Empowerment Through the Sport Context: A Model to Guide Research for Individuals with Disability

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Anne Marte Pensgaard The Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education

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Marit Sorensen The Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education

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Our purpose is to propose a model of “Empowerment through the sport context” to guide psychosocial research in disability sport. We discuss the concept of empowerment in relation to sport for individuals with disabilities. Expanding upon the work of Hutzler (1990), we include three levels of empowerment (societal, group, and individual level) in our approach. Important moderators are age of onset of disability, gender, and type of disability. Important mediators are (a) at the individual level, achievement goals, identity, and self-efficacy; (b) at the group level, motivational climate, group identity, and collective efficacy; and finally, (c) at the societal level, the cultural context and political efficacy. Several methodological considerations are discussed, and various solutions are suggested. We also discuss the critiques that have emerged in relation to the use of the empowerment concept.

Marit Sorensen is with the Institute for Social Science at Norwegian University of Sport Science, PO Box 40 14, Ullevaal Stadion, N-0806 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: <Marit.Sorensen@nih.no>. Anne Marte Pensgaard is now with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham, UK.

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