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Camilla Yuri Kawanishi and Márcia Greguol

This study aimed to perform a systematic review of studies that address the influence of physical activity on the quality of life and functional independence of adult individuals with spinal cord injury. The review was performed using data obtained from the MEDLINE, CINAHL, SciELO, LILACS, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, Academic Search Premier, and PEDro databases using the following keywords: quality of life; functional independence; autonomy; independence; physical activity; activities of daily living; physical exercise; tetraplegia; paraplegia; spinal cord injury; physical disabilities; and wheelchair. Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. Although there was a lack of consensus among the selected studies, the majority of them presented a strong correlation between physical activity and variables of quality of life and/or functional independence. Thus, physical activity appears to have an important influence on social relationships, functional independence, psychological factors, and physical aspects, which can enhance quality of life and independence in the performance of daily activities.

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Miriam Getz, Yeshayahu Hutzler and Adri Vermeer

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between motor performance in the aquatic setting as measured by the Aquatic Independence Measure (AIM) to motor performance on land as measured by the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) and the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI). Fourty- nine children with neuro-motor impairments ages 3 to 7 participated in the study. Pearson correlations were applied to determine the relationships between the AIM and the GMFM, PEDI, and Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). Significant correlations were found between the total AIM and GMFM scores (r = 69, p < .01) and PEDI self-care sub-scale (r = .79, p < .01) as well as the PEDI mobility sub-scale scores (r = .35, p < .05). The water adjustment sub-scale as measured by the AIM showed the strongest relationship to motor performance on land as measured by the GMFM and PEDI in our sample of 49 children.

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Cindy K. Piletic

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Keith R. Johnston, Donna L. Goodwin and Jennifer Leo

Dignity, as an essential quality of being human, has been overlooked in exercise contexts. The aim of this interpretative phenomenological study was to understand the meaning of dignity and its importance to exercise participation. The experiences of 21 adults (11 women and 10 men) from 19 to 65 yr of age who experience disability, who attended a specialized community exercise facility, were gathered using the methods of focus-group and one-on-one interviews, visual images, and field notes. The thematic analysis revealed 4 themes: the comfort of feeling welcome, perceptions of otherness, negotiating public spaces, and lost autonomy. Dignity was subjectively understood and nurtured through the respect of others. Indignities occurred when enacted social and cultural norms brought dignity to consciousness through humiliation or removal of autonomy. The specialized exercise environment promoted self-worth and positive self-beliefs through shared life experiences and a norm of respect.

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Lynda M. Nilges

Postmodern theory and Laban analysis were used to study gender as a nonverbal discourse in educational gymnastic sequences of male (n = 12) and female (n = 10) undergraduate students. Sequences were coded using Laban’s (1948) effort concepts (weight, time, space, and flow). For interpretive purposes, each concept was overlaid with a gender reference based on historical gender images. A chi-square test of independence of each effort dimension by gender group indicated weight, space, and flow are significantly related to gender. Males tended to use strong, direct, and bound actions, while females tended to use light, indirect, and free actions (p < .01). No significant difference in use of time was found. A chi-square test of independence of movement model by gender revealed the hypothesized male model was more likely to be used by males, while the female model was more likely to be used by females (p < .001).

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Robert M. Nideffer

Over the past 15 years the Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) has become increasingly popular in the sport psychology area. More recently, investigators factor-analyzing the six TAIS attentional scales and the information processing scale have raised serious questions about the independence of these measures. Specifically, they have suggested that the six attentional scales measured by the TAIS can be collapsed into two scales, one reflecting scanning (BET, BIT, INFP) and one reflecting the focusing of attention (NAR, OET, OIT). All of the studies reported on can be shown to have methodological flaws and to have drawn inappropriate conclusions from their analyses. Evidence is provided in the paper demonstrating the independence of the TAIS scales. Suggestions are made for avoiding the methodological and interpretive problems that have permeated the literature.

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Stephen Silverman and Melinda Solmon

This paper addresses the appropriate unit of analysis in field research. We first discuss the issues related to this topic: (a) unit of measurement versus unit of analysis, (b) treatments and random assignment, (c) independence of observations, (d) moderating and control variables, and (e) correlational versus experimental research. We then present a model for determining the correct unit of analysis. In many instances, researchers should use class means or subgroup means, and this has implications for research design. In the third section, we discuss the related issues of (a) the burden of proof, (b) asking the right questions and getting the right answers, and (c) completing statistical analyses. How data are analyzed can affect the results, and researchers should consider these issues when planning their research.

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Niki Tsangaridou and Mary O’Sullivan

This research was conducted to describe the relationship between physical education teachers’ educational theories of action and theories-in-use. The question addressed was, What are the educational theories and practices of physical education teachers, and to what degree do their educational theories guide their professional practices? Data were collected through class observations, formal and informal interviews, vignette interviews, and journals. Data were analyzed inductively. Results suggested that the four teachers in this study held strong and well articulated views about student learning and what constitutes a physically educated student. They agreed that the primary goal of a physical education program was the development of skills. They believed that guided student practice was important for student learning. The selection and implementation of teaching practices demonstrated the teachers’ commitment to gender equity and the needs and abilities of their students. There were only three discrepancies between the participants’ theories of action and their theories-in-use. These related to student independence, student choice of content, and the process of cooperation and negotiation. Otherwise the teachers’ theories-in-use were consistent with their theories of action. The results from this study do not substantiate the notion of a level of discrepancy between teachers’ espoused theories and professional practices as presented in the literature (Argyris & Schon, 1974; Knight & Smith, 1989).

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Madeleine Vincent-Morin and Lucile Lafont

The goal of this study was to identify the relationships between the learning choices made by pupils and their personal characteristics, including cognitive style (field dependence–independence), a motivational variable (feeling of self-efficacy), and a cognitive variable (task representation). The participants were 64 twelve-year-old sixth graders from a suburban middle school in France (35 boys and 29 girls). Cognitive style or FDI was measured with the Group Embedded Figures Test, a perceptual test that requires finding a simple geometrical figure embedded in a complex geometrical one. Five learning conditions (autonomy, tutoring, verbal instruction, silent demonstration, and verbal demonstration) were then proposed in random order to the pupils. They were asked to select a learning method to solve a motor problem: a badminton service. The results indicated an absence of relationships between the choice of a learning condition and cognitive style. Three variables partially predicted the learning-condition choice: feeling of self-efficacy, task representation, and motor performance. The present results can be interpreted in the light of studies on children’s help-seeking behavior in problem-solving situations.

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Donna L. Goodwin and Kerri Staples

The purpose of the study was to capture the meaning of segregated summer camp experiences to youths with disabilities. The experiences of nine youths with physical, sensory, or behavioral disabilities between the ages of 14 and 19 were captured using the phenomenological methods of semistructured interviews, document review, and field notes. Mothers’ perceptions were also gathered. The thematic analysis revealed three themes: not alone, independence, and a chance to discover. Camp experiences provided a reprieve from perceptions of disability isolation often felt in their home communities. The campers experienced increased self-reliance, independence, and new understandings of their physical potential. The findings are discussed within the context of identity development and therapeutic landscapes.