Wheelchair Sport as a Mechanism for Altering the Perceptions of the Nondisabled Regarding Their Disabled Peers' Competence


  • Bradley Noble Hedrick


Mainstreaming, Perceived Competence, Physical Disability, Self-Efficacy, Wheelchair Tennis, Attitudes.


This study investigated the effect of participation in an instructional tennis program withphysically disabled peers on the perceptions of significantly more skilled nondisabledadolescents regarding the tennis efficacy and the general, social, cognitive and physicalcompetence of their physically disabled peers. Disabled coactors were introduced at variouspoints throughout the learning and performance treatment stages to assess the effect oftheir variable presence on the perceptions ofthe nondisabled subjects. Results revealed thatearly integration ofthe sport context with disabled and nondisabled peers who are characterizedby significantly different levels of ability, can be detrimental to the nondisabledsubject's perceptions regarding the sport-specific competence of their disabled peers. Adirectional trend was found which supports the contention that improving the nondisabledsubjects' perceptions ofthe sport-specific efficacy oftheir disabled peers may enhance theirperceptions of their disabled peers' general physical competence. However, this relationshipwas not statistically significant. Also, the confounding use of a proficient adult wheelchairtennis instructor in the homogeneous learning sessions requires that future studies becarried out to corroborate these findings.





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