Proios Ioannis, Proios Miltiadis, Fotiadou Eleni


The purpose of the present systematic review was to gather information on the interest of researchers on psychological issues of people with physical disabilities throughout a time period of twenty years (1995-2015). Previous similar reviews were not determined by the literature. For the implementation of their view electronic bases and hand search were used following specific criteria. Search revealed approximately 70.000 studies but only 58 in total covered the set criteria. The findings of the review revealed a limited research interest on psychological issues relevant to people with physical disabilities, with the interest increasing for the period 2006-2010. It was also found that descriptive, cross-sectional and qualitative research designs were preferred with data mainly gathered via questionnaires. Samples were derived from general and sport population (male and female). Finally, psychological issues mainly studies were parts of the self and emotions and less parts of personality and motivation.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



systematic review, psychological issues, physical disabilities, 1995-2015


Aliaga, M., & Gunderson, B. (2000). Interactive Statistics. New Jersey, NJ: Saddle River.

Amtmann, D., Bamer, A. M., Cook, K. F., Askew, R. I., Noonam, V. K., & Brockway, J. A. (2012). University of Washington Self-Efficacy Scale: A new self-efficacy scale for people with disabilities. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93, 1757-1765. Available at

Antle, B. J. (2004). Factors associated with self-worth in young people with physical disabilities. Health & Social Work, 29(3), 167-175. doi:10.1093/hsw/29.3.167

Arbour-Nicitopoulos, K. P., Ginis, K. A. M., & Latimenr, A. E. (2009). Planning, Leisure-time physical activity, and coping self-efficacy in persons with spinal cord injury: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 90, 2003-2011. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2009.06.019

Aveyard, H., & Sharp, P. (2011). A beginner’s guide to evidence-based practice in health and social care. Glasgow: McGraw Open Press University.

Bačanac, Lj. (2001). The psychological profile of Yugoslav boxers. FactaUniversitatis – Series Phisical Education and sport, 1, 13-24.

Bastos, T. L., Crredeira, R., Probst, M., & Fonseca, A. M. (2012). Preliminary analysis of the psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of the test of performance strategies (TOPSp) in athletes with disabilities. European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity, 5(2), 7-22. Retrieved from

Bechara, A., Damasio, H., & Damasio, A. (2000). Emotion, decision making and the orbit frontal cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 10, 295-307.

Blinde, E. M., & McClung, L. R. (1997). Enhancing the physical and social self through recreational activity: Accounts of individuals with physical disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 14, 327-344. Retrieved from

Block, M. E., Gribenauw, L. M., & Brodeur, S. (2004). Psychological factors and disability: Effects of physical activity and sport. In M.R Weiss (Ed.), Developmental sport and exercise psychology: A lifespan perspective (pp.425-452). Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.

Boland, A., Cherry, M. G., & Dickson, R. (2008). Doing a systematic review: Α student’s guide. Philadelphia: SAGE Publications.

Brewer, B. W., & Cornelius, A. E. (2001). Norms and factorial invariance of the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS). Academic Athletic Journal, 15, 103-113.

Brown, R. I., Schalock, R. L., & Brown, I. (2009). Quality of life: Its application to persons with intellectual disabilities and their families- introduction and overview. Journal of Policy and Practices in Intellectual Disability, 6, 2-6. doi:10.1111/j.1741-1130.2009.00204.x

Burns, R. B. (1982). Self-concept: Development and Education. London: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Campbell, E., & Jones, G. (1997). Precompetition anxiety and self-confidence in wheelchair sport participants. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 14(2), 95-104. Retrieved from

Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385-396.

Davis, M. T., Langone, J., & Malone, D. M. (1996). Promoting prosocial behaviors among preschool children with and without disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 43(3), 219-246. doi:10.1080/0156655960430304

de Bressy de Guast, V., Golby, J., Van Wersch, A., & d’Arripe-Longueville, F. (2013). Psychological skills training of an elite wheelchair water-skiing athlete: A single-case study. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 30, 351-372. Retrieved from

Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2009). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and life satisfaction. In C.R. Snyder & S. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (2nd ed., pp. 187-194). New York: Oxford University Press.

Duda, J. L. (1989). Relationship between task and ego orientation and the perceived purpose of sport among high school athletes. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 11, 318-335. Retrieved from

Dunn, J. C. (2000). Goal orientations, perceptions of the motivational climate, and perceived competence of children with movement difficulties. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 17, 1-19. Retrieved from

Dunn, J. C., & Dunn, J. G.H. (2006). Psychosocial determinants of physical education behavior in children with movement difficulties. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 23, 293-309. Retrieved from

Duvdevany, I. (2010). Self-esteem and perception of quality of life among Israeli women with and without physical disability. Women & Health, 50, 443-458. doi:10.1080/03630242.2010.506149

Ferreira, J. P., & Fox, K. R. (2008). Physical self-perceptions and self-esteem in male basketball players with and without disability: A preliminary analysis using the physical self-perception profile. European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity, 1(1), 35-49. Retrieved from

Fonseca, A., Fox, K. R., & Almeida M. J. (1995). Portuguese version of Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP-P). Not published.

Fredrickson, B. L. (2000). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Prevention & Treatment, 3, Article 1a.

Freitas, S., Dias, C., & Fonseca, A. (2013). Psychological skills training applied to soccer: A systematic review based on research methodologies. Review of European Studies, 5(5), 18-29. Retrieved from

Frijda, N. H. (1994). Emotions are functional, most of the time. In P. Ekman & R.J. Davidson (Eds.), The nature of emotion (pp. 112-122). Oxford, England: Oxford Univ. Press.

Fuller, R. C. (2007). Spirituality in the flesh: The role of discrete emotions in religious life. Journal of American Academy of Religion, 75(1), 25-51. doi:10.1093/jaarel/lfl064

Giacobbi, P. R., Stancil, M., Hardin, B., & Bryant, L. (2008). Physical activity and quality of life experienced by highly active individuals with physical disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 25, 189-207. Retrieved from

Gilbert, W. D., & Trudel, P. (2004). Analysis of coaching science research published from 1970-2001. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 75(4), 388-399. doi:10.1080/02701367.2004.10609172

Gilbert, R. L., Murphy, N. A., Krueger, A. B., Ludwing, A. R., & Efron, T. Y. (2013). Psychological benefits of participation in three-dimensional virtual worlds for individuals with real-world disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 60(3), 208-224. Retrieved from

Gill, D. L., & Deeter, T. E. (1988). Development of the Sport Orientation Questionnaire. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 59, 191-202. doi:10.1080/02701367.1988.10605504

Given, L. M. (2008). The Sage encyclopedia of qualitative research methods. Los Angeles, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Goodwin, D. L. (2001). The meaning of help in PE: Perceptions of students with physical disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 18, 289-303. Retrieved from

Gough, D., Oliver, S., & Thomas, J. (2012). An introduction to systematic reviews. London: SAGE Publications.

Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: An analysis of review types and associated methodologies. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 26, 91-108. doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x

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.

Harris, L. R., & Brown, G. T.L. (2010). Mixing interview and questionnaire methods: Practical problem in aligning data. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 15(1), 1-19. Retrieved from

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

Heiman, G. (2002). Research methods in psychology. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Holmes, W. C., Bix, B., Meritz, M., Turner, J., & Hutelmyer, C. (1997). Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and quality of life: the potential impact of Axis I psychiatric disorders in a sample of 95 HIV seropositive men. Psychosomatic Medicine. 59(2), 187-192.

Hughes, R. B., Robinson-Whelen, S., Taylor, H. B., Swedlund, N., & Nosek, M. A. (2004). Enhancing self-esteem in women with physical disabilities. Rehabilitation Psychology, 49(4), 295-302. Retrieved from

Hughes, R. B., Taylor, H. B., Robinson-Whelen, S., & Nosek, M. A. (2005). Stress and women with physical disabilities: Identifying correlates. Women’s Health Issues, 15(1), 14-20. Available at

Hutzler, Y., & Bar-Eli, M. (1993). Psychological benefits of sports for disabled people: A review. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Sciences in Sports, 3, 217-228.

Jensen, M. P., Moore, M. R., Bockow, T. B., Ehde, D. M., & Engel, J. M. (2011). Psychosocial factors and adjustment to chronic pain persons with physical disabilities: A systematic review. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92, 146-160. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2010.09.021

Jeong, I., & Park, S. (2013). Participation motivation and competition anxiety among Korean and non-Korean wheelchair tennis players. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, 9(6), 520-525. Available at

Ju, Y. H., Lee, S. J., Wang, H. Y., Chu, H. C., & Lin, J. H. (2006). Self-perceived quality of life for adolescents with physical disabilities: A preliminary study. Kaohsiung Journal of Medicine Science, 22, 271-276.

Ju, Y. H., Lee, S. J., Lee, C. H., Wang, H. Y., Teng, Y. L., & Lo, S. K. (2009). Do physical disabilities affect self-perceived quality of life in adolescents? Disability and Rehabilitation, 31(3), 181-188. doi:10.1080/09638280801942854

Kampfe, A., Honer, O., & Willimczik, K. (2014). Multiplicity and development of achievement motivation: A comparative between German elite athletes with and without a disability. European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity, 7(1), 32-48. Retrieved from

Kasum, G., Lazarevic, L., Jakovljevic, S., & Bacanac, L. (2011). Personality of male wheelchair basketball players and nonathletes individuals with disability. Physical Education and Sport, 9(4), 407-415.

Kawanishi, C. Y., & Greguol, M. (2013). Physical activity, quality of life, and functional autonomy of adults with spinal cord injuries. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 30, 317-337. Retrieved from

Kim, H.J., Hong, S., & Kim, M. (2015). Living arrangement, social connectedness, and life satisfaction among Korean older adults with physical disabilities: The results from the National Survey on persons with disabilities. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 27, 307-321.

Klyse, D. W., Bombardier, C. H. et al. Kalpakjian, C. Z. (2015). Distinguishing grief from depression during acute recovery from spinal cord injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 96, 1410-1425.

Knipschild, P. (1995). Some examples of systematic reviews. In I. Chalmers & D.G. Altman (Eds.), Systematic reviews (pp. 9-16). London: BMJ Publishing Group.

Kokaridas, D., Perkos, S., Harbalis, T., & Koltsidas, E. (2009). Sport orientation and athletic identity of Greek wheelchair basketball players. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 109(3), 887-898. Retrieved from

Lane, A. M., & Terry, P. C. (2000). The nature of mood: Development of a conceptual model with a focus on depression. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 12, 16-33. doi:10.1080/10413200008404211

Lazarus, R. S. (2000). How emotions influence performance in competitive sports. The Sport Psychologist, 14, 229-252. Retrieved from

Lerner, J. S., & Keltner, D. (2000). Beyond valence: Toward a model of emotion-specific influences on judgment and choice. Cognition & Emotion, 14, 473–493. doi:10.1080/026999300402763

Manns, P., & Chad, K. E. (1999). Determining the relation between quality of life, handicap, fitness, and physical activity for persons with spinal cord injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 80, 1566-1571.

Marinic, M., & Brkljacie, T. (2008). Love over gold – The correlation of happiness level with some life satisfaction factors between persons with and without physical disability. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disability, 20, 527-540. doi:10.1007/s10882-008-9115-7

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

Martin, J. J. (2002). Training and performance self-efficacy, affect, and performance in wheelchair road racers. The Sport Psychologist, 16, 384-395. Retrieved from

Martin, J. J. (2006). Psychosocial aspects of youth disability sport. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 23, 65-77. Retrieved from

Martin, J. J. (2008). Multidimensional self-efficacy and affect in wheelchair basketball players. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 25, 275-288. Retrieved from

Martin, J. J., & Smith, K. (2002). Friendship quality in youth disability sport: Perceptions of a best friend. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 19, 472-482. Retrieved from

Martin, J. J., Adams-Mushett, C., & Smith, K. L. (1995). Athletic identity and sport orientation of adolescent swimmers with disabilities. Adapted physical Activity Quarterly, 12, 113-123. Retrieved from

Martin, J. J., Eklund, R. C., & Mushett, C. A. (1997). Factor structure of the athletic identity measurement scale with athletes with disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 14, 74-82. Retrieved from

Miyahara, M., & Piek, J. (2006). Self-esteem of children and adolescents with physical disabilities: Quantitative evidence from meta-analysis. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 18(3), 219-234. doi:10.1007/s10882-006-9014-8

Morris, J. (2004). People with physical impairments and mental health support needs: A critical review of the literature. New York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Mrug, S., & Wallander, J. L. (2002). Self-concept of young people with physical disabilities: Does integration play a role? International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 49(3), 267-280. doi:10.1080/1034912022000007289

Nicholls, J. G. (1984). Conceptions of ability and achievement motivation. In R.E. Ames & C. Ames (Eds.), Research on motivation in education: Vol. I. Student motivation (pp. 39-73). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.

Nicholls, J. G. (1989). The competitive ethos and democratic education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Nosek, M. A., & Hughes, R. B. (2001). Psychospiritual aspects of sense of self in women with physical disabilities. Journal of Rehabilitation, 67(1), 20-26.

Nosek, M. A., Hughes, R. B., Swedlund, N., Taylor, H. B., & Swank, P. (2003). Self-esteem and women with disabilities. Social Science & Medicine, 56, 1737-1747. Retrieved from

Nosek, M. A., Hughes, R. B., Taylor, H. B., & Taylor, P. (2006). Disability, psychosocial, and demographic characteristics of abused women with physical disabilities. Violence Against Women, 12(9), 838-850. doi:10.1177/1077801206292671

Olkin, R. (2003). Can disability studies and psychology join hands? American Psychologist, 58(4), 296-304. Available at

Perreault, S., & Marisi, D. Q. (1997). A test of multidimensional anxiety theory with male wheelchair basketball players. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 14, 108-118. Retrieved from

Perreault, S., & Vallerand, R. J. (2007). A test of Self-Determination Theory with wheelchair basketball players with and without disability. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 24, 305-316. Retrieved from

Perrier, M.J., Smith, B., Strachan, S. M., & Latimer-Cheung, A. E. (2014). Narratives of athletic identity after acquiring a permanent physical disability. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 31, 106-124. Available at

Petticrew, M., & Roberts, H. (2006). Systematic review in the social sciences: A practical guide. Oxford: Blackell.

Poppes, P., van der Putten, A. J. J., & Vlaskamp, C. (2010). Frequency and severity of challenging behavior in people with profound intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 31, 1269-1275. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2010.07.017

Roberts, G. C., Treasure, D. C., & Conroy, D. E. (2007). Understanding the dynamics of motivation in sport and physical activity. In G. Tenenbaum & R.C. Eklund (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology (3rd ed., pp. 3-30). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Rose, E., & Larkin, D. (2002). Perceived competence, discrepancy scores, and global self-worth. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 19, 127-140. Retrieved from

Rosenberg, M. (1986). Conceiving the self. NY: Basic Books.

Saebu, M. (2010). Physical disability and physical activity: A review of the literature on correlates and associations. European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity, 3(2), 37-55. Retrieved from

Sallis, J. F., Prochaska, J. J., & Taylor, W. C. (2000). A review of correlates of physical activity of children and adolescents. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 32, 963-975. Retrieved from

Sands, R. T., & Wettenhall, R. S. (2000). Female wheelchair athletes and changes to body image. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 47(4), 413-426. doi:10.1080/10349120020012717

Scarpa, S. (2011). Physical self-concept and self-esteem in adolescents and young adults with and without physical disability: The role of sports participation. European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity, 4(1), 38-53. Retrieved from

Schalock, R. L., Brown, I., Brown, R., Cummins, R. A., Felce, D., Matikka, L., et al. (2002). Conceptualization, measurement, and application of quality of life for persons with intellectual disabilities: Report of an international panel of experts. Mental Retardation, 40, 457–470. doi:10.1352/0047-6765(2002)040<0457:CMAAOQ>2.0.CO;2

Shapiro, J. P. (1993). No pity: People with disabilities forging a new civil rights movement. New York: Times Books.

Shapiro, D. R., & Martin, J. J. (2010). Multidimensional physical self-concept of athletes with physical disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 27, 294-307. Retrieved from

Sherrill, C. (2015). Adapted physical activity, recreation, and sport (6thed.). Madison, WI: WCB McGraw-Hill.

Sherrill, C., & Tripp, A. (2015). Self-concept, motivation, and well-being. In C. Sherrill (Ed.), Adapted physical activity, recreation, and sport (6th ed., pp. 218-239). Madison, WI: WCB McGraw-Hill.

Shields, P., & Rangarjan, N. (2013). A Playbook for Research Methods: Integrating Conceptual Frameworks and Project Management. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press.

Silverman, S., & Skonie, R. (1997). Research on teaching in physical education: An analysis of publish research. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 16(3), 300-311. Retrieved from

Siosteen, B. A., Lundqvist, C., Blomstrand, C., Sullivan, L., & Sullivan, M. (1990). The quality of life of three functional spinal cord injury subgroups in a Swedish community. Paraplegia, 28, 476–488.

Sit, C. H.P., Lau, C. H.L., & Vertinsky, P. (2009). Physical activity and self-perceptions among Hong Kong Chinese with an acquired physical disability. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 26, 321-335. Retrieved from

Skordilis, E. K., Koutsouki, D., Asonitou, K., Evans, E., Jensen, B., & Wall, K. (2001). Sport orientations and goal perspectives of wheelchair athletes. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 18, 304-315. Retrieved from

Skordilis, E. K., Gavriilidis, A., Charitou, S., & Asonitou, K. (2003). Comparison of sport achievement orientation of male professional amateur, and wheelchair basketball athletes. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 97(2), 483-490. doi:10.2466/pms.2003.97.2.483

Spielberger, C. D. (1966). Theory and research on anxiety. In C.D. Spielberger (Ed.), Anxiety and behavior (pp. 3-20). New York: Academic Press.

Stern, J. M., & Simes, R. J. (1997). Publication bias: Evidence of delayed publication in a cohort study of clinical research projects. British Medical Journal, 315, 640-645. Available at

Stevens, S. E., Steele, C. A., Jutai, J. W., Kalnins, I. V., Bortolussi, J. A., & Biggar, W. D. (1996). Adolescents with physical disabilities: Some psychosocial aspects of health. Journal of Adolescent Health, 19, 157-164.

Suarez-Almazor, M. E., Belseck, E., Homik, J., Dorgan, M., Ramos-Remus, C. (2000). Identifying clinical trials in the medical literature with electronic databases: MEDLINE alone is not enough. Controlled Clinical Trials, 21, 476-487. Retrieved from

Tam, A. S.f., & Watkins, D. (1995). Towards a hierarchical model of self-concept for Hong Kong Chinese adults with physical disabilities. International Journal of Psychology, 30(1), 1-17. doi:10.1080/00207599508246970

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. Retrieved from

Tasiemski, T., & Brewer, B. B. (2011). Athletic identity, sport participation, and psychological adjustment in people with spinal cord injury. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 28, 233-250. Retrieved from

Tenenbaum, G., & Eklund, R. C. (2007). Handbook of sport psychology (3rded.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

The Cochrane Collaboration. (2005). Glossary terms in The Cochrane Collaboration. Available at Accessed 10 May 2014.

Thomas, J. R., Nelson, J. K., & Silverman, S. J. (2005). Research methods in physical activity (5thed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Van de Vliet, P., Van Biesen, D., & Vanlandewijck, Y. C. (2008). Athletic identity and self-esteem in Flemish athletes with a disabilities. European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity, 1(1), 9-21. Retrieved from

van der Ploeg, H. P., van der Beek, A. J., van der Woude, L. H. V., & van Mechelen, W. (2004). Physical activity for people with a disability - A conceptual model. Sports Medicine, 34, 639-649.

Wanneberg, P. L. (2014). Disability, riding, and identity: A qualitative study on the influence of riding on the identity construction of people with disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 61(1), 67-79.Available at

Weiss, M. R. (2004). Development sport and exercise psychology: A lifespan perspective. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology, Inc.

Whiteneck, G. G. (1994). Measuring what matters: Key rehabilitation outcomes. Archives Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 75, 1073–1076.

Wilson, S., Washington, L. A. Engel, J. M., Ciol, M. A., & Jensen, M. P. (2006). Perceived social support, psychological adjustment, and functional ability in youths with physical disabilities. Rehabilitation Psychology, 51(4), 322-330. Available at


Copyright © 2015 - 2023. 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).