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E.J. Watkinson and D.L. Wasson

The individualized nature of instructional programs for the mentally handicapped often makes group designs inappropriate in adapted physical activity research. Single-subject time-series designs are suitable for use in investigating the acquisition, maintenance, and generalization of motor skills when the research involves small numbers of subjects. These designs require the collection of data before, and during or after treatment. Three single-subject time-series designs are described and illustrated with data from studies in the PREP Play Program, an instructional program for young mentally handicapped children at the University of Alberta. The simple time-series design has severe limitations for use as a research tool, but is appropriate for use by teachers or practitioners who are monitoring previously tested treatments in physical activity programs. The repeated time-series or reversal design can be used to investigate the maintenance or generalization of effects after treatments are withdrawn. The multiplebaseline design is recommended for researchers or practitioners who wish to assess the effects of instructional programs on different subjects or different dependent variables.

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Emily Cole, Terry M. Wood and John M. Dunn

Tests constructed using item response theory (IRT) produce invariant item and test parameters, making it possible to construct tests and test items useful over many populations. This paper heuristically and empirically compares the utility of classical test theory (CTT) and IRT using psychomotor skill data. Data from the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD) (Ulrich, 1985) were used to assess the feasibility of fitting existing IRT models to dichotomously scored psychomotor skill data. As expected, CTT and IRT analyses yielded parallel interpretations of item and subtest difficulty and discrimination. However, IRT provided significant additional analysis of the error associated with estimating examinee ability. The IRT two-parameter logistic model provided a superior model fit to the one-parameter logistic model. Although both TGMD subtests estimated ability for examinees of low to average ability, the object control subtest estimated examinee ability more precisely at higher difficulty levels than the locomotor subtest. The results suggest that IRT is particularly well suited to construct tests that can meet the challenging measurement demands of adapted physical education.

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Yvon Brenière

The principles of direct dynamics and oscillating systems have been used to study the development of gait parameters in children, with respect to their kinetic consequences on the oscillations of body center of mass (CM). In particular the equations established (a) a natural body frequency (NBF), a body parameter specific to oscillating movements which is invariant for adults and decreases with age for children, and (b) the amplitude ratio of CM to center-of-foot pressure (CP) oscillations as a parametric function of the step frequency, whose parameter is the NBF. This function was used to analyze the development of gait locomotors with respect to their kinetic effects on balance in the frontal plane. Five children were examined longitudinally during their first 5 years of independent walking (IW), and two cross-sectional groups between 5 and 7 years of IW were also considered. The results showed a shift toward the low end of step frequency bands as the NBF decreased along with in variances in the amplitudes of CM oscillation in both the frontal and sagittal planes, regardless of age and gait velocity. The biomechanical meaning of the NBF, of its decrease and of postural invariances associated with the decrease of the frequency, are discussed as well how the programming of locomotor parameters adapts to changes in body structure during gait development.

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Debbie Van Biesen, Joeri Verellen, Christophe Meyer, Jennifer Mactavish, Peter Van de Vliet and Yves Vanlandewijck

In this study the ability of elite table tennis players with intellectual disability (ID) to adapt their service/return to specific ball spin characteristics was investigated. This was done by examining the performance of 39 players with ID and a reference group of 8 players without ID on a standardized table tennis specific test battery. The battery included 16 sets of 15 identical serves that had to be returned to a fixed target, and two additional tests measuring reaction time and upper limb speed. A 2 × 4 ANOVA (with group and type of spin as independent variables) with repeated measurements (15 consecutive returns) supported the hypothesis that elite table tennis players with ID were significantly less proficient than their counterparts without ID, but both groups demonstrated a comparable progression in learning. Spearman correlation coefficients indicated a positive relationship between accuracy of return and upper limb speed (rho = 0.42: p < .05) and reaction time (rho = 0.41: p < .05), showing that these generic factors are useful in partially explaining skill variations in specific sports.

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Helen L. Rogers, Ronita L. Cromwell and James L. Grady

The study proposed to identify balance strategies used by younger and older adults during gait under proprioceptive, visual, and simultaneous proprioceptive-visual challenges. Participants ambulated under 4 conditions: consistent, noncompliant surface; inconsistent, compliant surface (C); consistent, noncompliant surface with vision obscured (NCVO); and inconsistent, compliant surface with vision obscured (CVO). Balance adaptations were measured as changes in gait velocity, cadence, and gait-stability ratio (GSR). Participants were 5 younger (mean age = 27.2) and 5 older (mean age = 68) healthy adults. Significant age differences were found for GSR (p = .03) on all surfaces. Older adults adopted a more stable gait pattern than younger adults regardless of the challenge presented by surface. Significant condition differences were found for velocity (p < .001) and cadence (p = .001). All participants exhibited significantly decreased velocity and increased cadence on surfaces C and CVO. Gait speed and cadence did not significantly change in NCVO. Younger and older adults exhibited similar adaptive balance strategies, slowing and increasing steps/s, under proprioceptive and proprioceptive-visual challenges to dynamic balance.

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Paul M. Wright, Katherine White and Deborah Gaebler-Spira

The purpose of this study was to examine the application of the Personal and Social Responsibility Model (PSRM) in an adapted physical activity program. Although the PSRM was developed for use with underserved youth, scholars in the field of adapted physical activity have noted its potential relevance for children with disabilities. Using a collective case study, we explored the relevance and perceived benefits of the PSRM in an adapted martial arts program. Participants were five male children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. Data sources included observational field notes, medical records, and interviews with participants’ physicians, therapists, and parents. The following themes were generated from the data: increased sense of ability, positive feelings about the program, positive social interactions, and therapeutic relevance. These results indicate that the PSRM can be made relevant to children with disabilities, especially when coupled with appealing and therapeutically relevant content.

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Kevin Hull and Miles Romney

things (“I’m actually enjoying what’s happening right now with my work”) and were able to adapt quickly and come up with enough creative stories to last for that month. However, future researchers may wish to revisit this study if the shutdown continues into many more months. It is possible that the

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Jo E. Cowden, Jennifer Wright and Sue A. Gant

Litigation has been a major reason for the expansion of services in physical education and recreation for handicapped individuals. Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped children Act, 1975, mandated that physical education was an instructional service to be included in the child’s individual education program. Progress has been made throughout the nation in program implementation, however, educators are often met with strong opposition regarding certification standards, endorsements, or competency based plans to improve delivery of services. This recent class action suit has major implications for the rights of handicapped individuals and improvement of service delivery systems. The purpose of this article is to review the civil suit and to describe the changes which have occurred in services for the handicapped with specific emphasis on adapted physical education, recreation, and leisure.

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Claudine Sherrill