Mehmet Özdemir, Mehmet Ilkım, Halil Tanır


The aim of this research is to determine the effect of physical activity on social adjustment and skill development in mentally disabled individuals. The sample of the study consisted of 50 (n=40 male and n=10 female) mentally handicapped individuals aged between 11 and 15 who were educated at the Malatya Anatolian Special Education and Rehabilitation Center. These individuals were divided into two groups as experiment (n=25) and control (n=25). Individuals constituting the experimental group were given a bowling activity for 4 days and 2 hours in every week and tracking activity 1 day and 1 hour in every week throughout 12 weeks. Individuals who form the control group do not participate in any activities and continue their daily lives. In order to determine the effect of physical activity on social adaptation and skill development in mentally disabled individuals, the Social Skills and Compliance Scale (SSCS) was applied to parents of members of the experimental and control groups before and after of exercise program that is for 12 weeks. After analyzing the statistical analysis, it was found that there was a statistically significant difference between pre-test and post-test scores of SSCS total scores and subscales of the scale in both experimental and control groups (p<0.05). When the mean values of the pre-tests and final scores applied to the individuals in the experiment and control groups are examined, it was seen that the average of the final test scores of the individuals in the experimental group decreases; the average of the post test scores of the individuals in the control group increased. It was reached from results of these findings that physical activity that continues throughout 12 weeks contributed to the development of social cohesion and competence of mentally disabled individuals. For this reason, should be frequently included in physical activities which have to enhance and support social development levels of mentally disabled individuals who are trained in rehabilitation centers so that they can adapt to the environment they live in.


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