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Stephen C. Anderson and Lawrence R. Allen

A 9-week leisure education program to increase activity involvement and social interaction of institutionalized mentally retarded adults was investigated. A disproportional stratified (by residential unit) random sampling technique was employed to select 40 subjects from a total population of 243 mentally retarded persons. Subjects were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. The hypotheses were that there would be no significant increase in activity involvement or social interaction of the subjects who participated in the treatment. Four ANCOVAs were conducted utilizing frequency and duration as the dependent variables for both social interaction and activity involvement. Length of institutionalization was the covariate. The grouping variables were treatment/control and level of retardation. The findings revealed the treatment had a significant effect only on frequency of activity involvement.

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Julie A. Titus and E. Jane Watkinson

This study examined the behavior of moderately mentally handicapped children in integrated and segregated programs. Seven subjects 5 to 10 years of age were observed during free play in two programs, one integrated and one segregated, to determine if they would benefit from placement in physical activity programs with nonhandicapped children. Socialization and activity participation were examined using a simple eight-category instrument on videotaped data. The presence or absence of play vehicles was also investigated to determine whether this play equipment would further affect behavior. Some 300 minutes of videotaped data were available for each subject. Behavior durations were recorded using an OS-3 Event Recorder. Inter-observer agreements were calculated on 15% of the data, with mean agreements of .96. Duration data were transformed to percentage of observable time for each subject in integrated and segregated settings, and when play vehicles were and were not available. Results from the study generally did not support the assumption that exposure to integrated programs will increase activity participation and social interaction. Activity participation did not appear to be affected by the presence of play vehicles in the environment. Social interaction levels were reduced significantly under this condition.

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Peggy Hiu Nam Choi and Siu Yin Cheung

The study aimed to investigate the impact of an 8-wk structured physical activity program on selected psychosocial behaviors of children with intellectual disabilities (ID) and to estimate whether generalization occurred. Thirty children (22 boys, 8 girls) with mild ID took part in the study. The ANCOVA results showed a significant difference between the training group and the control group in emotional self-control mean scores, F(1, 25) = 7.61, p = .011, with the posttest mean score of the training group being better than that of the control group. The correlation analysis showed a medium, positive correlation between the gain scores of emotional self-control in the training context and classroom context of the training group (r = .41, n = 16, p = .12). Hence, generalization appeared to have occurred.

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Shaunna M. Burke, Jennifer Brunet, Amanda Wurz, Christina Butler and Andrea Utley

’ shared experiences of well- and ill-being are presented. Three broad interconnected themes that capture a dichotomy of well- and ill-being experiences were identified: (a) cultivating feelings and emotions, (b) experiencing physical changes, and (c) encountering positive and negative social interactions

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Scott R. Swanson, Tom Colwell and Yushan Zhao

Disability sports organizations could benefit from a better understanding of the factors leading individuals with disabilities to participate in sport. This study explored relationships among four sources of motivation (i.e., escape, self-esteem enhancement, self-improvement, and social interaction) and six forms of social support (i.e., emotional challenge, emotional support, listening support, reality confirmation, task appreciation, and task challenge) among 133 male and 60 female wheelchair athletes, ages 13–34 years. Differences in motivation and social support needs were examined according to athletes’ gender, age, playing level, skill level, years of participation, and future playing intentions. Results indicated that males were more motivated than females were by desire for escape and that long-term participants were more motivated than novices were by self-esteem enhancement. Escape, self-improvement, and social interaction were stronger motivators for high school athletes than for collegiate athletes. Importance of social support types differed according to skill level, playing level, years played, and future playing intentions.

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Aija Klavina and Martin E. Block

This study assessed the effect of peer tutoring on physical, instructional, and social interaction behaviors between elementary school age students with severe and multiple disabilities (SMD) and peers without disabilities. Additional measures addressed the activity time of students with SMD. The study was conducted in inclusive general physical education settings under three instructional support conditions for students with SMD: (a) teacher-directed, (b) peer-mediated, and (c) voluntary peer support. During peer-mediated and voluntary peer support conditions, the instructional and physical interaction behaviors between students with SMD and their peers increased, while social interactions remained low. The activity engagement time data increased for all target students throughout intervention sessions. Interactions between students with SMD and teachers decreased toward the end of intervention.

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Martin E. Block and Iva Obrusnikova

The purpose of the review is to critically analyze English-written research articles pertaining to inclusion of students with disabilities in physical education published in professional journals both within and outside of the United States from 1995-2005. Each study included in this review had to meet seven a priori criteria. Findings of the 38 selected studies were divided into six focus areas: (a) support, (b) affects on peers without disabilities, (c) attitudes and intentions of children without disabilities, (d) social interactions, (e) ALT-PE of students with disabilities, and (f) training and attitudes of GPE teachers. Recommendations for future practice and research are embedded throughout the article.

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Lupe Castañ and Claudine Sherrill

The purpose was to analyze the social construction of Challenger baseball opportunities in a selected community. Participants were 10 boys and 6 girls with mental and/or physical disabilities (ages 7 to 16 years, M = 11.31), their families, and the head coach. Data were collected through interviews in the homes with all family members, participant observation at practices and games, and field notes. The research design was qualitative, and critical theory guided interpretation. Analytical induction revealed five outcomes that were particularly meaningful as families and coach socially constructed Challenger baseball: (a) fun and enjoyment, (b) positive affect related to equal opportunity and feelings of “normalcy,” (c) social networking/emotional support for families, (d) baseball knowledge and skills, and (e) social interactions with peers.

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Coreen M. Harada and Gary N. Siperstein

The purpose of this study was to examine the sport experience for athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID) who participate in Special Olympics (SO). This study included a nationally representative sample of 1,307 families and 579 athletes in the U.S., focusing on sport involvement over the lifespan and motives for participating and for leaving SO. Athletes with ID are similar to athletes without disabilities in that sport is a significant life experience. They participate in sport for fun (54%) and social interaction (21%). Like athletes without disabilities, SO athletes leave sport because of changes in interest (38%) but also because of program availability (33%). These findings suggest that we continue to document the involvement of people with ID in sports and work to expand the sport opportunities available.

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Helena Seymour, Greg Reid and Gordon A. Bloom

Social interaction and development of friendships between children with and without a disability are often proposed as potential outcomes of inclusive education. Physical activity specialists assert that exercise and sport environments may be conducive to social and friendship outcomes. This study investigated friendship in inclusive physical education from the perspective of students with (n = 8) and without (n = 8) physical disabilities. All participants attended a reversely integrated school and were interviewed using a semistructured, open-ended format. An adapted version of Weiss, Smith, and Theeboom’s (1996) interview guide exploring perceptions of peer relationships in the sport domain was used. Four conceptual categories emerged from the analysis: development of friendship, best friend, preferred physical activities and outcomes, and dealing with disability. The results demonstrated the key characteristics of best friends and the influential role they play.