The study assessed parental perceptions of the benefits of physical activity (PA) and the factors that influence participation of children with autism spectrum disorders in PA after school. Data were collected from 103 parents using an online open-ended questionnaire and focus-group interviews. Data were analyzed using a socioecological model. Parents provided 225 responses that were coded as advantages, 106 as disadvantages, 225 as facilitators, and 250 as barriers of PA. The most frequently reported advantages were physical, followed by psychosocial, and cognitive. Disadvantages were psychosocial and physical. The most frequently reported barriers were intrapersonal, followed by interpersonal, physical, community, and institutional. Facilitators were intrapersonal, followed by physical, interpersonal, community, and institutional. Public policy factors were elicited in the interviews.
Iva Obrusnikova and Dannielle L. Miccinello
Martin E. Block and Iva Obrusnikova
The purpose of the review is to critically analyze English-written research articles pertaining to inclusion of students with disabilities in physical education published in professional journals both within and outside of the United States from 1995-2005. Each study included in this review had to meet seven a priori criteria. Findings of the 38 selected studies were divided into six focus areas: (a) support, (b) affects on peers without disabilities, (c) attitudes and intentions of children without disabilities, (d) social interactions, (e) ALT-PE of students with disabilities, and (f) training and attitudes of GPE teachers. Recommendations for future practice and research are embedded throughout the article.
Iva Obrusnikova and Suzanna R. Dillon
As the first step of an instrument development, teaching challenges that occur when students with autism spectrum disorders are educated in general physical education were elicited using Goldfried and D’Zurilla’s (1969) behavioral-analytic model. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 43 certified physical educators (29 women and 14 men) using a demographic questionnaire and an elicitation questionnaire. Participants listed 225 teaching challenges, 46% related to cooperative, 31% to competitive, and 24% to individualistic learning situations. Teaching challenges were categorized into nine themes: inattentive and hyperactive behaviors, social impairment, emotional regulation difficulties, difficulties understanding and performing tasks, narrow focus and inflexible adherence to routines and structure, isolation by classmates, negative effects on classmates’ learning, and need for support.
Iva Obrusnikova and Suzanna Rocco Dillon
The study investigated beliefs and physical education goals associated with intentions of students without disabilities to play with a hypothetical peer with a physical disability in general physical education (GPE). The Children’s Intentions to Play with Peers with Disabilities in Middle School Physical Education (CBIPPD-MPE), the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Scale-9, and the Social Goal Scale were administered to a convenience sample of 359 participants. Structural equation modeling analyses indicated that social goals and task-involved goals significantly contributed (p < .01) to positive behavioral, normative, and control beliefs. In addition, the three beliefs significantly contributed (p < .01) to participants’ intentions. Females had significantly higher intentions, behavioral beliefs, and social goals, whereas males had significantly higher ego-involved goals (p < .05). The findings offer empirical support for consideration of social and achievement goal theories and gender in the CBIPPD-MPE model.
Iva Obrusníková, Hana Válková and Martin E. Block
The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the impact of including a student who uses a wheelchair and is given no direct support in a 4th grade general physical education (GPE) class on students without disabilities. Using an evaluate case study research method, data were collected in the beginning and end of a 2-week GPE volleyball unit from 2 intact elementary school classes using 2 attitude inventories, volleyball skills, and knowledge test. Results indicated no significant class difference in volleyball skill and knowledge acquisitions. Overall, attitudes toward including a student with a disability tended to be positive in both classes. In addition, there was no significant time difference within the classes on either attitude inventory.
Iva Obrusnikova, Martin Block and Suzanna Dillon
Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991) was used to elicit salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs of children without disabilities toward playing with a hypothetical peer with a disability in general physical education. Participants were 350 elementary and middle school students who completed two questionnaires. Questionnaires were assessed for content validity. Participants provided more affective (68%) than instrumental (32%) responses for favorable behavioral beliefs and more instrumental (76%) than affective (24%) responses for unfavorable beliefs. Peer social pressure was prevalent in favorable (69%) and unfavorable (99%) responses. Social pressure significantly varied across five grades, χ2(4, N = 448) = 40.51, p < .01. Participants responded many factors in the class would positively (76%) or negatively (89%) influence the behavior.
Phil Esposito, Iva Obrusnikova and Daniel W. Tindall
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.