ERIC Number: ED406098
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Current Research Efforts of Special Olympics International.
Prior to the early 1990s, Special Olympics research consisted of collecting anecdotal information about the "good stories." In 1993, Special Olympics International gathered its first statistical data on its athletes in conjunction with the first "Team USA" coming together from programs throughout the United States and traveling to Austria to compete in international competition. Of the 104 athletes, 54 were male, 50 female, with a mean age of 22 and a mean IQ of 59. Three different studies were used in this research. One showed that, relative to age and IQ, length of time in Special Olympics was the most powerful predictor of social competence. A second study found that Special Olympics athletes had higher social competence scores than a non-Special Olympics group, and a third study found higher scores in competence at the 4-month follow-up after the World Games. This research was replicated in six countries attending the 1995 Special Olympic games. Study findings strongly support the conclusion that Special Olympics is successful in helping individuals with mental retardation deal with their own lives. Research into the impact of Special Olympics on adolescent volunteers found that both Special Olympics participants and their volunteer partners showed strong positive changes in their attitudes toward each other. Another study of a program that provided free dental checkups to Special Olympics athletes found positive changes in the attitudes of dentistry professionals toward individuals with mental retardation. (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Promoting Progress in Times of Change: Rural Communities Leading the Way; see RC 020 986.