Barriers to Physical Activity in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Relationship to Physical Activity and Screen Time
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center; Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center
Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Exercise Science | Mental Disorders | Psychiatry and Psychology
BACKGROUND: Individual, social, and community barriers to physical activity (PA) experienced by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make PA participation more difficult and may contribute to increased screen time. METHODS: We compared the prevalence of parent-reported barriers to PA among 58 typically developing (TD) children and 53 children with an ASD, 3-11 years, and assessed the association between barriers and PA participation and screen time among children with ASD. RESULTS: Parents of children with ASD reported significantly more barriers than parents of TD children. Based on parent-report, 60% of children with ASD required too much supervision compared to no TD children (p<0.001). Parents of children with ASD were more likely to report that adults lack skills needed to include their child (58%), that their child has few friends (45%), and that other children exclude their child (23%). The number of parent-reported barriers to PA was inversely correlated with the hours spent in PA per year (r=-0.27, p=0.05) and positively related to total screen time (r=0.32, p < 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: These findings underscore the need for community-based PA programs designed to meet the special requirements of this population and policies that compel schools and other government-supported organizations for inclusion and/or targeted programming.
DOI of Published Version
Must A, Phillips S, Curtin C, Bandini LG. Barriers to Physical Activity in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Relationship to Physical Activity and Screen Time. J Phys Act Health. 2015 Apr;12(4):529-34. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2013-0271. Epub 2015 Apr 28. PubMed PMID: 25920014; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4490003. Link to article on publisher's site
Journal of physical activity and health
Must A, Phillips S, Curtin C, Bandini L. (2015). Barriers to Physical Activity in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Relationship to Physical Activity and Screen Time. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center Publications. https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2013-0271. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/iddrc_pubs/46