Leisure and Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury: Conceptual and Methodological Suggestions


  • Youngkhill Lee
  • Stephen Brock
  • John Dattilo
  • Douglas Kleiber


Spinal Cord Injury, Adjustment, Pre-injury Lifestyle, Re-storying, Qualitative Methods


Spinal cord injury (SCI) has been recognized as an injury that influences the person's total lifestyle, demanding adjustment in all aspects ofHfe. As free time use becomes problematic due to the injury, leisure opportunities for people with SCI become increasingly important. However, little attention has been given to understanding the way people in such circumstances adjust to leisure and the role of leisure in the course of adjustment. The purpose of this paper is to provide theoretical and methodological suggestions to facilitate research in the area of leisure and adjustment for people with SCI. The paper presents a framework designed to help guide data-based study. Although prevailing conceptualizations of leisure adjustment have important implications for this area, this paper offers two new conceptual leads: (a) the role of leisure in the course of "re-storying'" during and after rehabilitation; and (b) the significance of "pre-injury lifestyle." Beyond these conceptual suggestions, qualitative methods are recommended to empirically assess the meaning of leisure in the course of rehabilitation. The conceptual and methodological suggestions are intended to stimulate inquiry designed to help therapeutic recreation specialists understand leisure and adjustment in the lives ofpeople with SCI. This line ofinquiry should facilitate the development of grounded theory in this area.



Theoretical and Philisophical Perspectives