The aim of this study was to investigate possible effects that participation in sports, exercise, and recreation may have on self-esteem and quality-of-life in service members/veterans with disabilities.
Two hundred twenty service members/veterans with disabilities who were participants in one of three annual adaptive sporting events took part in this cross-sectional study. Variables of interest were years of sport, exercise, and recreation participation since the onset of disability as well as the type of activity they engaged in. Main outcome measures were self-esteem and quality-of-life.
A positive relationship was found between participant quality-of-life and the number of years spent participating in sports, exercise, and recreation since the onset of their disability. A significant difference was found between pre-event and postevent self-esteem scores. A significant difference was also found in self-esteem scores between the levels of years of participation in sports, exercise, and recreation when averaged across activity type. Finally, there were significant differences found on self-esteem scores between the levels of type of activity averaged across years of participation.
Our results indicate that participation in sports, exercise, and recreation has a positive influence on self-esteem and quality-of-life in individuals with disabilities.