Physical Activity and Loneliness Among Adolescents with Disabilities: Exploring Possible Moderators Using the Quality Participation Conceptualization
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Adolescents with disabilities (AWD) often report experiencing high levels of loneliness. Physical activity (PA) may be a valuable strategy to mitigate feelings of loneliness among AWD. The purpose of this thesis was to: a) examine the relationship between PA and loneliness among AWD, and b) examine the overall quality of PA, and the six aspects of quality participation as possible moderators of this relationship. Quality participation was framed within the quality participation conceptualization. This thesis was a cross-sectional sub-analysis of data from a larger study. Participants included 40 adolescents, aged 10 to 17, with any type of disability. Loneliness did not significantly relate to PA (r = -.10, p = .54). Overall quality of PA significantly moderated the relationship between PA and loneliness (95% CI = .002 .019, p = .02), and so did five of the six aspects of quality participation (i.e., autonomy, challenge, engagement, mastery, and meaning).