Exploring the Complex Relationship between Posttraumatic Growth, Sport, and Athletes with Acquired Disabilities

PhD Thesis

Kampman, H. 2021. Exploring the Complex Relationship between Posttraumatic Growth, Sport, and Athletes with Acquired Disabilities. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.89w7z
AuthorsKampman, H.
TypePhD Thesis

Posttraumatic growth has received growing attention in the past decades, partly due to the rise of positive psychology. The idea of what does not kill us makes us stronger is age-old; however, only more recently has scientific research started to rigorously investigate this phenomenon.
One such area of interest among sport scholars has been posttraumatic growth in athletes with acquired disabilities. Research has accelerated during the past decade, enriching understanding around the topic. However, several gaps in the literature remain; namely the role of the body and adaptive team sport in the process and outcomes of growth. Furthermore, as the field of posttraumatic growth research is expanding, so are the various definitions of trauma and adversity; which has made our explorations of growth trajectories more complex.
To address these gaps, this thesis utilising exploratory sequential mixed methods design presents three sequential exploratory studies, which aim to illuminate the complex nature of posttraumatic growth in athletes with acquired physical disabilities. The thesis will explore this in the very specific socio-cultural context of adaptive team sport. Employing mixed methods enables novel and insightful understandings around how growth evolves within adaptive team sport athletes.
The thesis culminates in three essential interconnected areas of findings that will complement existing frameworks of posttraumatic growth within the context of sport: the complexity of trauma, the essentiality of the body, and the growth facilitative potential of the adaptive team sport environment. The findings also highlight the severe challenges that adaptive team sport environments can have for not only growth processes and outcomes, but for athletes' physiological, social, and psychological wellbeing. The thesis offers suggestions for future research as well as practical implications stemming from the findings.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.89w7z
File Access Level
Publication dates
Online13 Oct 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted01 Jun 2021
Deposited13 Oct 2021
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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