Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

The Power of Adapted Sports, Changing Attitudes in Higher Education: An Exploratory Study

MaryJo Archambault, Yan Dominic Searcy


A wheelchair basketball showcase was hosted at a state university in New England. Student surveys revealed that the event had a positive effect on students’ views of both individuals with disabilities and adapted sports. Using Allport’s (1954) contact theory as a lens, the author demonstrates how the event met the four positive features that Allport believed should be present in order to reduce negative feelings toward another group: (a) equal status between the groups, (b) common goals, (c) intergroup cooperation and (d) the support of authorities. This exploratory study argues that adapted sports can be an effective method to positively impact stereotypical views of people with disabilities.

Subscribe to PALAESTRA


Adaptive sports; contact theory; changing attitudes; higher education

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Sagamore Publishing LLC