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Handbook of Disability Sport and Exercise Psychology$
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Jeffrey J. Martin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190638054

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190638054.001.0001

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The Disability World

The Disability World

(p.43) 5 The Disability World
Handbook of Disability Sport and Exercise Psychology

Jeffrey J. Martin

Oxford University Press

While people with disabilities have much in common with able-bodied people, on a population level, researchers have demonstrated a number of important differences between people considered able-bodied and those labeled as disabled. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of those differences. First, individuals with acquired disabilities face significant challenges when adjusting to a life with an impairment. While having a disability is not synonymous with poor health, people with disabilities often experience secondary conditions such as diabetes, chronic pain, and obesity. People with disabilities tend to experience more loneliness and depression and have less social support compared to able-bodied people. Lower levels of education and socioeconomic status also create challenges to enjoying a strong quality of life. Significant social and environmental barriers make performing activities of daily living and engaging in sport and exercise more difficult than for able-bodied individuals. People with disabilities often face far more daily challenges to their well-being compared to able-bodied individuals.

Keywords:   obesity, secondary conditions, chronic pain, poverty, depression, social support, loneliness

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