The inclusion of able-bodied athletes within disability sport, a phenomenon known as reverse integration, has sparked significant debate within adapted physical activity. Although researchers and practitioners have taken up positions for or against reverse integration, there is a lack of supporting research on the experiences of athletes who already play in such settings. In this study, we explore how competitive female athletes who have a disability experience reverse integration in Canadian wheelchair basketball. Athletic identity was used as the initial conceptual framework to guide semistructured interviews with nine participants. The results suggest that participation in this context contributed to positive athletic identities. Interviews also pointed to the unexpected theme of “what’s the difference?” that this sporting context provided a space for the questioning and creative negotiation of the categories of disability and able-bodiedness. Methodologically, this paper also explores the possibilities and challenges of inter- worldview and insider-outsider research collaboration.
Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere and Danielle Peers
Katrina Wynnyk and Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore children with disabilities’ social relationships and motivation to take part in sledge hockey. Harter’s (1978) theory of Competence Motivation was used as the conceptual framework. Ten children (1 girl and 9 boys) between ages 11–16 years, who experienced a range of disabilities, participated. Primary data were collected using semistructured interviews, participant observations, and field and reflective notes. The thematic analysis led to four themes: (a) coach feedback, (b) parental involvement, (c) skill and belonging, and (d) (dis)ability sport. The findings revealed that interactions with significant others contributed extensively to the participant’s perceptions of competence and motivation to participate, as did the sport’s competitive nature. The findings are discussed in the context of Harter’s theory and the children’s sport and adapted physical activity inclusion literature.
Christina C. Loitz and Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere
Despite the health benefits associated with physical activity participation, activity levels of North American children are declining. In response, practitioners are placing emphasis on active forms of transportation to and from school. The purpose of this study was to explore the barriers and facilitators to active transportation to school (ATS) from the perspectives of practitioners.
The perspectives of 19 practitioners (eg, health promoters, traffic engineers, police, etc.) from 3 communities in Alberta, Canada were captured using focus group interviews followed by content analysis.
Subthemes tied to barriers included logistics, lifestyle, safety, and lack of resources; while facilitators were comprised of collaboration, education, and leadership. The results were interpreted using an ecological model of health behavior.
The most common ATS barriers: attitudes and safety concerns, lack of resources and time, and the nature of the natural and built environments were associated with the intrapersonal, organizational, and physical environmental factors, respectively. The most significant organizational facilitators concerned collaboration among parents, schools, businesses, community organizations, and government agencies. While the multifaceted nature of barriers and facilitators add complexity to the issue, it also challenges practitioners to think and act creatively in finding solutions.
Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere and Mary Ann Rintoul
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the phenomenon of alienation in physical education from the perspectives of children. Of particular interest were children’s perspectives about the three constructs of alienation: (a) powerlessness, (b) meaninglessness, and (c) social isolation, as defined by Carlson (1995). A case study methodology was employed with sixth grade children (ages 10 and 11), with a total of 14 children forming the unit of analysis. Observations, field and reflective notes, drawings and semistructured interviews were used to triangulate the data. The data were analyzed by employing a continuum of inductive and deductive analysis, using categorical aggregation and direct interpretation. Three themes were identified as representative of the children’s perspectives: (a) degree of control, (b) meaning, and (c) social factors. The results are discussed in relation to their contribution to the understanding of alienation in children’s physical education and implications for practice.
Danielle Peers, Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere, and Lindsay Eales
Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly (APAQ) currently mandates that authors use person-first language in their publications. In this viewpoint article, we argue that although this policy is well intentioned, it betrays a very particular cultural and disciplinary approach to disability: one that is inappropriate given the international and multidisciplinary mandate of the journal. Further, we contend that APAQ’s current language policy may serve to delimit the range of high-quality articles submitted and to encourage both theoretical inconsistency and the erasure of the ways in which research participants self-identify. The article begins with narrative accounts of each of our negotiations with disability terminology in adapted physical activity research and practice. We then provide historical and theoretical contexts for person-first language, as well as various other widely circulated alternative English-language disability terminology. We close with four suggested revisions to APAQ’s language policy.
Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere and E. Jane Watkinson
This study explored the perspectives of children with disabilities regarding the concept of inclusion in physical activity. Participants were children (two girls, nine boys, Mage = 10 years, five months, age range: 8–12 years) with disabilities, including cerebral palsy, fine and gross motor delays, developmental coordination disorder, muscular dystrophy, nemaline myopathy, brachial plexus injury, and severe asthma. Children’s perspectives on inclusion in physical activity (e.g., sports, games, and play) were explored through semistructured interviews. Interviews were digitally audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed through content analysis. Three themes emerged from the data: gaining entry to play, feeling like a legitimate participant, and having friends. These themes were associated with feeling included to varying degrees in sports, games, and play. In essence, it was the actions of others that were the prominent features identified by children that contributed to feeling more or less included in physical activity contexts. These results are discussed in relation to inclusion in physical education, recreation, and unstructured free play.