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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or reversal design can be used to investigate the maintenance or generalization of effects after treatments are withdrawn.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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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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I. Roy Hunter, Ronald P. Reynolds and M. Laura Williams

The purpose of this article is to introduce practitioners involved in the provision of adapted activity service to the elaboration model of data analysis. The authors contend that the use of the elaboration model for the analysis of program evaluation data: (a) can be used by activity specialists who do not have extensive training in statistics, and (b) can increase the potential for the production of empirically based programmatic recommendations from such data.

The example presented herein involves the secondary analysis of data collected during the evaluation of a child life activity program. The original study concluded that the children studied showed less regressive behavior on nights that the child life program was offered. The findings from the secondary analysis enabled the identification of children who were: (a) more likely to experience regressive behavior, and (b) more likely to be responsive to existing child life programs. It was concluded that the use of the elaboration model significantly increased the value of recommendations which were derived from the data.

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Antoni Sureda, Miguel D. Ferrer, Antonia Mestre, Josep A. Tur and Antoni Pons

The authors studied the effects of antioxidant diet supplementation with an almond-based beverage on neutrophil antioxidants, nitrite, and protein oxidative alterations after exercise. Fourteen trained male amateur runners were randomly assigned in a double-blind fashion to receive antioxidant supplementation (152 mg/d vitamin C and 50 mg/d vitamin E) or placebo using an almond-based beverage for 1 mo and participated in a half-marathon race. Blood samples were taken before and after the half-marathon and after 3 hr recovery. Supplementation significantly increased basal neutrophil vitamin C compared with placebo (p < .05). Exercise increased neutrophil vitamin E levels in the supplemented group and decreased vitamin C in both groups after recovery (p < .05). Neutrophil catalase and glutathione peroxidase gene expression and nitrite levels were significantly increased as result of exercise (p < .05). Nitrotyrosine and protein carbonyl derivates increased only in the placebo group after exercise (p < .05), and these values remained high at recovery. No significant differences were evidenced in caspase-3 activity and DNA damage. Antioxidant supplementation with vitamins C and E reduced the exercise-induced oxidation of proteins in neutrophils, without altering the antioxidant adaptive response, as evidenced by the increased catalase and glutathione peroxidase gene expression.

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Claudine Sherrill

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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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E. Jane Watkinson and Sock Miang Koh

Moderately mentally handicapped children ages 10 to 12 and youths 13 years and older ran the endurance run of the Canada Fitness Awards Adapted Format under two testing conditions. The current test protocol is one in which subjects select a pace for the entire race and are prompted only by verbal encouragement. A second testing protocol was used in which subjects were paced by a runner at a pace just a bit faster than that displayed during their runs under the current protocol. In the pacing protocol, instructors ran in front of the subjects and verbally and visually prompted them to keep up. The objective of the pacing protocol was to reduce the degree to which the subjects had to plan their runs, and to increase motivation to continue. Completion rates improved with the pacing protocol for both groups. Completion times improved for the younger group. Heart rate responses under both testing conditions were very high and small differences were observed between the two conditions in this dependent variable. Heart rates of subjects in both conditions were at vigorous to severe intensity levels throughout the runs, indicating that subjects were lacking in fitness and were performing at or near maximal capacities.

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Marquell J. Johnson