This study compared individuals with mental retardation participating in either a traditional segregated Special Olympic program or the new Unified Special Olympic program, which is integrated. The dependent variables of the study included self-perceptions of physical ability, social skills, and general self-worth. Actual physical abilities were also compared between the two groups, A control group not participating in sport programs was utilized. Self-perceptions were assessed with a modified version of the Per- ceived Competence Scale for Children (Harter, 1982). Cardiovascular fitness was estimated with the 1-mi run-walk (AAHPERD, 1984), Sport skills were assessed by use of a standard skills test routinely used for team placement by Special Olympics, Unified athletes demonstrated an increase in social self-perception, which remained unchanged in the traditional athletes. There were no significant increases found in self-perceptions of physical and general self-worth for either the traditional or Unified Special Olympic participants. Both the segregated and integrated basketball participants demonstrated sig- nificant increases in basketball skills but not in cardiovascular fitness.
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