Adaptive Behavior Moderates Health-Related Pathways in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Emily BremerEmail author
  • John Cairney
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to examine the moderating role of adaptive behavior on the pathways connecting motor competence, physical activity, and health-related fitness in 7–12 year old children with ASD (N = 27). Results demonstrate that motor competence and health-related fitness were positively related (r = .42, p < .05), and this relationship was moderated by adaptive behavior. Specifically, we found that motor competence and health-related fitness were significantly related for those participants scoring approximately one or more standard deviations below the mean on adaptive behavior. No other significant pathways were present. Implications of these associations and directions for future research are discussed.


Physical activity Health Exercise Movement skill 



This work was supported by funding from a Special Olympics Canada Research Grant awarded to both EB and JC. This work was completed as part of EB’s PhD at McMaster University, where she was supported by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. The funding sources did not have any involvement in the study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of data, or writing of the manuscript.

Author Contributions

EB designed the study, obtained ethics approval from McMaster University, coordinated and carried out recruitment and data collection, conducted the data analysis, and was the primary author of the manuscript. JC supervised the design and execution of all phases of the study and revised and approved the final manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.INfant and Child Health (INCH) LabMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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