Date of Award

8-8-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Health and Physical Education

First Advisor

Madeline Paternostro Bayles, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Richard Hsiao, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

David Lorenzi, Ed.D.

Abstract

Physical activity is important and beneficial to all individuals. Physical activity can enhance self-esteem, reduce the risk of developing health complications, and improve overall quality of life. Parents can have a major impact on the lives of their children. When parents are more physically active, generally their children are more active as well. Physical activity is also beneficial to individuals with disabilities. These individuals are also encouraged to be physically active despite their limitations. The purpose of this study was to analyze the activity levels of parents/caregivers and children/adults with disabilities. The subjects for this investigation were participants of The Special Needs Activity Program (SNAP) at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Thirteen caregivers and fifteen parents provided data; while thirteen adults with disabilities and fifteen children with disabilities were analyzed. The investigator attended SNAP sessions in which the parents/caregivers completed surveys for themselves and on behalf of the children/adults with disabilities for whom they take of. The surveys included the Modifiable Activity Questionnaire for Adults, the Modifiable Activity Questionnaire for Children, the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study Physical Activity Questionnaire, and the Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disabilities(PASIPD). All of these are paper and pencil surveys that take approximately 10 minutes to complete separately, and that assess physical activity. The results indicated that there was a significant difference between the activity levels of the parents/caregivers and the children/adults with disabilities. Activity levels were categorized as light, moderate, and strenuous activities. The disabilities did not greatly affect the activity of the individuals with disabilities. Children are recommended to achieve at least 60 minutes of activity on most days of the week, and adults are encouraged to obtain 30 minutes each day. The results indicated that the children with disabilities did not meet these guidelines, while the parents/caregivers did meet nationally recommended guidelines for physical activity.

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