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Exploring teachers' perceptions on physical activity engagement for children and young people with intellectual disabilities

Downs, SJ, Knowles, ZR, Fairclough, SJ, Heffernan, N, Whitehead, S, Halliwell, S and Boddy, LM (2014) Exploring teachers' perceptions on physical activity engagement for children and young people with intellectual disabilities. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION, 29 (3). pp. 402-414. ISSN 0885-6257

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Aim: To explore teacher’s perceptions of barriers and facilitators to physical activity, including enabling, reinforcing and predisposing factors amongst children and young people (CYP) with intellectual disabilities (ID). Method and procedures: The Youth Physical Activity Promotion (YPAP) model was used to inform semi-structured focus groups to explore physical activity of CYP with ID. Participants were 23 (9 male) teachers and teaching assistants, from 3 special educational needs (SEN) schools (1 = Primary, 2 = Secondary) within North West England. Three focus groups were held with between 6 and 8 participants, audio and video recorded and data transcribed. Data were inductively and deductively analysed using Nvivo and represented through pen profiles. Results: Three pen profiles were developed and structured around YPAP model to display themes within the data. Enabling factors (facilities (n=23) and activity type (n=39)); reinforcing factors (influences of peers (n=23), family (n=10) and teachers (n=19) to physical activity engagement); predisposing factors (healthy lifestyle (n=15), enjoyment of physical activity (n=14), adaptations for physical activity (n=10), structured play (n=10), effects of disability on physical activity (n=8) and the CYPs attitudes towards physical activity (n=8)). Conclusion: CYP with ID enjoy engaging in physical activity, particularly activities that are of a fun and unstructured nature which allow for progression of skills and promote independence. Participants recognised that they, as teachers, had an influence on the CYP’s physical activity engagement, however suggested that parents have the most influential role. Similar to previous research, participants noted that CYP with ID had a lack of understanding as regards the importance of physical activity engagement and its benefits to health. It is suggested a strong home-school link for CYP within SEN schools could prove to be a key facilitator for active and healthy lifestyles education and choices.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Journal of Special Needs Education on 15 April 2014, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08856257.2014.906979
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1303 Specialist Studies In Education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 20 May 2015 14:26
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 14:22
DOI or ID number: 10.1080/08856257.2014.906979
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1110
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