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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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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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Kimberly Place and Samuel R. Hodge

The purpose was to describe the behaviors of eighth-grade students with and without physical disabilities relative to social inclusion in a general physical education program. Participants were 3 girls with physical disabilities and 19 classmates (11 females, 8 males) without disabilities. The method was case study. Data for a 6-week softball unit were collected using videotapes, live observations, and interviews. Findings indicated that students with and without disabilities infrequently engaged in social interactions. Average percentage of time that classmates gave to students with disabilities was 2% social talk and less than 1% in each category for praise, use of first name, feedback, and physical contact. Two themes emerged in this regard: segregated inclusion and social isolation. Students with disabilities interacted with each other to a greater degree than with classmates without disabilities. Analysis of use of academic learning time revealed different percentages for students with and without disabilities.

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Elaine M. Blinde and Lisa R. McClung

The impact of participation in recreational activities on perceptions of the physical and social selves of individuals with physical disabilities was explored. Eleven women (ages 19 to 54) and 12 men (ages 20 to 36) participated in individualized recreational programs including horseback riding, swimming, fitness, weightlifting, racquetball, bowling, tennis, fishing, walking, and tai chi. Tape-recorded interviews were conducted with these individuals following participation. Content analyses of the interview responses indicated that participation impacted four aspects of the physical self: (a) experiencing the body in new ways, (b) enhancing perceptions of physical attributes, (c) redefining physical capabilities, and (d) increasing perceived confidence to pursue new physical activities. Modifications in respondents’ perceptions of the social self were reflected in two themes: (a) expanding social interactions and experiences, and (b) initiating social activities in other contexts. The gains discussed by respondents suggest that individuals developed an enhanced sense of control in both their physical and social lives.