The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an 8-week judo program on lifestyle habits and behavior in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). METHODS: Participants included 25 children (ages 8-17), with a formal diagnosis of ASD. The sample participated in an 8-week judo program (45 minutes, 1x week), with measures taken at baseline and at the end of the 8-weeks. In order to assess activity levels and sleep quality, participants were instructed to wear Actigraph GT9X Accelerometers for 7 days and nights. In order to assess behavioral changes, parents were given the ABC survey to fill out at baseline and post-intervention. Non-parametric paired t-tests were conducted to compare differences in behaviors, MVPA, SB, and sleep quality (i.e. sleep efficiency, total sleep time, number of awakenings, and wake after sleep onset) pre and post judo. RESULTS: Results indicated there was a strong negative correlation (r= -0.632) with inappropriate behaviors and the number of classes attended. Participants also spent a significantly greater percentage of time in daily MVPA (8% vs 4%, p=0.05) following the program. There was a significant increase in total minutes of sleep duration (572.56 vs 333.8, p=0.008) following the program, and although not statistically significant, a trend existed for improved sleep efficiency (92% vs 88%, p=0.1). CONCLUSION: Despite no significant differences in ABC scores pre and post-judo, a strong association between class attendance and lower ABC scores were observed, along with improvements in MVPA and sleep quality. Future studies should include larger samples of youth with ASD, over a longer intervention period.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Health Professions and Sciences
School of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy
Sport and Exercise Science
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Rivera, Paola, "The Impact of Judo on Aggressive Behaviors in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6359.