Self-perception of children participating in different organized physical activity programs


The aim of this study was to investigate potential self-perception differences in children who participate in different organized PA programs. For that purpose, the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (PSPCSA) was administered to 191 children (87 boys; 104 girls), aged 5 – 9 years (Μ= 7.1, SD= 0.7). Moreover, participants’ anthropometric and demographic data were also gathered. For data analysis, children were classified into three PA groups, according to the PA program they were participating in: (a) team sports, (b) individual sports, and (c) dance. (M)ANCOVA procedures were computed on participants’ scores to examine potential differences among PA groups and genders, using age and BMI as covariates. The results revealed that the participants presented high PSPCSA scores, irrespectively of their gender and PA program they participated in. Children’s participation in PA seems to associate with high positive selfperception scores. Organized PA clubs and children’s coaches should be informed about the important relationship between PA and self- perception in order for this “window of opportunity” of young children’s high positive self-perception level to be optimally exploit for their health’s benefit.

The effect of a Greek traditional dance programme on the social skills of children with autism spectrum disorder


It is well know that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have deficits in their social skills. However, movement programmes have been found to enhance their social development. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of a Greek traditional dance (GTD) programme on the social skills of children with ASD. Eight 6-14-year-old children with ASD participated in the study and were randomly classified into the control group (CG), who took part only in the physical education lessons, and the experimental group (EG), who apart from physical education participated in an 8-week TGD programme of two sessions/week. Children’s social skills were assessed with the Educational Evaluation Tool for children with autism in the field of Social Skills (Apteslis et al., 2012) that was administered to participants’ teachers. Due to both the small sample size and the great heterogeneity of children with ASD, the participants were faced as eight case studies classified into two groups (EG; CG). According to the results, children of the EG presented higher improvement in social skills compared to those of the CG. The above findings are encouraging; however, further research with a larger sample size and a GTD programme of longer duration is necessary if sound conclusions are to be drawn.

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