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J Learn Disabil. 1995 Mar;28(3):160-9.

Using an extracurricular physical activity program to enhance social skills.

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  • 1Faculty of Physical Activity Studies, University of Regina.


The value of an individually supervised physical activity program with a strong social skills component was examined for 45 students with learning disabilities (34 boys, 11 girls; mean age = 9.4 +/- 1.1 years). Subjects were randomly divided into an experimental group of 23 students who received two 90-minute exercise sessions for each of 10 weeks, and a control group of 22 students who received equal individualized attention through extra academic instruction. Scores for the Bruininks-Oseretsky test of motor proficiency, teacher ratings of social behavior, and self-perceptions of academic and nonacademic competence showed strong effects of time, but no substantial time x treatment interaction. Time effects on social behaviors persisted 3 months following treatment, suggesting that they reflected extra attention, rather than an expectancy, or halo, effect. There would seem to be merit in further exploring the value of extra attention, which here was provided to students with learning disabilities by volunteers with limited formal training.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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