Self esteem and participation in the Special Olympics

Burns, J. and Watts, C. (2012) Self esteem and participation in the Special Olympics. In: 14th World Congress of IASSID, 9-14th July 2012, Halifax Nova Scotia.

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Abstract

Aim:
The purpose of this study was to examine the psychosocial impact of involvement in the Special Olympics.

Method:
A cross sectional design was employed comparing two groups, sports active through the Special Olympics (SO) and non-sport active participants with intellectual disabilities. One hundred participants completed validated measures of self-esteem, quality of life, stress levels and social networks. Qualitative data was also collected from SO participants about what they perceived as the benefits of involvement in sports.

Results:
Analysis revealed that higher levels of self-esteem, quality of life, social networks and lower stress levels were significantly associated with involvement in the Special Olympics. A logistic regression analysis showed self-esteem to be a good predictor of group membership, those in the Special Olympics having higher self-esteem. Qualitative responses from the SO group confirmed the social support provided by SO involvement was perceived as an additional benefit to the actual sports activity.

Conclusion:
The findings provide further evidence of a positive association between sport involvement and increased psychological wellbeing for people with intellectual disabilities, and suggest such involvement may be particularly valuable for those potentially vulnerable to low self-esteem.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0706 Sports psychology
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Prof Jan Burns
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2012 10:21
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:10
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/10886

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