Children’s Social Relationships and Motivation in Sledge Hockey

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

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Katrina WynnykUniversity of Alberta

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Nancy Spencer-CavaliereUniversity of Alberta

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The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore children with disabilities’ social relationships and motivation to take part in sledge hockey. Harter’s (1978) theory of Competence Motivation was used as the conceptual framework. Ten children (1 girl and 9 boys) between ages 11–16 years, who experienced a range of disabilities, participated. Primary data were collected using semistructured interviews, participant observations, and field and reflective notes. The thematic analysis led to four themes: (a) coach feedback, (b) parental involvement, (c) skill and belonging, and (d) (dis)ability sport. The findings revealed that interactions with significant others contributed extensively to the participant’s perceptions of competence and motivation to participate, as did the sport’s competitive nature. The findings are discussed in the context of Harter’s theory and the children’s sport and adapted physical activity inclusion literature.

Katrina Wynnyk is an Accessibility Advisor at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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