Athletic Identity and Sports Participation in People with Spinal Cord Injury

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

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Tomasz TasiemskiInstitute of Rehabilitation, Poland

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Paul KennedyInstitute of Rehabilitation, Poland

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Brian P. GardnerNational Spinal Injury Centre, UK

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Rachel A. BlaikleyUniversity of Oxford, UK

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The aims of this study were to investigate “athletic identity” in people with spinal cord injury (SCI), using the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS), to evaluate the psychometric properties of the 7-item version, and to identify reasons for and barriers to sports participation in this population. People with SCI (N = 678), even those competing as athletes, reported lower levels of athletic identity than able-bodied adults and adolescents with physical disabilities. AIMS scores varied according to gender, athlete status, and hours of sports participation per week. No relationship was found between athletic identity and depression, anxiety, or life satisfaction. Exploratory factor analysis did not support the 3-factor structure of the AIMS with this population, although internal consistency was good.

Tomasz Tasiemski is with the Institute of Rehabilitation, University School of Physical Education, ul. Królowej Jadwigi 27/39, 61-871 Poznań, Poland. E-mail: tashma@poczta.onet.pl. Paul Kennedy and Brian P. Gardner are with the National Spinal Injury Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury Buckinghamshire, HP21 8AL United Kingdom. Paul Kennedy is also with the Isis Education Centre at the University of Oxford, UK. E-mail: Paul.Kennedy@smh.nhs.uk; Brian.Gardner@smh.nhs.uk. Rachel A. Blaikley is with the Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology, Isis Education Centre, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7JX. United Kingdom. E-mail: rachel.blaikley@hmc.ox.ac.uk.

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