motor skill acquisition, contextual interference, mental retardation


The effects of contextual interference on motor skill acquisition and retention were examined in 24 subjects (mean age 13.9 years) with mild mental retardation and 24 chronologically age-matched subjects (mean age 13.11 years) with no disabilities. Subjects from each group were assigned randomly to either a blocked or a random practice schedule. All subjects performed 15 practice trials for each of three different beanbag throwing tasks, 45 trials total. Following a 10-min filled retention interval, 2 trials of each throw (6 total) were performed in a random order by all subjects. Accuracy scores were measured as absolute error from the target. The data revealed a significant interaction between ability groups and practice schedule. Post hoc analyses revealed that the retention scores of the mildly mentally handicapped subjects practicing under blocked conditions were significantly less accurate than scores of any of the other three acquisition groups. Significant effects in variable e

Original Publication Citation

Contextual Interference Effects in the Acquisition and Retention of Motor Tasks by Individuals with Mild Mental Handicaps. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. Vol. 11, No. 4, October 1994. (M. Painter, K. Inman, W. J. Vincent).

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Human Kinetics




Life Sciences


Exercise Sciences