Abstract

AIM: The aim for this study was to identify the effects of physical activity (PA) on the psychosocial factors (PA self-efficacy, enjoyment of PA, perceived stress, and depression) amongst young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through the use of a 12-week remotely prescribed exercise program. METHODSs: This quasi-experimental study consisted of a 12-week remote-based exercise intervention (and a no-exercise control group) for young adults (18 – 35 years) with ASD. Participants were recruited through the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD), an organization that provides resources to individuals with ASD and their families. The exercise program occurred twice a week for 45 minutes each session. Both the intervention and control groups were asked to complete surveys on PA self-efficacy, PA enjoyment, perceived stress, and depression. RESULTS: A total of 16 young adults (intervention = 10; control = 6) with ASD were included in the final analysis. Findings revealed that there was a significant decrease in depression scores in the intervention group following the exercise intervention (p = 0.03). Additionally, the change in depression scores from baseline to post-exercise program was significantly greater than in the control condition (p=0.017). Findings were not significant for either exercise group and control group for scores in enjoyment, self-efficacy, and perceived stress. CONCLUSION: Preliminary evidence suggest that a remote-based exercise intervention may reduce symptoms of depression in young adults with ASD. Future studies that consider the type of exercise program prescribed and increasing the sample diversity and size are needed.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2021

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Garcia, Jeanette

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

College of Health Professions and Sciences

Department

School of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy

Degree Program

Kinesiology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008499; DP0024175

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0024175

Language

English

Release Date

May 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Included in

Kinesiology Commons

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