Physical activity participation in Pacific adolescent girls with a physical disability
Health and wellbeing is positively associated with participating in physical activity. However, the little research available suggests that Pacific adolescents with a physical disability are participating in less physical activity in comparison to other groups. Providing an understanding of participation in physical activity for Pacific adolescent girls with a physical disability may, in turn, potentially improve their lifestyles. The purpose of this qualitative research study, which was part of a larger mixed method study, was to address this issue. To increase participation, and reduce sedentary behaviours, factors influencing both participation and how non-participation needed to be considered.
A qualitative approach was used to interview seven groups of Pacific adolescent girls (aged 13-24 years) with and without their mothers and 12 providers of services to Pacific girls with a physical disability. An in depth understanding of the factors that inhibited or facilitated participation in physical activity for the Pacific girl who experiences a physical disability, was gained through the participants' stories.
The findings suggested that the girls wanted to participate in physical activity and clearly indicated the physical activities they preferred. Participation was influenced by the interaction of a variety of gender, cultural, age-related (adolescence) and socio-economic factors, together with policy and structural limitations.
To make a change, it is imperative this populace be given priority, while considering the multitude of factors which influence participation. The health and wellbeing of Pacific adolescents with a physical disability is dependent on addressing the factors identified, and a heathier lifestyle incorporating physical activity should be promoted.
Copyright (c) 2018 Dickson, Cath and Pacific Health
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