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Title:Investigating the determinants and outcomes of leisure time physical activity participation in university students with physical disabilities
Author(s):Dysterheft, Jennifer L.
Director of Research:Rice, Ian M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rice, Ian M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Alston, Reginald; Welty-Peachey, Jon; Jan, Yuh-Kuen
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This dissertation explores students with physical disabilities' (SWD) perceptions, influences, and participation levels in leisure time physical activity (LTPA) through multiple aims. First, research was conducted at the lead researcher's current university, recognized for its accessibility and programming for university students with physical disabilities (SWD). At this university, researchers aimed to understand how SWD perceive physical activity and what influences them to participate in physical activity on their university campus. Results of this research showed participants placed low value in physical activity for health, believed physical activity was not something they were able to identify with or capable of, and often lacked regularity in utilizing assistive health services provided by the university (Chapter 3). Based on this information and focus group input, researchers designed an inclusive aquatic exercise course to examine SWD experiences and outcomes of participation in a university offered LTPA. The mixed methods results revealed that participants had many positive experiences and beneficial outcomes of participation. Most importantly, participants’ initial perceptions of the course and future recommendations for adapted physical activities can greatly assist in the design and development of campus adapted recreation (Chapter 4). Next, to expand this research and address the population of SWD nationwide, a multisite, survey-based study was performed. Current and recently graduated SWD completed online, mixed-methods surveys to answer the following: what are the rates of participation amongst SWD in LTPA on their university campus compared to general population students published in previous literature, what are the external environmental and personal internal factors that influence SWD LTPA participation, and which of these factors significantly predict LTPA participation as facilitators or barriers. Results of this study indicated that participants had similar, yet slightly higher LTPA levels than previous expected. However, these LTPA were still considerably lower than their able-bodied peers and reflective of persons with disabilities (PWD) in the adult population. Further analysis indicated numerous significant variables relating to LTPA, the strongest being participant self-regulation, exercise self-efficacy, perceived opportunities for LTPA, and QOL (Chapter 5).
Issue Date:2016-07-06
Rights Information:Copyright © by Jennifer Dysterheft, 2016
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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