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Dean A. Zoerink

The purpose of this exploratory study was to inquire about the childhood and adolescent social and recreational experiences of adult males having congenital orthopedic disabilities, those having acquired orthopedic disabilities, and those who were able-bodied. An interview method using a prepared questionnaire was employed to collect data from 173 men, of whom 53 had congenital disabilities, 60 had acquired disabilities, and 60 were able-bodied. They ranged in age from 20 to 40 years. The analyses, using the chi-square statistic at p = .001, revealed that men with congenital disabilities differed from each of the other two groups with respect to memories of childhood social and recreational opportunities. They recalled having had more or about the same number of childhood opportunities to play with friends, be involved in active games and in outdoor activities, and play at friends’ homes. Subjects with congenital disabilities, in contrast to the others, also recalled as adolescents having had more or about the same number of opportunities to participate in active games and go to friends’ homes.

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Dean A. Zoerink and Joseph Wilson

The twofold purpose of this study was (a) to determine the perspectives held by athletes with mental retardation relative to competitiveness, winning, and setting goals in competitive team sports situations and (b) to explore differences between male and female athletes with mental retardation and their counterparts without disabilities regarding their perceptions of competitiveness, winning, and setting goals in team sports environments. Of the 402 subjects who completed the Sport Orientation Questionnaire-Form B (Gill & Deeter, 1988), 288 were male and female athletes with mental retardation who participated in team sports at the 1991 International Special Olympic Games. They were compared with 114 university team sports athletes without disabilities. Analyses of variance revealed that, regardless of disability status, young men viewed themselves to be more competitive than their female counterparts. The findings also indicated that male athletes with mental retardation were more competitive than other athletes and that male athletes without disabilities perceived winning to be more important than did athletes with mental retardation.