Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Zimmerman, M. Nadine

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Physical Education


Physical education for mentally handicapped persons


The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of an 8-week physical fitness training program on the health related physical fitness of educable, trainable, and severely mentally retarded adults. Subjects were 18 to 35 years of age and were either clients at Opportunity House in Sycamore, IL, or students at the Samuel Kirk Center in Palatine, IL. There were 16 experimental subjects and 15 control subjects. The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Lifetime Health Related Physical Fitness Test was used to determine the pre- and posttreatment levels of health related physical fitness. The training sessions were 30 minutes in length conducted 3 days per week, for 8 consecutive weeks, in the Spring of 1985. The sessions began and ended with flexibility exercises. The middle portion of each session consisted of continuous repetitive exercises of varying intensities using different parts of the body. The experimental group was divided into two subgroups of 9 and 7 subjects for the exercise sessions. The control group received no formal physical education but were not specifically restricted from activity. The data were analyzed with a one-way analysis of covariance using the treatments as the two factors. Each of the four test items was analyzed separately, and a .05 level of significance was established. Results indicated that there was no significant difference for any item. Thus it was concluded that the 8-week training program had no significant effect on the health related physical fitness level of mentally retarded adults. Recommendations include limiting training groups to one level of retardation, increasing the duration and intensity of the sessions, and teaching self-monitoring of heart rates as one way to verify intensity.


Bibliography: pages [34]-37.


vii, 50 pages




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