This study aimed to compare individual and situational motivational factors and the use of coping strategies among elite athletes with and without physical disabilities. Participants were Norwegian athletes from the 1994 Winter Olympics (n = 69) and Paralympics (n = 30) at Lillehammer. Quantitative data came from questions concerning expectations and satisfactions, and three instruments (Perception of Success Questionnaire, Perceived Motivational Climate Questionnaire, and the COPE Inventory). Qualitative data came from interviews. MANOVA analyses revealed that Paralympic and Olympic athletes had similar motivational profiles, but the Paralympic athletes perceived a more mastery-oriented climate, F(1, 98) = 12.6, p < .001. Both groups used similar types of coping strategies, except that Olympic athletes employed more redefinition and growth strategies, F(1, 97) = 6.72, p < .01. Paralympic athletes were also significantly more satisfied with effort and results. Paralympic and Olympic athletes were significantly different on only 4 of 11 variables.
Arme Marte Pensgaard and Glyn C. Roberts are with the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education, PO Box 4014, Ullevaal Stadion, N-0806 Oslo, Norway. Holger Ursin is with the Department of Biological and Medical Psychology in the Division of Physiological Psychology at University of Bergen, Aarstadveien 21, N-5009 Bergen, Norway.