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Application of Single Subject Experimental Designs in Adapted Physical Activity Research: A Descriptive Analysis

Authors: Jiabei Zhang, Ying Qi


The purpose of this study was to develop a descriptive profile of the adapted physical activity research using single subject experimental designs. All research articles using single subject experimental designs published in the journal of Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly from 1984 to 2013 were employed as the data source. Each of the articles was coded in a subcategory of seven categories: (a) the size of sample; (b) the age of participants; (c) the type of disabilities; (d) the type of data analysis; (e) the type of designs, (f) the independent variable, and (g) the dependent variable. Frequencies, percentages, and trend inspection were used to analyze the data and develop a profile. The profile developed characterizes a small portion of research articles used single subject designs, in which most researchers used a small sample size, recruited children as subjects, emphasized learning and behavior impairments, selected visual inspection with descriptive statistics, preferred a multiple baseline design, focused on effects of therapy, inclusion, and strategy, and measured desired behaviors more often, with a decreasing trend over years.

Keywords: adapted physical activity research, single subject experimental designs

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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