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The Impact of an Adapted Climbing Program on Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Erin Angelini, Kathryn N Oriel, Greta M Myers, Kyle D.A. Cook, Ross M Drawbaugh, Jennifer Price
International Journal of Physical Education, Fitness and Sports , Volume 9, pp 60-69; doi:10.34256/ijpefs2047

Abstract: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder impacts children’s participation in activities that require attention to instruction, sustained mental effort, and executive functioning. Physical activity has been correlated to improvement in attention in children with ADHD. Rock climbing challenges muscular endurance, attention, and route planning. Five participants, aged 8-13, participated in the climbing program. Attention was measured pre and post climbing intervention with Trail Making Test B (TMT-B) for time to complete. Exercise intensity was measured by heart rate. Parent feedback on behavior was collected with the Conner’s Parent Rating Scale (CPRS). The social validity of the intervention was measured by the IRP-15 measures. Statistically, significant intrasession attention improvements were noted in all 5 climbers (p=.43). Two climbers were consistently working at a moderate intensity (40-60% HRmax) while 3 climbers maintained a light level of intensity (20-40% HRmax). No statistically significant improvements were found on the CPRS, although improvements are noted with qualitative reports from parents. The IRP-15 showed 100% of parents believed rock climbing was an effective intervention for their children with ADHD. Rock climbing at a light to moderate intensity is associated with improvements in attention and behavior in children with ADHD.
Keywords: Behavior / Children / climbers / Rock Climbing / adapted / Deficit/hyperactivity / HRmax / Noted

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