Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Relationship between disability orientation and participation of children with disabilities in aquatic programs Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9k41zm08s

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  • Increased physical activity (PA) in children has been linked to improved quality of life, as well as the establishment of life-long PA habits that lead to improved health outcomes. The literature suggests that children who participate in organized sport programs engage in more PA than children who do not. Notably, only 33% of children with disabilities participate in organized programs for two or more hours each week, compared to 76% of children without disabilities. Numerous barriers limit the participation of children with disabilities in organized sport programs, which can be broken down into personal and environmental factors. Characteristics of an aquatic environment have the potential to minimize some of these barriers. A programs’ leadership is important in creating an inclusive environment and may remove these barriers. Disability orientation, an individual’s attitude towards persons with disabilities, has been discussed in prior research as a factor that shapes and influences behaviors. However, few studies have fully examined the relationship between an individual’s disability orientation and their behavior. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the association between an aquatic program leadership’s disability orientation and the opportunities offered for children with disabilities, and their participation, in aquatic programs. This study also measured potential variables that may influence the relationship between the aquatic director’s disability orientation and the participation of children with disabilities in aquatic programs. Lastly, the relationship between the aquatic directors’ disability orientation and their intentions to provide opportunities for children with disabilities in their aquatic programs was examined. A survey was completed by 185 aquatic directors from across the United States. The survey consisted of items measuring the disability orientation of the aquatic director, using the Questionnaire on Disability Identity and Opportunity (QDIO), as well as items measuring the accessibility of the facility for individuals with disability, program marketing for opportunities available to children with disabilities, staff competency with children with disabilities, and delegation of financial resources to support opportunities for children with disabilities. Additionally, the aquatic directors’ self-efficacy in providing opportunities for children with disabilities and intentions to provide opportunities for children with disabilities were measured. Logistical and linear regressions were completed to identify the relationships between key variables, and to examine for modification effects. The results found that the aquatic director’s view on the medical model was not directly associated with providing opportunities for children with disabilities (OR = 0.76, p = 0.59) or the proportion of children with disabilities participating in their aquatic programs ( = -0.44, p = 0.15). Additionally, no direct relationship was found between the aquatic director’s view of the social model and providing opportunities for (OR = 0.25, p = 0.64) or the participation of ( = 0.00 p = 0.97) children with disabilities in their aquatic programs. The relationship between disability orientation and the proportion of children with disabilities participating in the aquatic program was not influenced by the four moderating variables. Further, no significant relationship was found between the director’s self-efficacy or intentions and the participation of children with disabilities. However, the results revealed a significant relationship between the aquatic directors’ disability orientation and their intention to provide opportunities for children with disabilities ( = 0.50, p < 0.01). This suggests that aquatic directors with higher scores on the social model had greater intentions to provide opportunities to children with disabilities in their programs. Although a direct link between aquatic directors’ disability orientation and their behaviors are inconclusive, findings reveal a new and important link between disability orientation and intentions. Future studies should examine this link further, as well as evaluate improved measurements of aquatic director behavior. A better understanding of behavior by leadership in physical activity organizations could improve understanding and decrease barriers to participation from children with disabilities.
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