Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Special Olympics; Physical education for youth with mental disabilities; Sports for people with mental disabilities;


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of sport participation on self-concept among mentally retarded adolescent athletes. It was also the intent of this investigation to contribute to an understanding of the relationship between self-concept and sport participation. It was hypothesized that sport participation improves self-concept among mentally retarded adolescent athletes.

Rosenberg's (1962) Self-Esteem Scale (RSE) (cited in Corcoran & Fisher, 1987) was administered to 12 mentally retarded adolescent athletes, aged 13-21. A pretest and posttest was given to the participants. Only 10 of the original 12 participants completed the posttest. The study was completed with 5 males and 5 females who participated in track/field and swimming events in Special Olympics. Group means and standard deviations for age, IQ, and previous Special Olympics participation were calculated. Group responses to each item on the self-esteem scale were also calculated.

The findings of this study did not support the hypothesis, however, there were some increases and decreases in positive responses to certain questions. There was some stability within the groups in responding to certain questions. Although there were a few changes made, the results did not show an overall change in self-concept for either group after participating in Special Olympics.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Robert Long

Second Advisor

Joe Wilson

Third Advisor

Rip Marston


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (71 leaves)



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