Skip to content

Confirmation of Candidature - Candidate : Lynette Ellis

The Impact of Participation in a Dedicated Swimming Program on the Wellbeing of Young People With Disability
27 OCT 2022
2.00 PM - 3.30 PM

The benefits of participation in sport and physical exercise are well summarised and widely established, with studies corroborating improvements to physical health, mental and emotional health, and wellbeing (McConachy, 2016). Whilst previous studies have researched the impact of regular sport participation on physiological and cognitive functioning for teenagers and older adults with disability, little research has explored the impact of participation in regular, consistent, programmed swimming instruction on the wellbeing of young people (aged 4 - 17) with disability. 

In this research, Maslow's hierarchy of needs is overlaid with Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory to highlight the interrelationship between the child's innate and critical sense of belonging and that of positive wellbeing. This theoretical concept provides a foundation from which wellbeing, and the need to measure wellbeing, is investigated and studied. Constructivist Grounded Theory is evaluated as the methodology best suited to this study. With the mechanisms of qualitative data conducted within the milieu of family, relevant community members and the swimming community involved with young people with disability, it focuses on what impact regular and consistent swimming has on the young person, the family and the young person's wellbeing. The ethnographic approach of Cognitive Grounded Theory includes interviews, observations, and program analysis conducted with parents, young people, swimming instructors and adults with disability who have participated in regular swimming instruction. 

The outcome of this study on the impact of consistent and regular participation in swimming on the wellbeing of young people with disability, may help to build an awareness of and provide the justification for promoting and advocating for young people with disability to be actively involved in a consistent swimming program. In doing so, the provision of a structure for young people with disability to develop confidence, resilience and positive wellbeing for their immediate and long-term quality of life will be a step forward in acknowledging their influence on society. 

KEY WORDS: young people, disability, wellbeing, swimming, participation

For more information, please email the Graduate Research School or phone on 0746 31 1088.