Social Support Mechanisms among Athletes with Disabilities

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Jeffrey J. Martin Wayne State University

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Carol A. Mushett Georgia State University

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The purpose of this investigation was to describe social support mechanisms of swimmers with disabilities and examine relationships among social support, self-efficacy, and athletic satisfaction. Results indicated that athletes felt satisfied with the social support they received. Mothers and friends provided primary support in a variety of areas requiring non-sport-related knowledge. Additionally, there were important secondary sources of support in areas requiring sport-specific knowledge. Coaches were primary sources of support in areas that required sport expertise. Fathers were also important sources of secondary support in areas that required both sport expertise and nonsport expertise. Correlational results suggested that athletes who were supported by being listened to and by being challenged to become better athletes and people also reported strong self-efficacy.

Jeffrey Martin is with the Division of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, 266 Matthaei Building, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 48202. Carol A. Mushett is with the School of Health and Human Performance, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303.

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