The unqualified use of statistical significance tests for interpreting the results of empirical research has been called into question by researchers in a number of behavioral disciplines. This paper reviews what statistical significance tells us and what it does not, with particular attention paid to criticisms of using the results of these tests as the sole basis for evaluating the overall significance of research findings. In addition, implications for adapted physical activity research are discussed. Based on the recent literature of other disciplines, several recommendations for evaluating and reporting research findings are made. They include calculating and reporting effect sizes, selecting an alpha level larger than the conventional .05 level, placing greater emphasis on replication of results, evaluating results in a sample size context, and employing simple research designs. Adapted physical activity researchers are encouraged to use specific modifiers when describing findings as significant.
Vinson H. Sutlive and Dale A. Ulrich
Greg Reid, Marcel Bouffard and Catherine MacDonald
Professional practice guided by the best research evidence is a usually referred to as evidence-based practice. The aim of the present paper is to describe five fundamental beliefs of adapted physical activity practices that should be considered in an 8-step research model to create evidence-based research in adapted physical activity. The five beliefs are individualization, critical thinking, self-determination, program effectiveness, and multifactor complexity. The research model includes conceptualize the problem, conduct research on the process of the problem, conceptualize and specify the intervention, evaluate intervention outcomes, evaluate intervention processes, determine person-by-treatment interactions, determine context-dependent limitations, and investigate factors related to intervention adoption maintenance. The eight steps are explained with reference to two research programs that used a randomized control group design.
April Tripp and Claudine Sherrill
This paper emphasizes that attitude research in adapted physical education must become increasingly theory oriented. Likewise, teacher training must broaden to include scholarly study in relation to social psychology and attitude theory. To facilitate progress in this direction, nine attitude theories have been abstracted from the literature and reviewed under four general headings: learning-behavior theories, cognitive integration theories, consistency theories, and reasoned action theory. Individual theories presented are (a) contact, (b) mediated generalization, (c) assimilation-contrast or persuasive communication, (d) stigma, (e) interpersonal relations, (f) group dynamics, (g) cognitive dissonance, and (h) reasoned action. Illustrations of how each theory applies to selected studies in adapted physical education research and practice are offered, and a lengthy reference list provides both primary and secondary sources for the further study of attitudes.
Rebecca K. Lytle and Doug Collier
The purpose was to examine adapted physical education (APE) specialists’ perceptions about consultation as a delivery model for individuals with disabilities. Six APE specialists (4 female, 2 male) from California participated in this phenomenological study. Data came from in-depth individual interviews, field observations, researcher notes, and focus group interactions. Analysis revealed distinct categories related to consultation: definition, contextual factors, effectiveness (benefits, barriers, documentation), competency, training, and consultation model preferences. Consultation interactions varied greatly because of the dynamic nature of the educational environment. The use of consultation was more prevalent with middle and high school students. Adapted physical education consultation occurred on a continuum from proximal to distal, dependent on the degree of interaction between the APE specialist, the general education (GE) teacher, and the student. The effectiveness of consultation was dependent upon the GE teacher’s attitude and the APE specialist’s communication skills and competencies.
John O’Connor, Ron French, Claudine Sherrill and Garth Babcock
The purpose was to determine whether publications pertaining to adapted physical activity (APA) pedagogy in the core serials from 1988 to 1998 adhere to library science laws. A bibliometric analysis was conducted on 770 articles in 259 serials selected from 4,130 serials initially identified in four databases (Article First, ERIC, Medline, Sport Discus). Results indicated that 1,720 authors have constructed the early APA pedagogy literature. Of these, only 11 contributed four or more articles. The scatter of APA pedagogy literature over four zones, with 4, 15, 64, and 176 journals in the zones, respectively, supports Bradford’s law of scattering. Price’s law was not supported because most authors contributed only one article. Most pedagogy articles (n = 184) were published in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, Physician and Sports Medicine, and Palaestra. Graduate education should include exposure to bibliometrics and collaboration with library and information science specialists.
Pilvikki Heikinaro-Johansson, Claudine Sherrill, Ronald French and Heikki Huuhka
The purpose of this research was to develop and test an adapted physical education consultant model to assist regular elementary school classroom teachers to include children with special needs into regular physical education. The consultation model consisted of (a) Level 1, conducting a needs assessment, (b) Level 2, designing/implementing the program, and (c) Level 3, evaluating the program. The model was tested in two communities in Finland using the intensive and the limited consulting approaches. Data collection methods included videotaped observations of teacher and students, interviews, dialogue at interdisciplinary team meetings, and journals. Results are presented as case studies, which describe the process and product over a 2-month period of model implementation. Analysis of data indicate that classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, and students benefited from the consultant model. The adapted physical education consultant model appears to be a viable approach in facilitating the integration of children with special needs.
Natalie Skinner and Neil Brewer
The influence of negative emotions such as anxiety on athletes’ preparation and performance has been studied extensively. The focus of this review is on more adaptive approaches to competition such as the experience of positive emotion and beneficial perceptions of emotion. Evidence on the antecedents and adaptive consequences of positive emotions is reviewed, and implications for research and practice in a sport context are suggested. We focus on the cognitive appraisal of challenge as a significant antecedent of both positive emotion and beneficial perceptions of emotion. A theoretical model of beneficial and harmful perceptions of emotion is presented which incorporates appraisals of challenge, coping expectancies, and valence (positive vs. negative) of emotion. Research that supports the model is reviewed, and implications for research, coaching, and training in the sport context are suggested.
Glenda Adams and Trudy Younger
Adapted physical education teachers usually work in a setting in which the instruction of handicapped students is highly individualized. Thus, they need to have skills that focus on personal as well as movement characteristics. It is suggested that an understanding of the role of counselor, and of the specific means of counseling, would enable the teachers to work more effectively with their students and their other colleagues.
Patricia I. Hogan
A prominent theme of educational reform involves focusing on developing students’ thinking abilities. This theme is germane to improving the quality of teacher preparation programs in all subject areas including adapted physical education (APE). Perhaps schools of education in general and APE teacher preparation programs in particular can learn from some progressive and prominent medical schools regarding the development of curricula, programs, and experiences to improve quality of personnel. These medical schools have introduced a conceptually significant innovation—the problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum. It is the purpose of this article to introduce the concept of PBL as a potential model for graduate level personnel preparation in APE.
Geoffrey D. Broadhead and Allen W. Burton
In this opinion paper, we pose the question whether the current generation of scholars have taken advantage of the rich legacy of early adapted physical activity (APA) research. We believe that this legacy often has been ignored, even though it holds many treasures waiting to be rediscovered. We begin with a brief description of the knowledge base in APA prior to 1980, then evaluate the present recognition of past research contributions. Finally, we recommend how students, professionals, and researchers might be encouraged to take advantage of the vast body of literature in APA and related fields.