Life Satisfaction and Psychological Capital in Athletes with Physical Disabilities

Behav Sci (Basel). 2023 Dec 11;13(12):1010. doi: 10.3390/bs13121010.


Athletes with physical disabilities practice fewer sports than people without disabilities due to the difficulties and barriers they face in their daily lives. Sports are a powerful tool offering multiple physical, psychological and social benefits and act as a facilitator in their societal integration and inclusion. Today, more and more studies are analysing the psychological strengths of athletes, as well as their well-being. This research aimed to describe the levels of life satisfaction and psychological capital in a sample of physically disabled athletes according to the following variables: age, gender, degree of dependence, type of disability and level of competition. A structured questionnaire was distributed to 101 federated athletes with physical disabilities in the Basque Autonomous Community, with a valid return rate of 79 participants. A study of the relationship between variables was conducted using student's t-test and ANOVA. A stepwise hierarchical multiple linear regression was also performed to assess the predictive capabilities of the analysed variables on life satisfaction. The findings showed that gender, degree of dependence and level of competition correlated with the psychological capital and life satisfaction of athletes with disabilities; male athletes scored higher in the self-efficacy and hope dimensions of psychological capital; athletes with lower levels of dependence scored higher on life satisfaction; and international athletes scored higher on psychological capital, specifically on the self-efficacy dimension. Finally, psychological capital and degree of dependence also had a significant influence on athletes' life satisfaction.

Keywords: physical disability; psychological well-being; sport practice; sport psychological capital; well-being.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.