Athletic Identity and Sport Orientation of Adolescent Swimmers with Disabilities

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 Wayne State University
  • 2 Georgia State University
  • 3 Wayne State University
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Measures of athletic identity and sport orientation, developed from self-schema theory, social role theory, and achievement motivation theory, were used to examine international adolescent swimmers with disabilities. The multidimensional Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (Brewer, Van Raalte, & Linder, 1993) was used to assess self-identity, social identity, exclusivity, and negative affectivity. The Sport Orientation Questionnaire (Gill & Deeter, 1988) measured competitiveness, win orientation, and goal orientation. Swimmers reported (a) a strong self-identity, (b) a moderate to strong social identity, (c) negative affectivity with lower levels of exclusivity, (d) strong competitiveness and goal orientation, and (e) moderate win orientation. Self-identity was correlated with competitiveness, suggesting that swimmers did not simply report an identification with an athletic role; they also reported a strong desire to attain competitive goals. Additionally, exclusivity was associated with negative affectivity, indicating that athletes without diversified self-schemas may be at risk for emotional problems when unable to compete. In general, the results indicated that these swimmers possess a strong athletic identity and that sport is important to them.

Jeffrey J. Martin and Kari L. Smith are with the Division of Health, Recreation, and Physical Education, 266 Matthaei Building, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202. Carol Adams-Mushett is with the Department of Kinesiology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303.

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