"Not Just a Wheelchair, Not Just a Woman": Self-Identity and Leisure


  • Karla A. Henderson
  • Leandra A. Bedini
  • Lynn Hecht


women, physical disabilities, leisure, selfidentity, role-identity, genderidentity


This study was conducted to address the lack of information available about leisure and the self-identity of women with physical and sensory disabilities. The purpose of this analysis was to explore how self-identity and leisure were related. Symbolic interactionism was the theoretical framework used to analyze how gender and disability influenced leisure behavior. Indepth interviews were undertaken with 30 adult women who were functioning independently in their communities. Themes that emerged from the interviews related to how the women with disabilities perceived their leisure and self-identity. Self-identity, as related to leisure attitudes and behavior, was influenced by the overlapping aspects of self-perception, body identity, gender identity, and role identity.. Implications for the delivery ofleisure services are discussed regarding these themes..



Research Papers