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Reflections on Youth Sport Experiences by Individuals with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Open Access


Other title
Youth sport
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Lee, Homan
Supervisor and department
Holt, Nicholas L (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Magill-Evans, Joyce (Occupational Therapy)
Causgrove Dunn, Janice (Physical Education and Recreation)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
Despite the potential benefits of sport participation for individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), they may face challenges that undermine their sport experiences. Yet there is limited research that tries to understand the sport experiences of these individuals. The purpose of this study was to explore the youth sport experiences of individuals with AD/HD. Six males (age range = 17 – 26 years) with a self-reported diagnosis of AD/HD who had played three or more seasons of team sport(s) in their youth were purposefully sampled. Participants each completed two semi-structured interviews. Data analysis using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009) revealed that sport could be enjoyable and beneficial for participants. However, AD/HD symptoms negatively influenced their performance and relationships with coaches and teammates. Having supportive coaches and ways to cope with their AD/HD symptoms helped to mitigate the negative influence of AD/HD in their sport experiences. Practical applications arising from these findings include increasing coaches’ and athletes’ understanding of how to manage AD/HD, and provision of constructive feedback and supportive behaviours to these athletes.
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