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Physical activity and physical fitness in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: reliability, validity and correlates.

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are at greater risk to develop co-occurring medical and psychiatric conditions. ASD is heterogeneous in nature and due to this complexity, physical activity and health behaviours in this population may be affected by a range of factors. Physical activity participation in individuals with ASD is challenged by a variety of barriers, including deficits in motor abilities, intellectual impairment, social difficulties, etc. In order to design appropriate interventions, correlates of physical activity should be determined, using an overall and broad approach. Although physical activity interventions for this population have been developed and studies focus on a range of outcomes (e.g. cognition, social-emotional functioning, physical fitness), most measures have not yet been validated in these populations. The aims of this project are to explore the correlates of physical activity in adolescents with ASD, taking into account the heterogeneity of the population. Moreover, the validity and reliability of different measures to assess physical fitness and physical activity (Astrand-Rhyming test, Physical Activity Vital Sign) will be examined. Lastly, motivational aspects and participation in physical activities will be explored from the adolescents’ perspective.
Date:30 Nov 2020 →  30 Sep 2022
Keywords:Autism spectrum Disorder, physical activity, physical fitness
Disciplines:Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation, Paediatrics