The psychological benefits of Special Olympic involvement

Watts, C. (2011) The psychological benefits of Special Olympic involvement. D.Clin.Psych. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Abstract

Section A is a review of the current literature on sports involvement with respect to people with learning disabilities. It begins by describing the health status of people with learning disabilities and provides a context of sport and wellbeing in the general population. It continues by describing four reviews of the literature exploring people with learning disabilities with respect to sports involvement. This section ends with a description of the Special Olympics research and suggests future research needs in this area.
Section B describes a quantitative cross-sectional study comparing two groups of sports active and non-active people with learning disabilities using several psychological measures.
Objectives. There is evidence that people with learning disabilities have poorer mental and physical wellbeing compared with that of the wider population. The aim of this study was to explore whether a group of people with learning disabilities involved in sport differed in terms of psychological well-being compared with a group not involved in sport.
Design. A cross sectional design was employed comparing two groups, sports active and non-active on the variables: Self-esteem, quality of life, stress levels and social networks.
Methods. Seventy four participants were recruited across South East England. They completed a number of psychological measures.
Results. Analysis revealed that self-esteem, quality of life, social networks and stress were all significantly correlated with Special Olympics involvement. A logistic regression analysis was used to explore whether scores on these variables were able to predict sport membership. Self-esteem was found to be a high predictor of group membership, those in the Special Olympics having higher self-esteem.
Conclusions. The findings provide further evidence of a positive association between sport involvement and increased psychological wellbeing. The implications of these findings for theory and future research into the relationship between sport and psychological wellbeing within the learning disabled population is considered.
Section C is a critical appraisal of the quantitative study that considers four aspects: research skills; amendments to the study if it were replicated; how the study may have influenced clinical practice; and finally, further research and methods relating to this area.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Learning disability; Sport; Self-esteem; Stress; Social networks; Quality of life
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0445 Physical education for people with disabilities
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0706 Sports psychology
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Users 36 not found.
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2011 12:02
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 19:09
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/10344

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00