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Voluntary cycling improves maladaptive behaviors in adolescents with Down syndrome

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This research study examined the effects of assisted cycling using a stationary recumbent bicycle that had an internal motor to help participants pedal at a desired cadence. The participants were

This research study examined the effects of assisted cycling using a stationary recumbent bicycle that had an internal motor to help participants pedal at a desired cadence. The participants were either placed in an Assisted Cycling (AC), Voluntary Cycling (VC), or No Cycling (NC) intervention group. Those placed in the AC of VC groups then came to a laboratory setting 3 days a week for 8 weeks to cycle for 30 minutes. This research specifically analyzes the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale II to analyze the changes in daily living skills and maladaptive behaviors pre and post the exercise intervention. After analyzing the VABS II scores it was found that those in the VC intervention had statistically significant improvements in maladaptive behaviors. An interpretation of this finding is that the VC intervention had an increased heart rate over the span of the intervention and had a larger power output than those in the AC group. A limitation of this research is that it was a self-reported questionnaire that was given to the caregivers of the participant. The caregivers were not always controlled for, so in some cases two different caregivers were given the questionnaire for a single participant. A suggestion for future research would be to use the participant's mental age versus their chronological age when using the VABS-II and to use the Adaptive Behaviors Assessment System III (ABAS-III).

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  • 2015-05