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Assisted Cycling Therapy Improves Self-Efficacy in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

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This study examines the effectiveness of two modes of exercise on self-efficacy (SE) in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). Thirty-nine participants were randomly divided into a voluntary cycling group (VC) (i.e., self-selected cadence), an assisted cycling group (ACT) (i.e., at

This study examines the effectiveness of two modes of exercise on self-efficacy (SE) in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). Thirty-nine participants were randomly divided into a voluntary cycling group (VC) (i.e., self-selected cadence), an assisted cycling group (ACT) (i.e., at least 30% faster than self-selected cadence accomplished by a motor), or a no exercise group (NC). In each cycling intervention the participant completed 30 minute cycling sessions, three times per week for a total of eight weeks. Two subsets of the Physical Activity and Self Efficacy Survey were administered prior to cycling (i.e., pretest) and after the eight week intervention (i.e., post-test). The results were consistent with the hypothesis that self-efficacy would improve after ACT, however there was not improvement after the VC condition as hypothesized. It was also hypothesized that exercise perception would improve following the ACT intervention; execise perception showed a trend of improvement after ACT, but the data did not reach significance. Limitations include the wide variability of the DS population. This limitation is responsible for the variation in mental age seen in the intervention groups and could be responsible for the non-significance of the exercise perception data. To generalize our results for parents, therapists, teachers, etc., our recommendation is for persons with DS to participate in physical activity that is easy for them at first \u2014 a simplified sport or active game, assisted cycling, brisk walking \u2014 so that they have a positive experience with exercise. Showing individuals with DS that they can be proficient exercisers will likely improve their self-efficacy and motivate them to engage in more PA over time. In conclusion, eight weeks of moderate ACT exercise demonstrated a significant trend for improved self-efficacy in adolescents with DS.

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2015-12

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Relationships among personal characteristics, self-efficacy, and conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis of community college engineering students

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Conceptual knowledge and self-efficacy are two research topics that are well-established at universities, however very little has been investigated about these at the community college. A sample of thirty-seven students enrolled in three introductory circuit analysis classes at a large

Conceptual knowledge and self-efficacy are two research topics that are well-established at universities, however very little has been investigated about these at the community college. A sample of thirty-seven students enrolled in three introductory circuit analysis classes at a large southwestern community college was used to answer questions about conceptual knowledge and self-efficacy of community college engineering students. Measures included a demographic survey and a pre/post three-tiered concept inventory to evaluate student conceptual knowledge of basic DC circuit analysis and self-efficacy for circuit analysis. A group effect was present in the data, so descriptive statistics were used to investigate the relationships among students' personal and academic characteristics and conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis. The a priori attribute approach was used to qualitatively investigate misconceptions students have for circuit analysis. The results suggest that students who take more credit hours score higher on a test of conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis, however additional research is required to confirm this, due to the group effect. No new misconceptions were identified. In addition to these, one group of students received more time to practice using the concepts. Consequently, that group scored higher on the concept inventory, possibly indicating that students who have extra practice time may score higher on a test of conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis. Correlation analysis was used to identify relationships among students' personal and academic characteristics and self-efficacy for circuit analysis, as well as to investigate the relationship between self-efficacy for circuit analysis and conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis. Subject's father's education level was found to be inversely correlated with self-efficacy for circuit analysis, and subject's age was found to be directly correlated with self-efficacy for circuit analysis. Finally, self-efficacy for circuit analysis was found to be positively correlated with conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis.

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2014

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Choice and participation of career by STEM professionals with sensory and orthopedic disabilities and the roles of assistive technologies

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This is a qualitative study about sources of self-efficacy and roles of assistive technologies (AT) associated with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) choice and participation of STEM professionals and graduate students with sensory and orthopedic disabilities. People with

This is a qualitative study about sources of self-efficacy and roles of assistive technologies (AT) associated with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) choice and participation of STEM professionals and graduate students with sensory and orthopedic disabilities. People with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM, which can be traced back along the STEM pipeline to early undergraduate participation in STEM. Little research exists, however, about pathways and factors associated with successful STEM participation for people with disabilities at any point along their trajectories. Eighteen STEM professionals and graduate students with sensory and orthopedic disabilities were interviewed for this study. Sources of self-efficacy were sought from interview transcripts, as were emergent themes associated with the types, uses and roles of AT. Findings suggest that people with sensory and orthopedic disabilities weigh sources of self-efficacy differently from white males without disabilities in STEM and more like other underrepresented minorities in STEM. Social persuasions were most frequently reported and in far more detail than other sources, suggesting that this source may be most impactful in the development of self-efficacy beliefs for this group. Additionally, findings indicate that AT is critical to the successful participation of people with sensory and orthopedic disabilities in STEM at all points along their STEM pathways. Barriers center around issues of access to full engagement in mainstream STEM classrooms and out of school opportunities as well as the impact of ill-informed perceptions about the capabilities of people with disabilities held by parents, teachers and college faculty who can act as gatekeepers along STEM pathways. Gaps in disability specialists' knowledge about STEM-specific assistive technologies, especially at the college level, are also problematic. The prevalence of mainstream public school attendance reported by participants indicates that classroom teachers and disability-related educators have important roles in providing access to STEM mastery experiences as well as providing positive support and high expectations for students with disabilities. STEM and disability-based networks served to provide participants with role models, out of school STEM learning experiences and important long-term social connections in STEM communities.

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2014