Self-Concept and Emotional Well-Being in Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Involved in Special Olympics
MacMullin, Jennifer Anne
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Individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) are known to have lower levels of physical and social self-concept and emotional well-being compared to typically developing individuals. Little is known about the individual and family predictors of these constructs, and researchers have typically relied on proxy measures rather than self-report. In a sample of 51 caregivers and 51 athletes with DD involved in Special Olympics (SO), we examined the individual predictors (e.g., age, sex, BMI, emotional and behavioural problems, and SO participation) and family predictors (e.g., caregiver mental health, family functioning, and expressed emotion) of self-reported physical and social self-concept (Study One) and emotional well-being (Study Two). Age, total difficulties, and SO participation were significantly related to social self-concept, whereas age and BMI were significantly related to physical self-concept. None of the family factors were related to either social or physical self-concept. Both individual factors and family factors (i.e., BMI, emotional and behavioural problems, prosocial behaviour, expressed emotion, and family functioning) were significantly related to indicators of emotional well-being. The results have important implications for understanding and promoting social and physical self-concept and emotional well-being in individuals with DD.