The relative performance of individuals with visual handicapping conditions in physical education is directly or indirectly associated with severity of visual impairment, gender, age, activity type, method of ambulation, and parental attitudes. Each of these influences success, extent, and/or nature of participation in physical activity, which in turn results in characteristics, limitations, abilities, and needs that must be considered in order to effectively implement physical education programs in mainstreamed settings. Several implications for mainstreaming based on research pertaining to these factors are presented.
Francis X. Short and Joseph P. Winnick
This manuscript examines the validity and reliability of the tests used to measure body composition in the Brockport Physical Fitness Test. More specifically, information is provided on skinfold measures and body mass index and their applicability to youngsters with mental retardation and mild limitations in fitness, visual impairment (blindness), cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, or congenital anomalies or amputations. The rationale for criterion-referenced standards for these test items for youngsters with these disabilities is provided along with some data on attainability of those standards. Possible ideas for future research are recommended.
Francis X. Short and Joseph P. Winnick
This article describes the procedures and rationale for the selection of test items and criterion-referenced standards associated with the aerobic functioning component of the Brockport Physical Fitness Test. Validity and reliability information is provided for the 1-mile run/walk, the PACER (16-m and 20-m), and the Target Aerobic Movement Test. The relevance of these test items and standards for youngsters with mental retardation and mild limitations in fitness, visual impairments (blindness), cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injuries, and for those with congenital anomalies or amputations is highlighted. Information on the attainability of the selected standards also is provided. Possible topics for future research are suggested.
Patricia E. Longmuir and Oded Bar-Or
This study examined gender, disability type, age, and specific diagnostic category in relation to habitual physical activity levels (HPA), perceived fitness (PF), and perceived participation limitations (PPL) of youths, ages 6 to 20 years, in Ontario, Canada. Data collected through a mailed survey (Longmuir & Bar-Or, 1994) were reanalyzed using ANOVA and chi square statistics to provide new information. The 458 girls and 499 boys were classified by disability type: physical, chronic medical, visual, and hearing. Significant differences (p < .01) were between (a) HPA and disability type, specific diagnostic category, and age; (b) PF and disability type; and (c) PPL and disability type. Gender did not influence the results. Youths with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and visual impairment had the most sedentary lifestyles.
Andrea R. Taliaferro, Lindsay Hammond and Kristi Wyant
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of completion of an adapted physical education (APE) course with an associated on-campus practicum on preservice physical educators’ self-efficacy beliefs toward the inclusion of individuals with specific disabilities (autism, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and visual impairments). Preservice students in physical education teacher education (N = 98) at a large U.S. Midwestern university enrolled in 1 of 2 separate 15-wk APE courses with an associated 9-wk practicum experience were surveyed at the beginning, middle, and conclusion of each course. Results of 4 separate 2-factor fixed-effect split-plot ANOVAs revealed significant improvements in self-efficacy beliefs from Wk 1 to Wk 8 and from Wk 1 to Wk 15 across all disability categories. Significant differences between courses were found only for autism in Time 1.
Stephanie J. Hanrahan, J. Robert Grove and Richard J. Lockwood
This paper presents the development and implementation of a psychological skills training program for blind athletes. The structure of the program was based on the personal accounts of successful athletes and the results of studies using sighted athletes. Skills designed to give insight to the body/mind relationship, raise or lower arousal levels, maintain motivation, prepare for competition, and improve problem-solving abilities were introduced to the athletes. Participants completed a self-assessment of psychological skills to determine the skill areas they had strengths in and therefore should take advantage of as well as those mental skill areas in which they could improve. A qualitative evaluation of the program is presented and recommendations for future programs are discussed. Overall, few changes were needed to accommodate for the athletes’ visual impairments.
Mary Ann Devine
College years are an experimental phase in young adulthood and can lay the foundation for lifelong behaviors. One type of behavior developed during these years is the use of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA). LTPA experiences of typical college students have been examined, but there is a lack of studies examining the experiences of students with disabilities. The purpose of this inquiry is to understand the experiences of college students with disabilities and their LTPA, with focus on factors that facilitate or create barriers to engagement. Grounded theory was used to understand LTPA with undergraduates with mobility or visual impairments. Results indicated a theme of culture of physical activity and disability as they received a message that engagement in LTPA was “unnecessary” or “heroic,” which altered their LTPA experiences. Barriers to LTPA can be understood through a social relational lens to recognize the multidimensionality of barriers and facilitators to LTPA.
Cindy H.P. Sit, Koenraad J. Lindner and Claudine Sherrill
The purpose was to examine sport participation (excluding physical education classes) of school-aged Chinese children with disabilities attending special schools in Hong Kong. A sample of 237 children, ages 9 to 19, attending 10 special schools in Hong Kong, responded to a sport participation questionnaire in individual interviews. Data were analyzed by gender, two school levels, and five disability types. Results relating to participation frequency and extent indicated that girls were significantly less active than boys. Children with physical disability, visual impairment, and mental disability were less active than children with hearing impairment and maladjustment. Children with different types of disabilities varied in their participation patterns and choices of physical activities as well as their motives for sport participation, nonparticipation, and withdrawal. We concluded that disability type is more related to children’s participation behaviors in sport and physical activities than to gender and school level.
Martin E. Block, Yeshayahu Hutzler, Sharon Barak and Aija Klavina
The purpose was to validate a self-efficacy (SE) instrument toward including students with disability in physical education (PE). Three scales referring to intellectual disabilities (ID), physical disabilities (PD), or visual impairments (VI) were administered to 486 physical education teacher education (PETE) majors. The sample was randomly split, and exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses (EFA and CFA, respectively) were conducted. After deleting items that did not meet inclusion criteria, EFA item loadings ranged from 0.53 to 0.91, and Cronbach’s alpha reliability was high (for ID = .86, PD = .90, and VI = .92). CFA showed that the ID scale demonstrated good goodness-of-fit, whereas in the PD and in the VI scales demonstrated moderate fit. Thus, the content and construct validity of the instrument was supported.
The underrepresentation of women in the Paralympics movement warrants attention as the world prepares for Atlanta 1996, when Paralympics (conducted after the Summer Olympics) will attract approximately 3,500 athletes with physical disability or visual impairment from 102 countries. Barriers that confront women with disability, the Paralympic movement, and adapted physical activity as a profession and scholarly discipline that stresses advocacy and attitude theories are presented. Two theories (reasoned action and contact) that have been tested in various contexts are woven together as an approach particularly applicable to women in sport and feminists who care about equal access to opportunity for all women. Women with disability are a social minority that is both ignored and oppressed. Sport and feminist theory and action should include disability along with gender, race/ethnicity, class, and age as concerns and issues.