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LEISURE & SPORTS

This brief section focuses on the topic of sports, physical fitness and activity, and leisurely activities. Among the resources that are included are resources on camping and girls with disabilities, body images of female wheelchair athletes, and the affect of informal care on leisure. 



Anderson, D. (2009). Adolescent girls’ involvement in disability sport: Implications for identity development. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 33(4), 427-449.

The social institution of sport reflects a society that presupposes the values, mores, norms, and standards of the majority and subsequently determines who can participate in sport and who can be identified as an athlete. Recognizing the growing importance of disability sport to people with disabilities, the purpose of this study was to use the construct of symbolic interactionism to examine the identity development of adolescent girls with physical disabilities who participate in organized wheelchair sports with a specific focus on athletic identity development. An understanding of how the girls’ interaction with various socializing agents through a wheelchair sport program to develop an athletic identity was developed through interviews. Results are presented utilizing Keliber’s framework for identity development through leisure participation, including sport. 



Anderson, D. M., Wozencroft, A., & Bedini, L. A. (2008). Adolescent girls' involvement in disability sport: A comparison of social support mechanisms. Journal of Leisure Research, 40(2), 183-207.

Women and girls with disabilities are historically disenfranchised from physical recreation due to the "double whammy" of being female and having a disability. The literature suggests that challenges to participation likely include lack of social support for girls with disabilities to participate in sport. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine differences in social support received by girls with disabilities who did and did not participate in organized wheelchair sport programs. In addition, the relationship between social support and outcomes tied to wheelchair sport participation were investigated. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and analyzed using constant comparison techniques. Utilizing a model of social support as a framework, the findings illustrate multiple differences in social support mechanisms for girls who are and who are not involved in wheelchair sport programs. 



Bedini, L. A., & Guinan, D. M. (1995, October). Motherhood revisited?: Recurring roles of family caregivers and their relationship to leisure. Paper presented at The 1995 Leisure Research Symposium, San Antonio, TX.

Research about understanding the leisure of women, particularly those in unique family and social roles such as mothers or single parents, is growing. Women who pursue the less defined roles of informal (unpaid) family caregivers for older adult members, however, are an under-researched group…. The purpose of this study was to examine the leisure of women who are informal family caregivers for older adult members from a life span/life stage perspective. Specifically, the responsibilities inherent in caregiving for an older family member were addressed regarding the concept of recurring roles and their impact on leisure. 



Bedini, L. A., Henderson, K. A. (1994). Women with disabilities and the challenges to leisure service providers. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 12(1), 17-34.

The purpose of the study was to explore the lives of women with disabilities to ascertain the implications for parks, recreation and leisure providers. In-depth qualitative interviews were used to encourage women with disabilities to talk about their lives and the meanings of leisure. Symbolic interaction provided the framework for conducting this study. A theoretical sampling technique was used to interview 30 women in the USA with varying physical disabilities. For these women, experiencing leisure and participating in recreational activities appeared to be highly dependent on the internal meanings of leisure as well as on the external social responsiveness of their communities. Although leisure service providers cannot necessarily address the internal, personal components that may prevent women with disabilities from participating in leisure services, they can undertake socially responsive initiatives to make external components in the environment more accessible, psychologically and socially comfortable, and available for both females and males with disabilities. 



Blinde, E. M., & McCallister, S. G. (1999, September). Women, disability, and sport and physical fitness activity: The intersection of gender and disability dynamics. Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport, 70(3), 303-312.

This study examined the experiences of women with physical disabilities in the sport and physical fitness domain. Participants were 16 women, aged between 19 and 54 years, with a range of disabilities, who took part in recreational programs designed to impact several aspects of their lives. Results revealed that participation in physical activities tended to be fitness--rather than sport-related; the reasons for participation consisted of the wish to maintain body functionality, social factors, and psychological factors; the main outcome of participation consisted of the intrinsic gains for individuals; and there was a perception of a difference between the sport and physical fitness activity experiences of men and women with disabilities. 



Depauw, K. P. (1999). Girls and women with disabilities in sport. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 70(4), 50 - 52; 61.

“It is a little-known fact that the history of girls and women with disabilities in competitive sport dates back to the early 1900s and has continued to evolve throughout the 20th century. For the most part, this history is somewhat difficult to trace separately from the general history of disability sport, which has been, until recently, nonspecific in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and type of impairment…. In much the same way that the history of sport has been written primarily through the eyes of male athletes and their sport experiences, the history of disability sport has also been recorded through the eyes of male athletes with disabilities, or more specifically, through the experiences of white males with spinal cord injuries who used wheelchairs for competition….” 



Gahagan, J., Loppie, C., Rehman, L., Maclellan, M., & Side, K. (2007, January). “Far as I get is the clothesline”: The impact of leisure on women's health and unpaid caregiving experiences in Nova Scotia, Canada. Health Care for Women International, 28(1), 47-68.

This qualitative study explored the unique ways in which caregiving and leisure are conceptualized and mediated among diverse groups of female caregivers (n = 98) in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Data were obtained through 17 focus group discussions between March and June of 2002. Findings reveal that the contexts within which caregivers experience the health effects of caregiving create meanings, opportunities, and challenges for leisure. This study of diverse caregiving experiences fills a significant gap in the existing literature by integrating considerations of subjectivity and the ways in which caregiving influences women's perceptions and engagement in leisure pursuits. Constructivism guides the interpretive framework upon which the data were analyzed; results inform recommendations relative to policy and program audiences associated with unpaid caregiving. 



Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. (2000, November). Resource listing #606: Camping with girls with disabilities. Louisville, KY: Author. Retrieved April 5, 2005 from http://www.kyanags.org/pdfs/606.pdf  

This brief document reviews the benefits of camping, considerations before going camping with girls with disabilities, general safety pointers, and information concerning girls with disabilities in other Girl Scout resources and well as other general resources. 



Gosselink, C. A., & Myllykangas, S. A. (2007, January). The leisure experiences of older U.S. women living with HIV/AIDS. Health Care for Women International, 28(1), 3-20.

Although leisure is held to provide positive health benefits, structural and social obstacles deny equal participation to the disenfranchised. Employing quantitative and unique qualitative (e.g., Photovoice) methods, we examined the leisure behaviors of older women who were living in the United States and diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Findings pointed to differences in time for, access to, and meaning of leisure in pre- vs. post-infection leisure for these women. As the disease progressed, however, each woman exhibited resilience in transcending systemic barriers to derive a spiritual view of leisure as a metaphor for the meaning of life. We believe our findings of spiritual transcendence will resonate among people living with HIV/AIDS throughout both Western and non-Western cultures. 



Guthrie, S. R. (1999, November). Managing imperfection in a perfectionistic culture: Physical activity and disability management among women with disabilities. In Social justice and diversity [Feature issue]. Quest, 51(4), 369-381.

The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe: (a) the relationship between a woman's ability to manage (i.e., cope or come to terms with) her disability via regular physical activity and her perceptions of physical and psychological empowerment, and (b) the ways women manage their disabilities, in particular, how they used physical activity in the management process. In-depth interviews were conducted with 37 women who had chronic illness and physical mobility disabilities. Findings suggested a relationship between disability management via physical activity and empowerment (psychological or physical) among the women of this sample. They also indicated three different management approaches: (a) management by minimizing the significance of the body, (b) management by normalization of the body, and (c) management by optimizing mind-body functioning. The implications of these findings for sport and society are discussed. 



Hardin, M. (2007, Spring). "I consider myself an empowered woman": The interaction of sport, gender and disability in the lives of wheelchair basketball players. Women in Sports & Physical Activity Journal, 16(1), 39-53.

This research, involving interviews with elite female wheelchair basketball players, explores how gender and disability intersect in the lives of these athletes. Interviews revealed the integral role athletic identity plays to offset the stigma of disability in their self-identities and in the complex relationships each has with social norms in regard to gender, disability, sport and the body. However, social institutions, including that of adapted sport, reinforce an ableist, sexist ideology that persistently marginalizes these athletes. 



Hardin, M., & Hardin, B. (2005, Fall). Performance or participation…Pluralism or hegemony? Images of disability & gender in Sports 'n Spokes magazine. Disability Studies Quarterly, 25(4).

The purpose of this study is to examine the photographic images of Sports 'n Spokes magazine to explore the relationship between sport, disability and gender. Photographs in 24 issues of Sports 'n Spokes were collected and examined via content analysis. A recording instrument was developed by the researchers to code 2,141 editorial images. The instrument was adapted for use with images of disability and the categorical variables were: (a) gender of the subject; (b) disability; (c) type of sport participation; (d) competition in sport; (e) motion; and (f) camera angle. The findings indicate that men dominated photographic coverage in Sports 'n Spokes and were more likely to be depicted in dominant photos and as sports competitors than women. Women were more often depicted as non-sporting, and women were depicted less often as competitors. However, the magazine includes women to a much greater degree than mainstream (able-bodied) sports magazines. The magazine also reflects pleasure/participation (versus power/performance) as a valid sporting value. 



Hardin, M., Lynn, S., & Walsdorf, K. (2006, Spring). Depicting the sporting body: The intersection of gender, race and disability in women’s sport/fitness magazines. Journal of Magazine and New Media Research, 8(1), 1-16. Retrieved August 5, 2007 from http://www.bsu.edu/web/aejmcmagazine/journal/archive/
Spring_2006/Hardin_Lynn_Walsdorf.pdf


This research examines the relationship between images of sport, disability, gender and race in four U.S. women’s sport/fitness magazines. According to a view of feminism that sees it as addressing all oppressions, these magazines should provide an empowering space for all women, including women with a disability. Rejection of ableism signifies a rejection of the male body standard in sport, serving feminist goals. This study finds that fitness and sport magazines for women, by failing to include athletes with a disability, have also failed to break free from a male/ableist hegemonic body standard. Non-white women with a disability are almost invisible, emphasizing an ableist emphasis on sexual difference. However, it could be that the more each magazine rejects the boundaries of male hegemony, the more likely it is to partially reject ableism by including disability images. 



Henderson, K. A., & Bedini, L. A. (1995, June). "I have a soul that dances like Tina Turner, but my body can't": Physical activity and women with mobility impairments. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 66(2), 151-162.

There have been many studies on disabilities that afflict women. However, many of these studies concentrated on women's work and home responsibilities, failing to address issues concerning non-work or recreation. Moreover, male athletes were the focus of the few studies on adult athletes with disabilities. To remedy this problem, the meanings of physical activities for women with disabilities and the incorporation of these meanings into physical activities designed for this particular group are investigated. 



Henderson, K. A., & Bedini, L. A. (1997, Winter). Women, leisure, and "double whammies": Empowerment and constraint. Journal of Leisurability, 24(1). Retrieved March 1, 2005 from http://www.lin.ca/resource/html/Vol24/v24n1a6.htm
“As an under-researched group of individuals, women with disabilities represent a unique population. As Wendell (1989) noted, women with disabilities are female in a male dominated world and disabled in a world dominated by able bodied people. They may face a "double whammy" in being female and having a disability (Doucette, 1992; Traustadottir, 1992), but they also may find that "double whammy" to represent empowerment as well as constraints (Morris, 1991). Because disability studies have traditionally ignored gender when examining the lives of people with disabilities, the influence of gender in the lives of women and men has typically not been explored (Traustadottir, 1992). Therefore, this study focused specifically on how gender, disability, and leisure intersected in women's lives to result in empowerment as well as constraints.” 



Lovell, T. A., Dattilo, J., & Jekubovich, N. J. (1996). Effects of leisure education on women aging with disabilities. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 21(2), 37-58. 

Adults aging with disabilities sometimes require intensive rehabilitation treatment to facilitate recovery from or adjustment to a disability. An investigation including twelve women aging with disabilities was conducted utilizing qualitative and quantitative methods. All participants had been admitted to a skilled nursing facility for acute or chronic illnesses. Information about participants' perceptions of leisure, control, and freedom were obtained through interviews and the administration of components of the Leisure Diagnostic Battery (LDB). Participant responses were examined for differences and similarities based on their group assignment. Six participants received a leisure education program and six participants did not. Four themes emerged as a result of analysis of the information collected through interviews. Participants reported (a) a changing leisure repertoire, (b) a requirement to make decisions, (c) a desire for control, and (d) the importance of personal goals. Findings from the LDB were inconclusive, although an increase in scores for the leisure education (LED) group on the Barriers to Leisure Involvement Scale may indicate a greater awareness of barriers as a result of the leisure education intervention. Overall, results indicated that leisure education may be a useful intervention for increasing the perception of control and the development of goals by some women aging with physical disabilities. 



Mustian, K. M., Katula, J. A., & Zhao, H. (2006) A pilot study to assess the influence of Tai Chi Chuan on functional capacity among breast cancer survivors. The Journal of Supportive Oncology, 4(3), 139-145.

The purpose of this pilot study is to compare the influence of 12 weeks of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) and Psychosocial Support Therapy (PST) on functional capacity among twenty-one women who had completed treatments of breast cancer within the past 30 months using a repeated-measures experimental design. Results suggest that TCC may be effective in improving functional capacity among women diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer though further research is needed to determine the optimal dose of TCC needed to elicit health related benefits among breast cancer survivors.

To read the full abstract, go to http://www.ncpad.org/research/fact_sheet.php?sheet=637.



Oliver, K., & Cronan, T. A. (2005). Correlates of physical activity among women with fibromyalgia syndrome. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 29(1), 44-53.

Background: Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a chronic pain syndrome of unknown origin that lacks standardized treatment. However, participation in physical activity (PA) benefits people with FMS. Despite the psychosocial and health benefits that can be gained through PA, the correlates of PA among people with FMS remain poorly understood.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify and compare the effects of cross-sectional and longitudinal correlates of PA among women with FMS.

Methods: Participants were 187 female members of a HMO with a confirmed diagnosis of FMS. They were administered a battery of questionnaires assessing potential correlates of PA. These correlates were suggested by social cognitive theory and the transtheoretical model, and have been repeatedly associated with PA among the general population.

Results: Multivariate analyses indicated that self-efficacy for PA and the behavioral processes of change were the strongest discriminators among PA adopters, maintainers, quitters, and those who were sedentary. Enjoyment of PA, barriers to PA, the impact of FMS, and the environment also significantly discriminated among these groups. Longitudinally, changes in self-efficacy were significantly associated with changes in PA. 

Conclusions: These findings suggest that self-efficacy may play a critical role in both the present and long-term PA of women with FMS. They also lend additional support to the role of social cognitive and transtheoretical variables in discriminating among levels of PA. 



Radley, A., & Bell, S. (2006, August 10). Artworks, collective experience, and claims for social justice: the case of women living with breast cancer. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the All Academic Inc., Montreal Convention Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Available: http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p103132_index.html

This paper discusses the role of ‘artworks’ produced by women with breast cancer in the context of breast cancer activism. We argue that such works play a key role in making visible and collective the ideological issues surrounding this disease. They do this through their potential for anchoring social practices relating to its treatment and what might be done about it (Klawiter 2004, Swidler 2001). The paper focuses upon the work of two women artists diagnosed with breast cancer – the British photographer Jo Spence, and Martha Hall, an American who made artist’s books. We examine specific works from these collections, and the context of their production. In this way we show how and why artworks are important in establishing visual and discursive space related to social practices associated with disease regimes, and how they provide emancipatory potential for women living with breast cancer. This analysis enables criticism of both the functionalist position that sees artworks as outside the social context of illness (rather than constitutive of it), and the constructivist position that regards artworks as needing interpretation in order to bring them into being. Instead, we argue that artworks are already ideological, working through and on bodies to enable a redemptive and emancipatory potential. As mediators of representations of illness, they deserve attention from sociologists researching social movements, the sharing of illness experience and strategies for survival. 



Reynolds, F. (2003). Conversations about creativity and chronic illness I: Textile artists coping with long-term health problems reflect on the origins of their interest in art. Creativity Research Journal, 15(4), 393-407.

This qualitative study explored the origins of interest in textile arts among a group of women living with long-term health problems. The part that illness played in motivating engagement in creative arts was of particular concern. Twenty-four women, between 29-72 years old, were interviewed. Most were hobbyists, but the sample included some publicly acclaimed textile artists. A minority had engaged in art continuously since their earlier years. Most of the women had discovered (or rediscovered) textile arts in middle and later life. Several factors facilitated this. The narratives indicated that the women’s preexisting resilient personality, as well as extensive support structures, may have encouraged a reflective attitude and a problem-solving approach to living with illness. The experience of biographical disruption, stemming from the crisis of illness, dissatisfaction with unproductive time, and a growing need for self-fulfillment, appeared to create a search for a meaningful occupation. The discovery of textile art as a meaningful occupation (as opposed to other ways of living with illness) appeared to be encouraged by early role models, enjoyment of art at school, the discovery that adult personal and professional interests could be expressed through artwork, and chance events. Textile art at school appeared to provide a form of "cultural capital" for these women, who returned to this art medium and the skills learned earlier when crisis occurred. The findings indicate that a negative event such as illness may have life-enhancing effects. Rehabilitation specialists might focus more on the arts as a resource for adults living with illness. 



Reynolds, F. (2003). Reclaiming a positive identity in chronic illness through artistic occupation. Occupation, Participation and Health (OTJR), 23(3), 118-127.

Article presents narrative accounts of women who used artistic occupation as a means of reconstructing a positive self and identity during chronic illness. In-depth interviews were conducted with the participants who engaged in textile arts (embroidery, appliqué, quilting, and mixed-media art). Analysis of the interviews revealed that the participants’ engagement in creating art gradually contributed to a positive identity as a textile artist. Four main process of identity reconfiguration through artistic occupation were identified: (1) reconnection with the previous, pre-illness self; (2) positive personal identity growth and development; (3) a restored sense of expertise, status, and self-esteem; and (4) a socially validated identity. 



Reynolds, F. (2004). Conversations about creativity and chronic illness II: Textile artists coping with long-term health problems reflect on the creative process. Creativity Research Journal, 16(1), 79-89.

This qualitative study explored the inspirations and influences that shape the creative process and artwork of a group of women with long-term illness. Most were nonprofessional artists. Almost all had taken courses in at least one form of textile art and had advanced skills. Although the creative process is not fully open to verbal self-analysis, the accounts revealed a wide range of inspiration for artwork. The sensual qualities of color and texture, themes from nature, precious memories, personal and professional interests, and spiritual beliefs all found expression in the women's designs and styles. A repertoire of techniques and a conducive physical environment were valued as enabling control over the creative process and the achievement of a meaningful personal style. Most of the women enjoyed the spontaneity, immersion, and adventure inherent in their creative process, and their descriptions approximated flow states described in other research. Some expressed experiences of illness through their artwork. Nevertheless, several participants reported that illness did not only inspire artwork through distress and loss, but through sharpening perceptions, heightening emotional sensitivity and confronting them with the deeper issues of life. The contribution of art-making to the self-management of chronic illness deserves further examination. 



Reynolds, F., & Prior, S. (2003, July). 'A lifestyle coat-hanger': A phenomenological study of the meanings of artwork for women coping with chronic illness and disability. Disability and Rehabilitation, 25(14), 785-794.

Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological enquiry was to explore the meanings and functions of art for a group of women living with disabling chronic illness. Participants were recruited on the basis that they considered artwork as central to their current well-being.

Method: Thirty women were interviewed and five submitted written narratives. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was carried out.

Results: About half of the participants had taken up their preferred artistic occupation since the onset of illness. Participants described their artwork as contributing to their health and well-being in many diverse ways. Art filled occupational voids, distracted thoughts away from illness, promoted the experience of flow and spontaneity, enabled the expression of grief, maintained a positive identity, and extended social networks. Its value was conceptualised by one participant as a 'lifestyle coat-hanger' organising numerous further roles and activities that gave purpose to life. Art was more than cathartic. It offered a versatile means of overcoming the restrictions imposed by illness on self and lifestyle, in many cases creating a more enriched lifestyle than before.

Conclusion: The findings may encourage professionals working in health and rehabilitation settings to assist clients in identifying meaningful, creative occupations that are feasible within the limits imposed by illness or injury. 



Reynolds, F., Vivat, B., & Prior, S. (2008). Women's experiences of increasing subjective well-being in CFS/ME through leisure-based arts and crafts activities: A qualitative study. Disability & Rehabilitation, 30(17), 1279-1288.

Purpose: To understand the meanings of art-making among a group of women living with the occupational constraints and stigma of CFS/ME. The study explored their initial motives for art-making, and then examined how art-making had subsequently influenced their subjective well-being.

Method: Ten women with CFS/ME were interviewed; three provided lengthy written accounts to the interview questions.

Findings: Illness had resulted in devastating occupational and role loss. Participants took many years to make positive lifestyle changes. Art-making was typically discovered once participants had accepted the long-term nature of CFS/ME, accommodated to illness, and reprioritized occupations. Several factors then attracted participants specifically to art-making. It was perceived as manageable within the constraints of ill-health. Participants also tended to be familiar with craft skills; had family members interested in arts and crafts, and some desired a means to express grief and loss. Once established as a leisure activity, art-making increased subjective well-being mainly through providing increased satisfaction in daily life, positive self-image, hope, and contact with the outside world. Participants recommended provision of occupational/recreational counselling earlier in the illness trajectory.

Conclusions: Creative art-making occurred as part of a broader acceptance and adjustment process to CFS/ME, and allowed some psychological escape from a circumscribed lifeworld. 



Rimmer, J. H., Rubin, S. S., & Braddock, D. (2000, February). Barriers to exercise in African American women with physical disabilities. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 81(2) 182-188.

Objective: To examine what factors African American women with one or more physical disabilities perceive as barriers to exercise and how they rank them.

Study Design: Data were collected through telephone interview using a newly developed instrument (Barriers to Physical Exercise and Disability [B-PED]) that addressed issues related to physical activity and the subjects' disability.

Subjects: Fifty subjects were asked questions about their participation and interest in structured exercise.

Results: The four major barriers were cost of the exercise program (84.2%), lack of energy (65.8%), transportation (60.5%), and not knowing where to exercise (57.9%). Barriers commonly reported in nondisabled persons (e.g., lack of time, boredom, too lazy) were not observed in our sample. Only 11% of the subjects reported that they were not interested in starting an exercise program. The majority of subjects (81.5%) wanted to join an exercise program but were restricted by the barriers reported.

Conclusion: African American women with a physical disability are interested in becoming more active but are limited in doing so because of their inability to overcome several barriers to increased physical activity participation. 



Rimmer, J. H., Rubin, S. S., Braddock, D., & Hedman, G. (1999, April). Physical activity patterns of African-American women with a severe physical disability. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 31(4), 613-618.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to survey the exercise and activity patterns of African-American women with severe physical disabilities (N = 50).

Methods: The Physical Activity and Disability Survey (PADS) was created for subjects who have a severe limitation in movement and function (e.g., limited ability to stand or walk, needs an assistive aid to ambulate, needs assistance with activities of daily living). Reliability data were obtained on the PADS for interrater, test-retest, and internal consistency on the two subscales (Exercise and Activity). The Exercise subscale had an interrater reliability of 0.83 and test/retest reliability of 0.85. The Activity subscale had an interrater reliability of 0.68 and test/retest reliability of 0.66. Cronbach's alpha for internal consistency was 0.78 for the Exercise subscale and 0.68 for the Activity subscale.

Results: Results showed very low levels of exercise and general activity patterns in African-American women with physical disabilities. Only 8.2% of the sample participated in leisure-time physical activity, and only 10% engaged in aerobic exercise three or more days per week for at least 15 min. Unstructured physical activity (e.g., work-related activity, housework, gardening, shopping) was nearly absent.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that the extremely low levels of self-reported physical activity in African-American women with severe physical disabilities expose them to a higher risk of secondary health conditions. 



Ruddell, J. L., & Shinew, K. J. (2006). The socialization process for women with physical disabilities: The impact of agents and agencies in the introduction to an elite sport. Journal of Leisure Research, 38(3), 421-444.

The sources of people's leisure interests have been a topic of interest for many years. Many of the attitudes people develop towards leisure are the result of social learning and social agents. However, the leisure socialization process can be different for people with disabilities in that many of their social agents may be unaware of the leisure opportunities available to those with disabilities. The purpose of the study was to examine the socialization process of women with physical disabilities into elite wheelchair basketball. The study was guided by the social learning paradigm (Kenyon & McPherson, 1973). Face-to-face interviews were conducted with women who were members of the USA National Wheelchair Basketball Team. Major themes found in the research included that multiple agents can be influential in the socialization process, peers with disabilities are often considered important socializing agents, and agents and agencies often coexist in socializing roles. Another noteworthy finding was that many of the women indicated their social agents' unfamiliarity with disability sports, and the ramifications this had on their lives. 



Sands, R. T., & Wettenhall, R. S. (2000, December). Female wheelchair athletes and changes to body image. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 47(4), 413-426.

This paper examined the effect of a psychological intervention program on attitudes to body image of female wheelchair athletes. A single case, multiple-baseline study was employed to examine the presentation of a brief, six session, cognitive behavioural intervention program on six National female wheelchair basketball players over a period of six weeks. Initially the six wheelchair athletes' satisfaction levels were compared to 20 able-bodied basketball players on four measures: the Physical Self-Perception Profile, Multi-Dimensional Body Image Scale, Social Physique Anxiety Questionnaire, and the Body Parts Questionnaire. Results indicated that as a result of the cognitive behavioural intervention program, physical self-perception increased for the wheelchair athletes and for 50% of the wheelchair athletes on the multi-dimensional components of body image, using the non-parametric split-middle technique. Further analysis revealed a significant effect of self-perceived competence across time indicating post-hoc significant differences between baseline data and Week 6 of the intervention program. With reference to caution due to the nature of case study research, it is asserted that this study shows promise for improving various aspects of body image satisfaction by means of a cognitive-behavioural approach and has potential for wheelchair athletes and other special populations. 



Santiago, M. C., & Coyle, C. P. (2004, April). Leisure-time physical activity and secondary conditions in women with physical disabilities. Disability & Rehabilitation, 26(8), 485-494.

Purpose: To examine the relationship between secondary conditions and leisure-time physical activity participation (LTPA) in women with physical disabilities.

Method: A survey was conducted in a metropolitan urban USA area of women (n = 170) with physical disabilities including MS, CP, polio, arthritis, TBI, and CVA among others and aged 21-65 years. Outcome measures were LTPA, secondary conditions (numbers and severity), and functional status.

Results: Respondents experienced 11.99 ( ± 6.05) secondary conditions in the past year, self-rated their severity as 'moderate problems', and reported moderate levels of functional impairment. LTPA participation (excluding calisthenics/exercise) was reported to be 2.90 (± 5.12) times/week with 39.4% reporting no participation. After controlling for the interaction between severity of secondary conditions and functional status, the secondary conditions of physical deconditioning and isolation were significantly and inversely related to LTPA participation (r = - 0.164, p = 0.036; r = - 0.156, p = 0.045, respectively).

Conclusion: Reported secondary conditions of physical deconditioning and isolation are inversely related to the ability of moderately impaired women with physical disabilities to participate in LTPA when functional status was controlled and should be considered in efforts to increase involvement in this health promoting behaviour. 



Shannon, C. S., & Shaw, S. M. (2005). “If the dishes don't get done today, they'll get done tomorrow": A breast cancer experience as a catalyst for changes to women's leisure. Journal of Leisure Research, 37(2), 195-213.

Breast cancer is a life threatening illness experienced by many women. Although research is being conducted in various disciplines, the effect of breast cancer on the role of leisure throughout the illness experience has not been considered. The purpose of this study was to understand in what ways a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment alters women's experience and choice of leisure activities post-treatment. Eight women with breast cancer experiences participated. The findings indicated women's leisure changed by their making leisure a priority, seeking more meaningful leisure, and engaging in health promoting leisure. The research has implications for furthering our understanding of leisure entitlement, purposive leisure, and the ethic of care. 



Sherrill, C. (1993, September 30). Women with disability, Paralympics, and reasoned action contact theory. Women in Sport & Physical Activity Journal, 2(2), 51-60.

The underrepresentation of women in the Paralympics movement warrants attention as the world prepares for Atlanta 1996, when Paralympics (conducted after the Summer Olympics) will attract approximately 3,500 athletes with physical disability or visual impairment from 102 countries. Barriers that confront women with disability, the Paralympic movement, and adapted physical activity as a profession and scholarly discipline that stresses advocacy and attitude theories are presented. Two theories (reasoned action and contact) that have been tested in various contexts are woven together as an approach particularly applicable to women in sport and feminists who care about equal access to opportunity for all women. Women with disability are a social minority that is both ignored and oppressed. Sport and feminist theory and action should include disability along with gender, race/ethnicity, class, and age as concerns and issues. 



Slawta, J. N., McCubbin, J. A., Wilcox, A. R., Fox, S. D., Nalle, D. J., & Anderson, G. (2002). Coronary heart disease risk between active and inactive women with multiple sclerosis. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 34(6), 905-912.

Purpose: Physical activity is strongly recommended as a principal component of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factor management aimed at favorably lowering abdominal fat accumulation, lowering levels of triglyceride (TG), raising levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), and improving insulin sensitivity. Although physical activity practices are reported to be low in women with multiple sclerosis (MS), some women with MS remain physically active despite their disability. Thus, the primary aim of the study was to determine whether abdominal fat accumulation and levels of TG, HDL-C, and glucose differ between active and inactive women with MS.

Methods: The study sample consisted of 123 women with MS, aged 23-72 yr. Venous blood was collected for measurement of lipids, lipoprotein-cholesterol, and glucose. Skin-fold thicknesses and girth circumferences were obtained for estimation of total and abdominal body fat. Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) during the last 12 months was assessed by the physical activity questionnaire used in the Postmenopausal Estrogens/Progestins Intervention (PEPI) Study. Eating habits were assessed by the Block Food Frequency Questionnaire. Results: LTPA was significantly associated with lower waist circumference (P = 0.0001), lower TG levels (P = 0.0005), and lower glucose levels (0.002). After adjusting for several covariates, women participating in low- to moderate-intensity LTPA had significantly lower waist circumferences, TG levels, and glucose levels relative to inactive women. 

Conclusion:
Low- to moderate-intensity LTPA was significantly associated with less abdominal fat accumulation, lower levels of TG, and lower levels of glucose in the present sample of women with MS. These findings suggest that exercise levels attainable by women with MS may improve CHD risk and contribute to important health-related benefits. 



Vanlandewijck, Y. C., Evaggelinou, C., Daly, D. J., Verellen, J., Van Houtte, S., Aspeslagh, V., Hendrickx, R., Piessens, T., & Zwakhoven, B. (2004). The relationship between functional potential and field performance in elite female wheelchair basketball players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 22(7), 668-675.

The functional classification system for wheelchair basketball is based on an analysis of the players' functional resources through field-testing and game observation. Under this system, players are assigned a score of 1 to 4.5. The aim of this study was to determine if the wheelchair basketball player classification system reflects the existing differences in performance of elite female players. During the World Championship for Wheelchair Basketball in Sydney 1998, eight teams were videotaped for three 40-min games for a total of 120 min per team. Fifty-nine female players (Class I [1 and 1.5 points] n = 12; Class II [2 and 2.5 points] n = 20; Class III [3 and 3.5 points] n = 13; Class IV [4 and 4.5 points] n = 14) were retained for a detailed performance analysis by means of the Comprehensive Basketball Grading System (CBGS). Two-way analysis of variance showed high point players to perform better compared with low point players for the majority of variables determining the quality of game performance. A lack of significant differences between two adjacent classes was explained on the basis of the methodological approach, the class-position relationship in this sample, and the performance level of women's wheelchair basketball. We conclude that the performance of elite female wheelchair basketball players is dependent on functional ability.