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The Psychosocial Benefits Of Scuba Diving For Persons With Physical Impairments

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Abstract

Purpose. This study explored the psychosocial benefits of adaptive scuba diving on adults with physical impairments, while investigating whether conquering challenge within an unconventional environment affects how participants experience barriers during their daily lives. Method. A convenience sample was obtained by shadowing two dive trips organized by the adaptive dive outfitter Diveheart. Descriptive demographics as well as any psychosocial benefits were measured by collecting data through four distinct measures: 1) demographic questionnaire (quantitative); 2) NEO-FFI scale (quantitative); 3) augmented dive logs (quantitative/qualitative); and 4) semistructured interviews (qualitative). Hypotheses. It was expected that participants' confidence, emotional wellbeing, and feelings of equality among their able-bodied peers would increase after scuba diving. Additionally, participants were expected to reexamine the barriers in their lives and discover opportunities for unforeseen interventions or solutions. Results. When calibrated correctly, scuba diving provides opportunities for appropriate challenge, resulting in increased quality of life, emotional wellbeing, and adaptive behaviors.

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2014-08-18

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Keywords

physical impairments; scuba diving; disabilities

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Union Local

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Committee Chair

Feathers, David Joseph

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Committee Member

Loeckenhoff, Corinna E

Degree Discipline

Human-Environment Relations

Degree Name

M.S., Human-Environment Relations

Degree Level

Master of Science

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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