The purpose was to examine attitudes of aquatic instructors (female, n = 59; male, n = 23) toward teaching swimming to students with mild to severe disabilities in an inclusive setting. Aquatic instructors from 28 states representing 75 cities across the U.S. participated in this study. Data were collected by mail with a modified version of Rizzo’s (1984) “Attitudes of Physical Educators Toward Teaching Handicapped Pupils” (renamed “Physical Educators’ Attitudes Toward Teaching Individuals with Disabilities - Swim”). A correlated t test showed that aquatic instructors were significantly more favorable toward teaching aquatics to students with mild disabilities than students with severe disabilities. Stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated that conducting an inclusive aquatic program was the best predictor of favorable attitudes toward including students with mild disabilities, while having more certifications in aquatics was the best predictor of favorable attitudes toward including students with severe disabilities in regular aquatic programs.
Phillip Conatser, Martin Block and Monica Lepore
Phillip Conatser, Martin Block and Bruce Gansneder
The purpose was to (a) examine aquatic instructors’ beliefs (female, n = 82; male, n = 29) about teaching swimming to individuals with disabilities in inclusive settings and (b) test the theory of planned behavior model (Ajzen, 1985, 1988, 2001). Aquatic instructors from 25 states representing 122 cities across the U.S. participated in this study. The instrument, named Aquatic Instructors’ Beliefs Toward Inclusion (AIBTI), was an extended version of the Physical Educators’ Attitudes Toward Teaching Individuals with Disabilities— Swim (Conatser, Block, & Lepore, 2000). A correlated t test showed aquatic instructors’ beliefs (attitudes toward the behavior, normative beliefs, perceived behavioral control, intention, behavior) were significantly more favorable toward teaching aquatics to individuals with mild disabilities than individuals with severe disabilities. Stepwise multiple regression showed perceived behavioral control and attitude significantly predicted intention, and intention predicted instructors’ inclusive behavior for both disability groups. Further, results indicated the theory of planned behavior predicts aquatic instructors’ behavior better than the theory of reasoned action.