2018, Volume 10, Issue 1
Athletes with disability in the light of positive psychology
Iwona Sikorska1, Krzysztof Gerc1
1Institute of Applied Psychology, Jagiellonian University in Cracow
Author for correspondence: Iwona Sikorska; Institute of Applied Psychology, Jagiellonian University in Cracow; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: The purpose of the study was to describe selected aspects of good life in Polish paralympic athletes in the light of positive psychology. Good life category was investigated in such dimensions as satisfaction with life, resilience, personal values and courage.
Material/Methods: The project involved a study group of 30 disabled athletes (M = 26.5 years of age) practising skiing, cycling, swimming, fencing, basketball, and a control group consisting of 30 healthy young adults (M = 25.9 years of age) doing sport as leisure. Questionnaires testing the selected aspects of good life and wellbeing were used.
Results: A statistically relevant difference between the two groups can be identified with regard to resilience, concerning the structured style factor (t = 2.31, df = 58, p < 0.05) and with regard to courage in the level of the endurance factor (t = 2.19, df = 58, p < 0.05). Disabled athletes choose the following as highly assessed values: being useful to others
(z = 2.74, p = 0.001), courage and firmness (z = 2.26, p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Disabled athletes demonstrated a significantly higher level of structured style in resilience and of endurance in courage. Adventure, making new friends and better self-esteem were identified as the most frequent effects of their involvement in sport
Key words: paralympic sports, resilience, positive psychology, well-being