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Deborah Shapiro


Bachelor of Arts, Honors, in Physical Education and Psychology, York University, 1993
Master of Science, Adapted Physical Education and Motor Development, Michigan State University, 1995
Doctor of Philosophy, Indiana University, 1999


Adapted Physical Education
Disability Sport
Sport psychology


Deborah Shapiro has worked with individuals with physical disabilities, Autism spectrum disorder, visual impairments and individuals with intellectual disabilities in recreation programs, summer camps and has taught adapted physical education to students with disabilities ages preschool through adulthood in public and center schools.

As a researcher in the area of psychosocial factors influencing sport participation among individuals with disabilities, she has published numerous articles in journals such as the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, International Journal of Sport Psychology, Teaching Exceptional Children and the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. She has also presented at international, national and regional and state conferences on adapted physical education and physical activity.

Shapiro has received several awards for her scholarship and leadership in the field of adapted physical activity including: the Georgia Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (GAHPERD) Young Scholar Award, the American Association for Health Physical Education and Recreation (AAHPERD) Mabel Lee award and Georgia State University’s College of Education & Human Development Outstanding Faculty Service Award.

She serves on the board of directors for the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs, is a founding board member of the Georgia Blind Sports Association and member of several national and international groups focused on the advancement of sport, physical activity and physical education for persons with disabilities.


Shapiro, D. R., Pitts, B., & Cottingham, M. (2017). Purpose and perceived benefits for the inclusion of disability sport topics in the introduction to sport management course. Sport Management International Journal Choregia, 13(2), 17-33

Pitts, B., & Shapiro, D. R. (2017). People with disabilities in sport: An exploration of topic inclusion in sport management.Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport, Tourism and Education. 21, 33-45

Yao, WR., Shapiro, D.R., & Liao, CM. (2016). Parents motivation for participation in physical activity for children with impairments.European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity, 9(1),3-14.

Shapiro, D. R., Gurvitch, R., & Yao, WR. (2016). Video-editing of a service learning assignment in adapted physical education.Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 87(2), 33-37.

Cottingham, M., Carroll, M., Lee, D., Shapiro, D.R., & Pitts, B. (2016). The historical realization of the Americans with Disabilities Act on athletes with disabilities.Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, 26, 5-21.

Shapiro, D. R., & Malone, L. (2016). Quality of life and psychological affect related to sport participation in children and youth athletes with physical disabilities.Disability and Health Journal, 9, 385-391.

Shapiro, D. R., Mastro, J. & Balmer, S. (2015). Beep kickball: An adapted sport for persons with vision loss of all ages.Palaestra 29(1), 37-40.

Shapiro, D. R., & Pitts, B. (2014). What little do we know: Content analysis of disability sport in sport management literature.Journal of Sport Management, 28, 657-671.

Shapiro, D. R. & Martin, J. J. (2014). The relationships among sport self-perceptions and social well-being in athletes with physical disabilities.Disability and Health Journal, 7(1), 42-48. doi:10.1016/j.dhjo.2013.06.002

Martin, J. J., Shapiro, D. R., & Prokesova, E. (2013). Predictors of physical activity among European and American hearing impaired children. European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity.

Shapiro, D. R. & Martin, J. J. (2013). The relationships among sport self-perceptions and social well-being in athletes with physical disabilities. Disability and Health Journal.

Shapiro, D. R., Pitts, B. Hums, M., & Calloway, J. (2012). Infusing disability sport into the sport management curriculum. The Sport Management International Journal, 8, 101-118.

Shapiro, D. R., & Martin, J. J. (2010). Multidimensional physical self concept of youth athletes with physical disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 27, 294-307.

Shapiro, D. R., & Martin, J. J. (2010). Athletic identity, affect and peer relations in youth athletes with physical disabilities in adapted sport. Disability and Health Journal, 3, 79-85.18.