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Investigating parental beliefs concerning facilitators and barriers to the physical activity in down syndrome and typical development


Family is a crucial factor to determine the amount, the duration, and the complexity of children’s sport activities. This study aims at comparing the beliefs concerning the involvement in sport activities among parents of children with Down syndrome (DS) and parents of typically developing children (TDC). A phenomenological theoretical framework was adopted to realize semistructured interviews with the parents. The participants were 35 parents: 19 with children and adolescents with DS and 16 with TDC. The main facilitation/barrier themes identified by the parents of children with DS were the family and the expert at Adapted Physical Activity (APA) instructors. Conversely, the parents of TDC identified social factors related to family as the only barrier. One of the issues that emerge from this study is the lack of home-based physical activity (PA) intervention programs aimed at involving families and children.