Perceptions of middle-class mothers of their children with special needs participating in motor and sport programs

Dana Roth, Arie Rimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This exploratory research studied middle-class mother's primary reason for registering their young children, mean age 6.9 years, in adapted motor and sports programs and their perceptions of their children upon entering the program and upon completion. Analyses also examined the possible relationship between mothers' age, education or children's age with their perceived favorable changes in the children's development. Fifty-one mothers participated in the study. The mothers completed a survey examining their perceptions of their children's developmental function along seven domains: understanding direction, communication,general physical functioning, fine motor skills, activities of daily living, vigilance and attention, and social behavior. The children were categorized by primary reason of referral to three categories: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, motor difficulties, and social/behavioral difficulties. Findings suggest that middle-class mothers showed awareness and understanding of their children's needs by identifying the general physical function as the desirable domain to be addressed by the motor group, vigilance and attention as associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and understanding directions and communication as the desirable domain by the social/behavioral group. The findings are discussed in terms of the complexity of mother's perception of their children participating in sports and motor programs as relating to the different domains as well as to their perceived needs of their children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-359
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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