Personal Investment in Disability Sport Careers: An International Study

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 University of Alberta
  • 2 Mount Royal College
  • 3 The Wingate Institute
  • 4 University of Loughborough
  • 5 Casa Colina Centres for Rehabilitation
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This study aimed to examine the transferability of a personal investment process of disability sport to athletes from the USA, UK, Canada, and Israel. Initiation, competition, and retirement experiences of 40 athletes were examined. Results corroborate previous findings on athletes with and without disabilities and reveal no differences in major themes among athletes from different countries. A revised personal investment process model is proposed. Athletes with a disability should receive some form of preparatory counseling support before and after retirement. Difficulties during the transition to retirement are generally associated with overcommitment, ego identity in sport, and exclusion of other aspects of life (Baille, 1993; Blinde & Stratta, 1992; Hill & Lowe, 1974; Sinclair & Orlick, 1993). Factors associated with successful transition include sense of accomplishment, voluntary retirement, degree of ego involvement and commitment, anticipatory socialization, planning, social support structures, adequate financial support, and maintenance of outside interests (Baille, 1993; Sinclair & Orlick, 1993; Werthner & Orlick, 1986).

Garry D. Wheeler and Robert D. Steadward are with the Rick Hansen Centre at the University of Alberta, W1-67 Van Vliet Complex, Edmonton, AB, Canada, T6G 2H9. David Legg is with Mount Royal College. Yesahayu Hutzler is with the Zinman College of Physical Education at the Wingate Institute, Israel. Elizabeth Campbell is with the University of Loughborough, England. Anne Johnson is with the Casa Colina Centres for Rehabilitation in Pomona, CA.