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Examining the participation patterns of an ageing population with disabilities in Australia


  • Sotiriadou, Popi
  • Wicker, Pamela


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sotiriadou, Popi & Wicker, Pamela, 2014. "Examining the participation patterns of an ageing population with disabilities in Australia," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 35-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:17:y:2014:i:1:p:35-48
    DOI: 10.1016/j.smr.2013.04.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:eee:touman:v:33:y:2012:i:5:p:1068-1079 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Paul Downward, 2007. "Exploring the Economic Choice to Participate in Sport: Results from the 2002 General Household Survey," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 633-653.
    3. Wicker, Pamela & Hallmann, Kirstin & Breuer, Christoph, 2013. "Analyzing the impact of sport infrastructure on sport participation using geo-coded data: Evidence from multi-level models," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 54-67.
    4. Paul Downward & Joseph Riordan, 2007. "Social Interactions And The Demand For Sport: An Economic Analysis," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(4), pages 518-537, October.
    5. Funk, Daniel C. & James, Jeff, 2001. "The Psychological Continuum Model: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding an Individual's Psychological Connection to Sport," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 119-150, November.
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    1. repec:spr:ariqol:v:13:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11482-017-9536-5 is not listed on IDEAS


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