The Concept of Empowerment in Rehabilitative Sports

Conference paper


The participation in sports is believed to be an influential means for the rehabilitation of disabled persons. The late Sir Ludwig Guttmann, founder of the modern movement of sports for the disabled, has enumerated the benefits of physical activity in both the physical and psychosocial dimensions of the rehabilitation process; thus supporting physical therapy on the one hand, and psychological interventions on the other (Guttmann 1976). Though these concepts are shared widely in the literature (Jackson and Davis 1983; Stewart 1981; Labanowicz 1978; Lipton 1970) and have received extensive empirical justification lately (e.g., Gleser et al. 1988; Hedrick 1986; Patrick 1986; Szyman 1979; Geron et al. 1978), the conceptual reasoning of rehabilitative sports is still deficient. This study combines theoretical considerations with phenomenological findings into a model describing a novel approach to rehabilitative sports based on the concept of “empowerment.”


Social Acceptance Disable Person Personal Competence Movement Skill Control Capacity 
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© Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg 1990

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