Examining the participation patterns of an ageing population with disabilities in Australia
Social policies facilitate equity of access for participation in physical activity by all groups of people in society. While the sport participation of able-bodied people has been widely examined, much less attention has been given to the participation of people with disabilities. The purpose of this study is to investigate the patterns of participation in physical activity of people with disabilities. Based on the leisure constraint theory, a theoretical framework is developed that describes participation as a function of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural constraints. The framework is tested using a comprehensive sample of people in Australia from 2009 and 2010. From the dataset a sub-sample of people with disabilities was identified (n=4342). As 78.1% of participants were aged 45 years and older, the sample represents an ageing population and a selected segment of the population of people with disabilities. Therefore, generalisations to disability sport need to be made with caution. The results show that 57% of the respondents participate in physical activity for an average of 4h per week. The regression results indicate that the type of disability, the extent to which the person is restricted by the disability, age, gender, and education have a significant effect on participation. People with high workloads who are in a relationship participate less frequently. The cluster analysis resulted in two non-participant clusters and three participant clusters. The results inform policy makers and sport managers on ways to better support the participation of people with disabilities and specifically target their needs.
Volume (Year): 17 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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