Date of Award

5-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Recreation and Sport Management

Major Professor

Jason Scott

Committee Members

Steven Waller, Angela Wozencroft

Abstract

This study examined how attitudes of able-bodied individuals towards disability can be influenced by individuals with disabilities’ participation in an adaptive sport program. The Scale of Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons (SADP) was used to determine if adaptive sport participation, as well as knowledge and experience on disability can create an attitudinal change regarding disability in society. The theories of the contact theory, social constructionism, and identity negotiation are all used to offer insight into if and why sport can be utilized as an effective tool in generating intrapersonal and interpersonal change. Inclusion for people with disabilities in all settings can be viewed as a benefit to society, but when paired with sport can have a higher likelihood of acceptance due to the reputation of value that most cultures combine with sport (Modell, 2007). Sport has often been a driving force in relation to equality within societies, specifically in the case of women and ethnic minorities (Harada, Siperstein, Parker, & Lenox, 2011). In the same way, sport has the potential to expedite the process of gaining equal opportunity and societal acceptance in all facets of life for people with disabilities (Harada et al., 2011).

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