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Nancie H. Herbold, Bridget K. Visconti, Susan Frates and Linda Bandini

This study examined the traditional (single and multivitamin/mineral supplements) and nontraditional supplement (herbals, botanicals, and other biologic and nutrient supplements) use by female athletes. Frequency, reasons for use, and sources of supplement information were assessed with a self-report questionnaire. Participants were 162 collegiate female varsity athletes. More than half of all athletes used some type of supplement at least once a month (65.4%). Thirty-six percent (n = 58) of the sample used a multivitamin and mineral with iron. Twelve percent (n = 19) reported amino acid/protein supplement use and 17% (n = 29) used an herbal/botanical supplement. The most frequently cited reason for supplement use was “good health” (60.1%). A major source of information on supplements reported was family (53%). With the general rise in supplement use, nutrition education on the use of traditional and non-traditional supplements is warranted.

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Aviva Must, Sarah Phillips, Carol Curtin and Linda G. Bandini

Background:

Individual, social, and community barriers to physical activity (PA) experienced by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make PA participation more difficult and may contribute to increased screen time.

Methods:

We compared the prevalence of parent-reported barriers to PA among 58 typically developing (TD) children and 53 children with an ASD, 3 to 11 years, and assessed the association between barriers and PA participation and screen time among children with ASD.

Results:

Parents of children with ASD reported significantly more barriers than parents of TD children. Based on parent-report, 60% of children with ASD required too much supervision compared with no TD children (P < .001). Parents of children with ASD were more likely to report that adults lack skills needed to include their child (58%), that their child has few friends (45%), and that other children exclude their child (23%). The number of parent-reported barriers to PA was inversely correlated with the hours spent in PA per year (r = −0.27, P = .05) and positively related to total screen time (r = .32, P < .03).

Conclusions:

These findings underscore the need for community-based PA programs designed to meet the special requirements of this population and policies that compel schools and other government-supported organizations for inclusion and/or targeted programming.

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Heidi Stanish, Carol Curtin, Aviva Must, Sarah Phillips, Melissa Maslin and Linda Bandini

The authors compared physical activity enjoyment, perceived barriers, beliefs, and self-efficacy between adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing (TD) adolescents. A questionnaire was verbally administered to 35 adolescents with ASD and 60 TD adolescents. Compared with TD adolescents, fewer adolescents with ASD enjoyed team sports (65% vs. 95%, p < .001) and physical education (84% vs. 98%, p = .02). A greater proportion of adolescents with ASD perceived that physical activities were too hard to learn (16% vs. 0%, p < .01), and fewer believed that physical activity was a way to make friends (68% vs. 97%, p < .001). Fewer adolescents with ASD preferred to do physical activity in their free time (25% vs. 58%, p < .01). Most adolescents with ASD felt that physical activity is fun (84%), but the proportion was lower than in TD adolescents (98%, p = .03). Some perceptions about physical activity were similar between the 2 groups, but differences identified may inform program development.

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Heidi I. Stanish, Carol Curtin, Aviva Must, Sarah Phillips, Melissa Maslin and Linda G. Bandini

Background:

Youths with intellectual disabilities (ID) exhibit low levels of physical activity, but the underlying contributors to behavior are unclear. We compared physical activity enjoyment, perceived barriers, beliefs, and self-efficacy among adolescents with ID and typically developing (TD) adolescents.

Methods:

A questionnaire was administered to 38 adolescents with ID (mean age, 16.8 years) and 60 TD adolescents (mean age, 15.3 years). Of the original 33 questionnaire items, 23 met the test-retest reliability criteria and were included in the group comparisons.

Results:

Fewer adolescents with ID reported that they have someone with whom to do physical activity (64% vs 93%: P < .001), and a greater percentage of adolescents with ID perceived that physical activities were too hard to learn (41% vs 0%; P < .001). Fewer adolescents with ID believed that physical activity would be good for their health (92% vs 100%; P = .05). More adolescents with ID reported a dislike of individual physical activities (P = .02). A large percentage of adolescents with ID (84%) responded that they were good at doing physical activities, but the difference between groups was only of borderline significance (95% of TD adolescents, P = .06).

Conclusions:

Adolescents shared many of the same perceptions about physical activity, but some important differences between groups were identified.