and suggests that professional socialization may have a more profound influence on preservice adapted physical education teachers than on their physical education counterparts.
Robin S. Vealey, Nick Galli and Robert J. Harmison
In this commentary, we respond to Scherzer and Reel’s concerns over the Certified Mental Performance Consultant® (CMPC®) certification program requirements, particularly the certification exam. A reframing is suggested, in which the exam and recertification requirements are viewed as exciting historical milestones and an opportunity for individual professional growth as opposed to a personal inconvenience. In addition, some historical context and rationale for specific aspects of the CMPC certification program are provided, including the rationale for the CMPC credential.
Emily Kroshus, Sara P.D. Chrisman, David Coppel and Stanley Herring
This study sought to identify factors that influence whether coaches support athletes struggling with depression and anxiety. Participants were U.S. public high school coaches who completed a written survey assessing their experiences, attitudes, and behaviors related to student-athlete mental health (n = 190 coaches, 92% response rate). Around two-thirds of coaches were concerned about mental health issues among the students they coached. They were more likely to extend help to a struggling athlete if they were aware of their school’s mental health plan and had greater confidence related to helping, including feeling confident in their ability to identify symptoms of mental health disorders. Mental health professionals, including sport psychologists who work with or consult with coaches, are well positioned to help provide coaches with the education necessary to be able to support and encourage care seeking by athletes who are struggling with anxiety or depression.
Florence Lebrun, Áine MacNamara, Dave Collins and Sheelagh Rodgers
Little is known about the coping strategies used by elite athletes suffering from mental health issues. Therefore, this study examined coping strategies implemented by elite athletes facing clinical depression. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four elite athletes and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results present a broad picture of how elite athletes tried to cope with depression using a range of coping strategies. Among the different strategies highlighted, talking, seeking professional help and social support were particularly emphasized by the participants. Surprisingly, however, only one participant reported transferring the skills and strategies learned on her way to the top to many other aspects of her everyday life such as coping with her depression. Findings, therefore, suggest that athletes should be encouraged to transfer and make the most of the skills learned throughout their sport career to deal with their daily life. Future research perspectives and implications are discussed.