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Critical Pedagogy and APA: A Resonant (and Timely) Interdisciplinary Blend

Maureen Connolly and William J. Harvey

Critical pedagogy owes much of its emergence, development, and ongoing relevance to the work of Paulo Freire whose legacy remains relevant for a next generation of scholars who seek to explore issues of inclusion, oppression, social justice, and authentic expression. An interdisciplinary dialogue between critical pedagogy and adapted physical activity is timely, appropriate, and should focus on complex profiles of neurodiversity, mental illness, and mental health, with emphasis on pedagogic practices of practitioners in service delivery and teacher educators who prepare them for professional practice. A case-based scenario approach is used to present practitioner and teacher educator practices. Concrete examples are provided for analyzing and understanding deeper issues and challenges related to neurodiversity in a variety of embodied dimensions in educational and activity contexts. We work with Szostak’s approach to interdisciplinary research and model an analysis strategy that integrates and applies the methodological features of interdisciplinarity, adapted physical activity, and critical pedagogy.

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Motor Performance of Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Preliminary Investigation

William J. Harvey and Greg Reid

The purpose of this study was to describe the fundamental gross motor skills and fitness conditions of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nineteen children, ages 7 to 12, participated. Gross motor performance was measured by the Test of Gross Motor Development (Ulrich, 1985). Fitness variables were measured by selected items from the Canada Fitness Survey (Fitness Canada, 1985), the CAHPER Fitness-Performance II Test (CAHPER, 1980), and the 20 m Shuttle Run Test (Leger, Lambert, Goulet, Rowan, & Dinelle, 1984). Percentile scores provided individual and group profiles of performance. It was concluded that fundamental gross motor performance and physical fitness of children with ADHD are substantially below average.

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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Review of Research on Movement Skill Performance and Physical Fitness

William J. Harvey and Greg Reid

The purpose of this study was to present a comprehensive review of research on the movement performance and physical fitness of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and offer research recommendations. Movement behaviors of children with ADHD were described on the basis of 49 empirical studies published between 1949 and 2002. Major results indicated that (a) children with ADHD are at risk for movement skill difficulties, (b) children with ADHD are at risk for poor levels of physical fitness, (c) comorbidity may exist between ADHD and developmental coordination disorder (DCD), and (d) few interventions have focused on movement performance and physical fitness of children with ADHD. Numerous reference citations for seminal review articles on ADHD are provided so that potential researchers or program planners might enter the vast ADHD literature with some ease.

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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: APA Research Challenges

William J. Harvey and Greg Reid

The purpose of this paper is to present a critical analysis of the research methods in adapted physical activity studies about children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The strengths and weaknesses of various research methods are discussed by (a) three main types of research questions, (b) identification and description of research participants, (c) reliability and validity of assessment instruments, (d) data collection procedures, and (e) quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis. Strategies to improve research are embedded in each of the five main categories. It is concluded that substantial methodological inconsistencies exist in the current ADHD physical activity literature base. Future research would be strengthened by incorporating recommended suggestions.

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A Scoping Review of Mixed Methods Research About Physical Activity for Children With Disabilities

Mathieu Michaud, William J. Harvey, and Gordon A. Bloom

The purpose of this scoping review was to examine how mixed methods research (MMR) has been applied in adapted physical activity (APA) research about children and adolescents age 5–18 years with a disability. Six electronic databases were searched to retrieve relevant studies published between 2003 and 2020. Sixty-four studies were identified and analyzed. The findings were organized into five categories of interest: publication information, study objectives, mixed methods research design, participants’ information, and data integration. Challenges related to the design and publication of MMR in APA were uncovered, and suggestions for improvement are provided. This study adds to the knowledge of MMR design, and it provides an understanding of the underlying processes and methodological strategies that have guided this approach in APA research. This article will encourage APA researchers to engage in MMR while also aligning future studies with contemporary MMR literature and publication standards.

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Physical Activity Experiences of Boys with and Without ADHD

William J. Harvey, Greg Reid, Gordon A. Bloom, Kerri Staples, Natalie Grizenko, Valentin Mbekou, Marina Ter-Stepanian, and Ridha Joober

Physical activity experiences of 12 age-matched boys with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were explored by converging information from Test of Gross Motor Development-2 assessments and semistructured interviews. The knowledge-based approach and the inhibitory model of executive functions, a combined theoretical lens, enabled the description of similarities and differences in experiences that emerged during interviews. Skill assessments indicated boys with ADHD were not as proficient movers as their peers without ADHD. Thematic analysis revealed that boys with ADHD reported playing with friends, paid little attention to detail, possessed superficial knowledge about movement skills, and expressed many negative feelings about physical activity. Task-specific interventions and a wider range of mixed methods research are recommended for future research studies in ADHD.