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A mixed methods evaluation of involvement in a football team on psychological wellbeing in people with learning disabilities

Wallace, Sarah (2021) A mixed methods evaluation of involvement in a football team on psychological wellbeing in people with learning disabilities. Other thesis, University of Essex.

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WALLACE S Final Thesis 12.01.2021.pdf
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People with learning disabilities are at significant risk to mental health difficulties. Physical activity has been studied in relation to mental health and in particular football has received attention for the impact it may have on mental health. Most of the research has been carried out with players without learning disabilities and in mainstream football settings. Additionally, most studies have employed a symptoms-based quantitative design. This evaluation therefore aimed to explore the experiences of people with learning disabilities who participated in a community football team and to explore the potential impact of participation on their psychological wellbeing. The evaluation also explored carers’ and coaches’ views of the impact of the football project on the psychological wellbeing of those who attended. This evaluation utilised a mixed method design and service user participation was a large component. Participants were 24 football players, seven carers, and three coaches recruited via the football project. Self-report measures were used to explore if football had an impact on psychological wellbeing of players. Measures were completed across two time points. Semi-structured interviews were utilised with participants. Quantitative data were analysed for statistical and clinically significant change. Qualitative data were analysed using Braun and Clark’s (2006) thematic analysis. Results indicated clinically significant change (improvement in psychological wellbeing) for four participants. Two main themes were identified: Belonging and Growth. Participation in the football project appears to provide a sense of belonging which impacts on players’ sense of self and relationships. Growth occurred across confidence, skills, and personal development. Football provides a meaningful shared activity and space for people with learning disabilities to feel respected, valued and empowered.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Sarah Wallace
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2021 12:23
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2021 12:23

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