The role of physical activity and body-related perceptions in motor skill competence of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder

Chia Hua Chu, Chia Liang Tsai, Fu Chen Chen, Cindy H.P. Sit, Po Lin Chen, Chien Yu Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study assessed the associations of motor skill competence with physical activity and physical self-perception of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Study design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: A total of 63 male adolescents, aged 12–18 years, with ASD participated in the study. The Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-Second Edition and the Chinese version of the Physical Self-Perception Profile were administered. Physical activity was assessed using a uniaxial accelerometer. Results: The main findings were that (a) both moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and self-perceived physical condition were positively related to manual coordination (MC) and strength and agility (SA); (b) moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was the only predictor of MC and accounted for 14% of the variance; and (c) perceived physical condition explained 16% of the variance in SA, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and perceived physical condition together accounted for 26% of the SA. Conclusion: Future interventions aimed at improving motor skill competence in adolescents with ASD should focus on improving the time spent on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and developing a positive perceived physical condition.Implications for rehabilitation Less than half of the participants with ASD accumulated at least 60 min of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Of the participants with ASD, only 19% had clinical levels of total motor impairments. Activities that promote successful moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and support positive physical self-perception (i.e., physical condition) are most likely to develop motor skill competency in adolescents with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1373-1381
Number of pages9
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 7

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation


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