The organizational stressors encountered by athletes with a disability

Rachel Arnold, Christopher R. D. Wagstaff, Lauren Steadman, Yasmin Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (SciVal)
406 Downloads (Pure)


Organisational stressors have been found to be prevalent and problematic for sport performers, with research identifying demographic differences in the stressors encountered. Nevertheless, extant sport psychology research on the topic of stress has generally focused on able-bodied athletes; whilst that which has been conducted on performers with a disability has typically recruited relatively small samples to explore a narrow selection of organisational stressors, or examined other components of the stress process. The purpose of the present study was to explore the various organisational stressors that athletes with a disability encounter. The sample comprised 18 elite athletes with a disability (10 male, 8 female) who had a classified disability and experience of competing at a major championships in their sport (e.g., Paralympic Games, World Championships). Participants took part in a semi-structured interview which was analysed by drawing from grounded theory procedures. A total of 316 organisational stressors were identified, which were abstracted into 31 concepts and four, previously conceptualised, exploratory schemes: leadership and personnel issues, cultural and team issues, logistical and environmental issues, and performance and personal issues. This study not only provides the first illustration of the prevalence of organisational stressors for athletes with a disability, but also significantly points to salient similarities and distinct differences between the stress experiences of performers with and without a disability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1196
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number12
Early online date29 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'The organizational stressors encountered by athletes with a disability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this