An important peer-reviewed article has provided data proving that physical activity related to team sports and confidence or self-esteem, correspond with each other. Wagonsson, Lindwall, & Gustafsson (2014) analyzed the data they obtained from three age groups consisting over one thousand students while scaling it for their research. The purpose of their complex study was essentially they wanting to ascertain whether sports participation (SP) and confidence or self-esteem (SE) move in unison, or have relationship or correspondence, which their data alludes to as being the answer. Their results were partially based on factors involving skill development, as well as a self-enhancement factor. Interesting was how the information pointed out that these two factors were significantly stronger in different age groups from each other. Presumably this indicates the difference in maturity level relating to the personal self-enhancement of a student entering his or her teenaged years.
According to Kamps et al., (2014) their study involved peer networking, which included peer social groups of those known to be typical peers. And it is described to be a multiple baseline design, plus had other involvement, such as some use of scripted instruction which was observed during the examination of some students with ASD. Results were positive in that there were significant changes in willingness, and success in total communication acts, by these students. Thus, furthering the belief that participation in sports activities, and some adaptation of norms regarding fitness for students with disabilities, is beneficial both short and long term, and should be included in the physical activity/team sports curriculum.
Fragala-Pinkham et al., (2009) evaluated students with disabilities during a six-week period involving speed skating. Factors, including but not limited to, group lessons, individualized lessons when needed, attendance, injuries, and skating skills, along with parental plus student coach inputs, were considered. Improvements in skating skills, endurance, and self-esteem were reported, as well as other participative upticks. The student coaches also noted high levels of satisfaction with the overall program, and that that positive factor was noticeable with the students. Qi & Ha (2012) jointly provide a similarly interesting article.It touches on three key aspects, a) pointing out the relationship of social isolation, b) leading to low self-esteem, and c) students with disabilities. They then point to some benefits regarding students with disabilities and how physical education (PE) provides for helpful social interactions. This study enhances some previously stated ideas, as well as shedding light on others. And this is accomplished by reiterating social interacting and the increasing of confidence levels of students with disabilities, while associating the study with physical education and sports activities, and is well placed here.
Physical activity relating to team sports barriers to increasing confidence and or self-esteem levels in students with disabilities were investigated by Ryan, Katsiyannis, Cadorette, Hodge, & Markham (2014). They answered some questions regarding barriers to increasing confidence levels in students with disabilities in their research. Early on they shine a light on health risks faced by students with disabilities. They state that many have a lifestyle void of physical activity and sports participation. Thus, obesity becomes a serious health threat and a barrier to having normal levels of self-esteem and confidence building. Baseball is mentioned as good team sport to assist with this situation. As is soccer. The data gathered was largely obtained from a university and community partnership, whose focus was on children with disabilities playing baseball and soccer. Social anxieties can also be a barrier to learning. Cowden (2010) points out that as unfortunate as it is, students with disabilities frequently are lacking in the ability to develop the normal social skills to adapt to an environment - a school setting with many peers being a good example. This trait may then lead to more social anxiety, which compounds itself and leads to more serious problems by riding along with any inability to learn. It is double jeopardy. By being aware of these phenomena, teachers and coaches have a much better chance of assisting these students to successfully get past this stress-compounding issue and achieve academic goals with their peers. Countering some barriers in the process. Continued next page>>
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