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Kelly J. Cole

In the target article Mark Latash has argued that there is but a single bona-fide theory for hand motor control (referent configuration theory). If this is true, and research is often phenomenological, then we must admit that the science of hand motor control is immature. While describing observations under varying conditions is a crucial (but early) stage of the science of any field, it is also true that the key to maturing any science is to vigorously subject extant theories and budding laws to critical experimentation. If competing theories are absent at the present time is it time for scientists to focus their efforts on maturing the science of hand motor control through critical testing of this long-standing theory (and related collections of knowledge such as the uncontrolled manifold)?

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Cathy McKay, Jung Yeon Park and Martin Block

The importance of theoretically oriented research in adapted physical education is well documented ( Sherrill & O’Connor, 1999 ; Slininger, Sherrill, & Jankowski, 2000 ; Sutlive & Ulrich, 1998 ; Tripp & Sherrill, 1991 ). Tripp and Sherrill ( 1991 ) explained that theories allow researchers to

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T. Nicole Kirk and Justin A. Haegele

specific predictors or correlates of a desired behavior, and in turn, research based upon existing theory affords an opportunity to put the constructs of a theoretical model to the test in a systematic approach ( Rothman, 2004 ). Within the field of adapted physical activity research, prominent scholars

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Sergio L. Molina and David F. Stodden

competency (e.g., fundamental motor skills) does not occur naturally, it must be taught and practiced to consistently improve ( Logan, Robinson, Wilson, & Lucas, 2012 ). Evidence-based principles and theories from the motor learning and motor control literature can play an important role in the pedagogical

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Gavin Breslin, Stephen Shannon, Kyle Ferguson, Shauna Devlin, Tandy Haughey and Garry Prentice

the social stigma associated with help-seeking behaviors ( Clement et al., 2015 ). Mental health stigma can be understood from a psychosocial perspective using the Theory of Reasoned Action, which is a prominent multi-attribute attitude model in health and exercise behavior research ( Papadopoulos

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Emily M. Hartley, Matthew C. Hoch and Robert J. Cramer

; however, this has not been thoroughly investigated. Utilizing behavioral and social science theories which have been used to examine determinants of other forms of health prevention may elucidate why individuals are failing to participate in ERIPPs. There is very limited research examining behavioral and

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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.

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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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Walter E. Davis and Allen W. Burton

A new approach to task analysis is presented based upon an ecological theory of perception and current motor development and control theories. The ecological task analysis (ETA) approach stands in sharp contrast to more traditional approaches and offers procedures equally applicable to instruction and assessment of movement performance as well as to applied research. The strengths of the ETA approach lie in (a) its grounding in current motor development and control theories, (b) its linking of the task requirements, environmental conditions, and performer characteristics, (c) its application of a functional and dynamic approach to instruction and assessment, and (d) its integration of instruction and assessment procedures. Following a discussion of the traditional approach and ecological theory, four concepts are presented that emanate from Gibson’s theory of affordances. From these concepts ETA procedures are derived. Applied research questions relating to task analysis are also implied from the ecological approach and are presented in the final section.

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Simon Driver

The purpose of the paper is to provide specialists with theoretical frameworks that can be used to guide the creation of physical activity interventions as well as facilitating participation for people with traumatic brain injuries. Two frameworks for examining the physical activity motivation of people with brain injuries are presented. The theories include Bandura’s (1986) self-efficacy theory and Harter’s (1987) mediational model of self-worth. The constructs within both theories are explained and then applied to people with brain injuries. Suggestions for practitioners are also provided about how to manipulate the physical activity environment to promote physical activity participation.