Barriers and facilitators of physical activity in adolescents with intellectual disabilities: An analysis informed by the COM-B model

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Abstract

Background: Adolescents with intellectual disabilities are insufficiently physically active. Where interventions have been developed and delivered, these have had limited effectiveness, and often lack a theoretical underpinning. Aim: Through application of the COM-B model, our aim is to explore the factors influencing adolescent physical activity within schools. Methods: A qualitative methodology, using focus groups with students who have mild/moderate intellectual disabilities, their parents'/carers' and teachers'. The COM-B model provided the lens through which the data were collected and analysed. Results: We identified of a range of individual, interpersonal, and environmental factors influencing physical activity, across all six COM-B constructs, within the context of the ‘school-system’. Conclusion: This is the first study to use the COM-B model to explore school-based physical activity behaviour, for adolescents with intellectual disabilities. Identification of such physical activity behavioural determinants can support the development of effective and sustainable interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-825
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume35
Issue number3
Early online date28 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the two schools within the study for taking part and providing us with the platform upon which we could explore this topic further. Thank you to the teachers, parents and students who afforded us their time and contributed insightfully to the discussion.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • adolescent
  • barriers
  • COM-B
  • facilitators
  • intellectual disability
  • physical activity

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