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Physical Activity Preferences, Attitudes, and Behaviour of Children and Youth With Physical Disabilities

Jennifer Anne Leo, Guy Faulkner, Zlata Volfson, Rebecca Bassett-Gunter, Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos


Despite the numerous benefits of physical activity (PA) participation, children and youth with physical disabilities (CYPD) are not active enough. Limited research has explored the PA preferences and attitudes of CYPD, which are critical to the design of effective community-based PA programs. To address this gap, this study examined the PA preferences and attitudes of CYPD (N = 38, mean age = 15 years, 54% male). Top PA preferences included: being active after school (39.5%), in a gymnasium setting (52.6%), at a moderate intensity (52.6%), and with close friends (65.8%). Participants reported high positive attitudes (M = 4.36 out of 5) toward PA. This study offers important findings for therapeutic recreation (TR) professionals to consider as they design, deliver, and assist children and youth to locate PA programs within their communities.

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Attitudes; children and youth; community-based; disability; inclusion; physical activity; preferences

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