Proios Ioannis, Batsiou Sophia, Proios Miltiadis, Mavrovouniotis Fotis


This study examined the perceived athletic identity and the effect factors that personal and disability-related characteristics (gender, age, family status (married, unmarried), education, occupational status, disability (congenital, acquired), type of disability (e.g., spinal cord injury) form of exercise, type of sport, experience, and form of games) in the formation of the athletic identity people with physical disabilities (n = 140). The participants completed a 7-item, 3-factor model of the Athletic Identity Measure Scale (AIMS; Brewer & Cornelius, 2001). The participants reported (a) a moderate social and exclusivity identity, and (b) strong negative affectivity identity. Additionally, they indicated that factors as family status, level education, disability, form of exercise, athletic experience and type of games affect significantly the formation of the athletic identity dimensions.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



athletic identity, physical disability, people profile, individual differences

Full Text:



Brewer, B. W. (1993). Self-identity and specific vulnerability to depressed mood. Journal of Personality, 61, 343–364. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.1993.tb00284.x

Brewer, B. W., & Cornelius, A. E. (2001). Norms and factorial invariance of the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale. Academic Athletic Journal, 16, 103–113. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2009.09.005

Brewer, B. W., Van Raalte, J. L., & Linder, D. E. (1993). Athletic identity: Hercules' muscles or Achilles heel? International Journal of Sport Psychology, 24(2), 237-254.

Brewer, B. W., Boin, P. D., Petitpas, A. J., Van Raalte, J. L., & Mahar, M. T. (1993, August). Dimensions of athletic identity. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.

Burke, P. J. (2006). Identity change. Social Psychology Quarterly, 69, 81–96.

Charmaz, K. (1995). The body, identity, and self: Adapting to impairment. The Sociological Quarterly, 36, 657–80. doi:10.1111/j.1533-8525.1995.tb00459.x

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Cornelius, A. (1995). The relationship between athletic identity, peer and faculty socialization, and college student development. Journal of College Student Development, 36(6), 560-573.

Fraser, L., Fogarty, G., & Albion, M. J. (2008). Is there a basis for the notion of athletic identity? In: 43rd Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference 2008, 23-27 Sep 2008, Hobart, Australia.

Gellman, H., Sie, I., & Waters, R. L. (1988). Late complications of the weight-bearing upper extremity in the paraplegic patient. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 233, 132-135.

Gerhart, K. A., Bergstrom, E., Charlifue, S. W., Menter, R. R., & Whiteneck, G. G. (1993). Long-term spinal cord injury: Functional changes over time. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 74, 1030-1034. doi:10.1016/0003-9993(93)90057-H

Good, A. J., Brewer, B. W., Petitpas, A. J., Van Raalte, J. L., & Mahar, M. T. (1993). Identity foreclosure, athletic identity, and college sport participation. The Academic Athletic Journal, 8, 1-12.

Gordon, P. A., & Benishek, L. A. (1996). The experience of chronic illness: Issues of loss and adjustment. Journal of Personal and Interpersonal Loss, 1, 299-307. doi:10.1080/10811449608414387

Greendorfer, S. L. & Blinde, E. M. (1985). “Retirement” from intercollegiate sport: Theoretical and empirical considerations. Sociology of Sport Journal, 2, 101-110.

Groff, D. G. & Zabriskie, R. B. (2006) An exploratory study of athletic identity among elite alpine skiers with physical disabilities: Issues of measurement and design. Journal of Sport Behavior, 29(2), 126-141.

Groff, D. G., Lundberg, N. R., & Zabriskie, R. B. (2009). Influence of adapted sport on quality of life: Perceptions of athletes with cerebral palsy. Disability and Rehabilitation, 31(4), 318–326. doi: 10.1080/09638280801976233.

Hale, B. D., James, B., & Stambulova, N. (1999). Determining the dimensionality of athletic identity: A Herculean cross-cultural undertaking. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 30, 83-100.

Harter, S. (1999). The construction of the self. New York: Guilford.

Henschen, K. P., & Shelley, G. A. (1993). Counseling athletes with permanent disabilities. In D. Pargman (Ed.), Psychological bases of sport injuries (pp. 251-263). Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.

Hoiness, A. R., Weathington, B. L. & Cotrell, A. L. (2008). Perceptions of female athletes based on observer characteristics. Athletic Insight, 10(1). Online Journal of Sport Psychology, Available at: [Accessed: 14th January 2010].

Horton, R. S. & Mack, D. E. (2000). Athletic identity in marathon runners: Functional focus or dysfunctional commitment? Journal of Sport Behavior, 23(2), 101-119.

Houle, J.L.W., Brewer, B. W. & Kluck, A. S. (2010). Developmental trends in athletic identity: A two-part retrospective study. Journal of Sport Behavior 33(2), 146-159.

Hurst, R., Hale, B., Smith, D., & Collins, D. (2000). Exercise dependence, social physique anxiety, and social support in experienced and inexperienced bodybuilders and weightlifters. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 34, 431-435.

Kokaridas, D., Natsis, P., Makropoulos, K., Xatzigeorgiadis, A., & Karpathakis, N. (2005). Sport orientation and athletic identity of Paralympic games’ shooters. Inquiries in Sport & Physical Education, 3, 98-106.

Lemay, R. A. (1999). Roles, identities, and expectancies: Positive contributions to normalization and social role valorization. In R. J. Flynn & R. A. Lemay (Eds.), A quarter-century of normalization and social role valorization: Evolution and impact (pp. 219–240). Ottawa, ON: University of Ottawa Press.

Markus, H. (1977). Self-schemata and processing information about the self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 63–78.

Markus, H., & Nurius, P. (1986). Possible selves. American Psychologist, 41(9), 954-969.

Martin, J. J. (1999). Predictors of social physique anxiety in adolescent swimmers with physical disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 16(1), 75-85.

Martin, J. J., Mushett, C. A. & Smith, K. L. (1995). Athletic identity and sport organization of adolescent swimmers with disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 12, 113-123.

Miller, K. (2009). Sport -related identities and the "toxic jock." Journal of Sport Behavior, 32, 69-91.

Miller, P. S., & Kerr, G. A. (2003). The role experimentation of intercollegiate student athletes. Sport Psychologist, 17(2), 196-220.

Miller, K. E., Melnick, M. J., Barnes, G. M., Farrell, M. P., & Sabo, D. (2005). Untangling the links among athletic involvement, gender, race, and adolescent academic outcomes. Sociology of Sport Journal, 22, 178–193.

Nagata, S. (2014). A pilot study of exclusivity of athletic identity among wheelchair rugby players: Implications for therapeutic recreation. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 48(4), 320.

Power, F. C., Nuzzi, R. J., Narvaez, D., Lapsley, D. K., & Hunt, T. C. (2008). Moral Education: A Handbook. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Proios, M. (2012a). Factor validity of the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale in a Greek sample. International Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 10(4), 305-313. doi:10.1080/1612197X.2012.705518

Proios, M. (2012b). Athletic identity and achievement goals of gymnastics athletes. Science of Gymnastics Journal, 4(3), 15-24.

Proios, M. (2017). Exploring relationship between identities athletic and religious. Trends in Sport Sciences, 3(24), 117-122. Doi:10.23829/TSS.2017.24.3-4

Richards, S., & Aries, E. (1999). The division III student-athlete: Academic performance, campus involvement and growth. Journal of College Student Development, 40(3), 211-218.

Sedikides, C. (2007). Self-enhancement and self-protection: powerful, pancultural, and functional. Hellenic Journal of Psychology, 4, 1–13.

Smart, J. F. (2008). Disability, society, and the individual (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro Ed.

Stets, J. E., & Biga, C. F. (2003). Bringing identity theory into environmental sociol-ogy. Sociological Theory, 21(4), 398-423. doi:10.1046/j.1467-9558.2003.00196.x

Stets, J. E., & Serpe, R. T. (2013). Identity theory. In J. DeLamater & A. Ward (Eds.). Handbook of Social Psychology (pp. 31-60). New York, NY: Springer.

Stryker, S. (2002). Traditional symbolic interactionism, role theory, and structural symbolic interactionism. In J. A. Turner (Ed.), Handbook of Sociological Theory (pp. 211-231). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Tasiemski, T., Kennedy, P., Gardner, B. P. & Blaikley, R. A. (2004) Athletic identity and sports participation in people with spinal cord injury. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 21, 364-378.

Tusak, M., Faganel, M., & Bednarik, J. (2005). Is athletic identity an important motivator? International Journal of Sport Psychology, 36, 39-49.

Van Raalte, N. S., & Cook, R. G. (1991, June) Gender specific situational influences on athletic identity. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, Monterey, CA.

Wiechman, S. A., & Williams, J. (1997) Relation of athletes’ identity to injury and mood disturbance. Journal of Sport Behavior, 20(2), 199-210.

Williams, J. M., & Krane, V. (1993). Psychological characteristics of peak performance. In J. M. Williams (Ed.) Applied sport psychology (2nd ed., pp. 137-147). Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield.

Copyright © 2015. European Journal of Special Education Research (ISSN 2501 - 2428) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).