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Amaury Samalot-Rivera and David L. Porretta

The purpose of this study was to determine adapted physical educators’ perceptions and practices about teaching social skills to students with disabilities. A questionnaire based on Bandura’s social learning theory concept of modeling was developed and mailed to an entire frame of 426 adapted physical education teachers in the state of Ohio. Face and content validity as well as test/retest reliability (0.89) were established. Of those that were surveyed, 53% (225 teachers; 148 females and 77 males) responded. Results indicate that 93% (209) believe it is important to explicitly teach social skills in PE; however, 60% (135) expressed not feeling properly prepared to teach them. Teachers with more than 20 years of teaching experience were more likely to actually teach social skills. When compared with other teachers with less years teaching, however, they identified a greater need for training in the teaching of social skills. Results are discussed relative to teacher preparation and practices as well as social skills taught for general education and community integration.

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Megan MacDonald, Catherine Lord and Dale A. Ulrich

Motor skill deficits are present and persist in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; Staples & Reid, 2010). Yet the focus of intervention is on core impairments, which are part of the diagnostic criteria for ASD, deficits in social communication skills. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the functional motor skills, of 6- to 15-year-old children with high-functioning ASD, predict success in standardized social communicative skills. It is hypothesized that children with better motor skills will have better social communicative skills. A total of 35 children with ASD between the ages of 6–15 years participated in this study. The univariate GLM (general linear model) tested the relationship of motor skills on social communicative skills holding constant age, IQ, ethnicity, gender, and clinical ASD diagnosis. Object-control motor skills significantly predicted calibrated ASD severity (p < .05). Children with weaker motor skills have greater social communicative skill deficits. How this relationship exists behaviorally, needs to be explored further.

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Homan Lee, Janice Causgrove Dunn and Nicholas L. Holt

The purpose of this study was to explore youth sport experiences of individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants were 6 males (mean age = 22.7 yr) with ADHD who had played 3 or more seasons in team sports during adolescence. Following interpretive phenomenological analysis methodology, each participant completed 2 semistructured interviews. Findings showed that symptoms of ADHD hampered participants’ experiences and led to negative interpersonal and performance-related consequences. On the other hand, participants reported social and stress/energy-release benefits arising from their experiences in sport. Their experiences were therefore complex, and some findings relating to social interactions appeared contradictory (e.g., negative interpersonal experiences vs. social benefits). Supportive coaches, understanding teammates, and personal coping strategies were key factors that enabled participants to realize benefits and, to some degree, mitigate negative consequences associated with their participation in sport.

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Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Viviane Grassmann, Krystn Orr, Amy C. McPherson, Guy E. Faulkner and F. Virginia Wright

, after which two meetings and a series of online discussions were held to discuss the results. Based on these group discussions, the main outcomes of the included studies were categorized into four key areas of associated impact—social skills and relationships, physical skill development, psychological

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Lorcan D. Cronin and Justine B. Allen

The present study explored the relationships between the coaching climate, youth developmental experiences (personal and social skills, cognitive skills, goal setting, and initiative) and psychological well-being (self-esteem, positive affect, and satisfaction with life). In total, 202 youth sport participants (Mage = 13.4, SD = 1.8) completed a survey assessing the main study variables. Findings were consistent with Benson and Saito’s (2001) framework for youth development. In all analyses, the coaching climate was related to personal and social skills, cognitive skills, goal setting, and initiative. Mediational analysis also revealed that the development of personal and social skills mediated the relationships between the coaching climate and all three indices of psychological well-being (self-esteem, positive affect, and satisfaction with life). Interpretation of the results suggests that coaches should display autonomy-supportive coaching behaviors because they are related to the developmental experiences and psychological well-being of youth sport participants.

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A. Justine Dowd, Toni Schmader, Benjamin D. Sylvester, Mary E. Jung, Bruno D. Zumbo, Luc J. Martin and Mark R. Beauchamp

The objective of the studies presented in this paper was to examine whether the need to belong can be used to enhance exercise cognitions and behavior. Two studies examined the effectiveness of framing exercise as a means of boosting social skills (versus health benefits) for self-regulatory efficacy, exercise intentions, and (in Study 2) exercise behavior. In Study 1, inactive adults primed to feel a lack of social belonging revealed that this manipulation led to greater self-regulatory efficacy (but not exercise intentions). In Study 2, involving a sample of inactive lonely adults, all participants reported engaging in more exercise; however, those in the social skills condition also reported a greater sense of belonging than those in the health benefits comparison condition. These findings provide an important basis for developing physical activity interventions that might be particularly relevant for people at risk for feeling socially isolated or lonely.

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Emily Bremer and Meghann Lloyd

The purpose of this pilot study was to demonstrate the impact of a fundamentalmotor-skill (FMS) intervention on the motor skills of 3- to 7-year-old children with autism-like characteristics in an early intervention classroom. A secondary purpose was to qualitatively assess the impact of the program as described by the classroom’s special education teacher. All children in the classroom (N = 5) took part in an FMS intervention for two 6-wk blocks (fall 2013 and winter 2014). Motor-skill proficiency and social skills were assessed at 3 times: baseline, after Block 1 of the intervention, and after Block 2 of the intervention. In addition, an interview was conducted with the classroom teacher after Assessment 3 to draw further insights into the relative success and impact of the program. Results were analyzed through a visual analysis and presented individually. They indicated improvements in the participants’ individual FMS and social-skill scores, possible improvements in declarative knowledge, and an increase in the special education teacher’s readiness to teach FMS; further research with larger, controlled samples is warranted.

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Jennifer J. Waldron

There has been a growing trend in examining how life skills can be developed through sport programs (Danish, 2002). Four components of life skills central to the current study were interpersonal communication, problem solving, health maintenance, and identity development (Darden & Gazda, 1996). The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of participation in Girls on Track (GOT), a sport-based life-skills program, to the effects of participation in soccer programs and the Girl Scouts. The GOT program is a running program intended to teach girls physical, personal, and social skills. Nineteen girls from the three programs were interviewed individually. Results revealed that all four components of life skills emerged from the interviews with GOT participants. In comparison, only three components emerged for the other two programs. These data suggest that the GOT program may be more successful in delivering life skills compared to the soccer and Girl Scouts programs.

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Eva Hiu-Lun Tsai and Lena Fung

This study examined the experiences of parents of persons with intellectual disabilities (ID) as they sought inclusive sport participation for their children. To understand their experiences, in-depth interviews were conducted with 49 parents. Qualitative data analysis was conducted to identify common themes from the responses. The analysis showed that most parents sought inclusive sport involvement for their children but they soon gave up their effort due to rejection by staff and other participants. Underlying these attitudinal problems were a lack of quality contact between people with and without ID and a lack of understanding of people with ID. Parents’ lack of sense of entitlement, low sport values, and lack of participation information and opportunities also contributed to their giving up of inclusive sport. Factors leading to successful inclusion included staff inclusion attitudes and abilities and the social skills of individuals with ID.

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Kenneth J. Killian, Rosemary A. Joyce-Petrovich, Lucille Menna and Susan A. Arena

There is little objective evidence to support the belief that swimming is an enjoyable and valuable activity for autistic individuals. In this study, a checklist was used to record the responses of 37 autistic children and youth to water orientation and beginner swim activities. The data indicated that the autistic subjects responded in a predictable and apparently normal manner to a hierarchy of water skills. Also, the subjects displayed a low objection rate to water activities. Strong relationships (r = .95, p < .01) were shown between age and water orientation and also between prior experience and water orientation (r = .88, p < .01). The findings support the literature in that the majority of subjects responded well to, or at least tolerated, water activities. Swimming pool activities may offer potential learning opportunities for many autistic individuals and should be investigated further as an avenue for improving a variety of physical, academic, or social skills.