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

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.

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.

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

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