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Ted Baumgartner and Michael Horvat

The primary purpose of this investigation was to determine the reliability of cardiovascular running tests for individuals with mild and moderate mental retardation. A secondary purpose was to determine whether cardiovascular running tests had some degree of validity in that running times for these tests tended to be in excess of 6 minutes. Data for eight groups were analyzed. Times for the distance runs ranged from 51 to 914 seconds while reliability ranged from .25 to .94, depending on the group. Based on the findings for the groups and distances used in this study, the following conclusions seem justified: (a) Distance run tests of 300 to 880 yds may be reasonably reliable for rank ordering subjects in terms of scores on these tests; (b) distance run tests of 300 or 600 yds are not valid measures of cardiovascular endurance for individuals with mental retardation; and (c) a distance run test of 880 yds may be valid as a measure of cardiovascular endurance.

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Ronald Croce and Michael Horvat

The present study evaluated the effects of a reinforcement based aerobic and resistance exercise program on three obese men with mental retardation and below average fitness levels. A multiple-baseline-across-subjects design was employed to evaluate treatment effectiveness and retention of treatment effects on five dependent measures: body weight, percent body fat (body composition), oxygen consumption (predicted max V̇O2 in ml/kg/min), composite isometric strength (in kg of force), and work productivity (pieces of work completed). Subjects improved during treatment from their baseline scores on cardiovascular fitness, strength, and work productivity measurements (p<.05); however, retention of gains made during treatment were inconsistent and the data that indicated subjects’ scores were regressing back toward baseline measurements. There were no significant differences for body weight and percent body fat measurements for treatment and retention phases (p>.05). Results indicated that adults with mental retardation respond to a progressive exercise program in much the same manner as their nonretarded peers and that such an exercise program can facilitate job performance.

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Frank E. Seagraves and Michael Horvat

The purpose of this investigation was to compare isometric test procedures (make vs. break tests by muscle groups) with elementary school girls, ages 9–11, using hand-held dynamometry. Fifty subjects in Grades 3 and 4 performed three trials on four muscle groups using each testing procedure following a preliminary session to allow familiarity with the instrumentation, test procedures, and test positions. Retest measurements were taken in 5–7 days with the order of the test procedures counterbalanced. Four 2 × 2 (Side × Test Condition) AM0VAs, with repeated measures on each-factor, were used to analyze the data. Significant Side × Test Condition interaction effects were evident for knee extension, elbow flexion, and shoulder abduction. Except for the knee extension, the break test produced higher values than the make test in all muscle groups, which is in agreement with previous investigations.

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Peter Aufsesser, Michael Horvat and Ron Croce

This paper provides a critical review of objective hand-held dynamometers (HHDs) in assessing muscle strength in children and individuals with disabilities. In the past few years, numerous studies have examined the reliability and validity of HHDs as an objective method of measuring muscle strength. However, the standardization of testing protocols, which is paramount for the effective use of HHDs in clinical and educational settings, is lacking. This paper compares two commonly used HHDs, the Nicholas Manual Muscle Tester and Microfet, to provide the practitioner with the most current information.

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Jiabei Zhang, Michael Horvat and David L. Gast

It is imperative that teachers utilize effective and efficient instructional strategies to teach task-analyzed gross motor skills in physical education activities to individuals with severe disabilities. The purpose of this paper is to describe the constant time delay procedure, which has been shown to be effective in teaching task-analyzed fine motor skills in daily living and safety activities. In this article, guidelines are presented for teaching task-analyzed gross motor skills to individuals with severe intellectual disabilities. These guidelines are based on a review of the constant time delay procedure reported in the special education literature and current research being conducted by the authors.

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Keith Henschen, Michael Horvat and Ron French

The purpose of this study was to visually compare the psychological profile of 33 male wheelchair athletes who competed in track and field events, with previous results of able-bodied athletes. Based on the data gathered using the Profile of Mood States and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory the wheelchair athletes demonstrated a profile similar to that of able-bodied athletes. This finding was discussed in terms of mental skills that may be developed by wheelchair athletes because of their injuries, possible influence of medication, and higher level of demonstrated anger.

Considering that the human body is made for movement, it is a universally accepted fact that sports are one of the activities that are extremely healthy for man. Unlike the machines invented by man, the human machine deteriorates with inactivity. (Monnazzi, 1982, p. 85)

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Jiabei Zhang, Daniel Joseph and Michael Horvat

The purpose was to investigate marketable features of the adapted physical education (APE) career in higher education. A total of 560 APE job openings (297 APE first priority and 263 APE second priority were identified from the Chronicle of Higher Education between 1975–1976 and 1997–1998. These data were analyzed by regression, chi-square, and descriptive statistics. The results indicate that the APE career is a growing employment market demanding candidates who specialize in APE to prepare in one or more other areas and encouraging candidates who specialize in other areas to minor in APE. The market shows that APE second priority openings increase more quickly than APE first priority openings. Personnel for the APE career in higher education appear to be in short supply.

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Christopher Ray, Michael Horvat, Michael Williams and Bruce Blasch

The purpose of this investigation was to assess movement capabilities of adults with visual impairments in comparison to sighted peers. Thirty participants (n = 15 visually impaired; n = 15 without vision loss) were age and gender matched and assesed on three functional movement measures. A Walk Across, Forward Lunge, and Sit to Stand were completed on a long force plate and analyzed using Group MANOVAs. Individuals with visual impairment were more cautious and conservative in their movement as evident by signifigantly reduced performance on both the Walk Across assessment and the Forward Lunge task. Performance between groups was similar on the Sit to Stand manuver. It was concluded that individuals with visual impairments are more cautious and have more difficulty performing tasks when their center of gravity is outside of their base of support.

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Michael Horvat, Glenn Roswal, Ron Croce and Frank Seagraves

The purpose of the investigation was to use hand-held dynamometry to compare a single trial versus maximal or mean values of muscular strength in individuals with mental retardation. Twenty-three subjects classified as moderately mentally retarded (12 male, 11 female) performed three trials on six muscle groups. The magnitudes of the first, maximal, and mean isometric force across muscle groups were compared using a repeated measures analysis of variance and the Greenhouse-Geiser adjustment for the critical level of significance. Data analysis revealed a significant main muscle group effect and measurement score effect, but no significant differences between a single trial and mean of three trials. However, there was a significant difference between the first or mean scores and maximal scores. Intraclass correlation coefficients demonstrated consistency across muscle groups. Findings support the use of a single trial or mean of three trials to document muscular strength in individuals with mental retardation.

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Joe R. Nocera, Michael Horvat and Christopher T. Ray

This study explored the functional movement task of stepping up and over an obstacle in individuals with Parkinson’s disease to their aged-matched controls. Ten participants with Parkinson’s disease and 10 aged matched participants were assessed on the Step Up/Over task completed on a NeuroCom EquiTest long force-plate and analyzed using Group MANOVAs. The results indicate that individuals with Parkinson’s disease produce less lifting force and exhibited an increased time to complete the task of stepping up and over an object when compared with their aged matched peers. Considering the substantial risk of falls demonstrated in this population these preliminary finding demonstrate the need for interventions aimed at improving this component of function.