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The Effects of the Warrior Transition Unit’s Physical Activity Program on Affect of Wounded Military Personnel

Gwan Yon Hwang, Ron Davis, Simon Driver

Abstract


Warrior Transition Units (WTU) were created to successfully transition soldiers who are considered wounded, ill, or injured through comprehensive medical and adaptive reconditioning care, including sport and recreational activities. Entry-level sports engagement in WTU may transition from noncompetitive to competitive which may impact the soldier’s physical and emotional well-being status. The purpose of this study was to compare the differences in physical activity affect between two groups of wounded military personnel (N = 22) with WTU experience. Group 1 (NonCompWTU, n=11) engaged in on and off campus noncompetitive activities (e.g., rock wall climbing, community golf driving range) and Group 2 (CompWTU, n=11) competed in a wheelchair basketball tournament. Physical activity affect was measured using the physical activity affect scale ([PAAS], Lox et al., 2000) pre and post activities. The PAAS is a 12-item tool that measures 4 subscales (Positive Affect [PA], Negative Affect [NA], Tranquility [TR], and Fatigue [FA]). Independent and paired t-tests were used to determine differences across groups and pre-post activities (p <.05). Cohen’s D effect size (ES) was also reported. Results reported no statistical differences in PA, NA, TR, and FA across groups at the beginning of the activities; however, PA was significantly different across groups following the activities. The noncompetitive activities significantly increased PA and TR, while reducing NA from pre to post within Group 1. However, a significant increase between pre and post activities existed for FA within each group. While further study is needed to investigate the impact of the noncompetitive and competitive physical activity participation on affect of wounded military personnel, APA professionals should consider this challenge to improve the well-being of this population.

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Keywords


physical activity affect; wounded military personnel

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