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Anne Marte Pensgaard and Marit Sorensen

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.

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Anne Marte Pensgaard and Joan L. Duda

Drawing upon the Cognitive-Motivational-Relational Theory of Emotion (Lazarus, 1991, 1999, 2000) and Hanin’s (1993, 2000) conceptualization of emotions, the purpose of this study was threefold. First, the reported content, frequency, and intensity of emotions experienced by 61 athletes in relation to a stressful event when competing in the 2000 Olympic Games were determined. Second, the relationships between emotional responses and reported coping strategies and perceived coping effectiveness were examined. Finally, the degree to which emotions and perceived coping effectiveness predicted subjective and objective performance during the Olympics was ascertained. In general, the athletes experienced a high frequency of optimizing emotions. Optimizing emotions were related to coping effectiveness, which emerged as a positive predictor of objective competitive results. Coping effectiveness also positively predicted subjective performance while reported dysfunctional emotions emerged as a negative predictor.

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Anne Marte Pensgaard, Glyn C. Roberts and Holger Ursin

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.