PURPOSE: Youth with physical disabilities have lower psychosocial health and attention compared to their typically developing
peers. Recent research has shown positive associations between sports participation and these outcomes. The purpose of the
current study was to explore whether a school-based sports program affects psychosocial health and attention in youth with
METHODS: Seventy children and adolescents (mean age (SD) 13.8 (2.9) years, aged 8–19 years, 54% boys) with physical disabilities
were included in this quasi-experimental study from schools for special education. The sports group (n = 31) followed
a school-based sports program (45 min/week) for six months. The control group followed the regular curriculum. Psychosocial
health was assessed with self-perception (Self-Perception Profile for Children) and quality of life (DISABKIDS Chronic
Generic Measure, DCGM-37). Attention was measured with experimental tasks on search efficiency, sustained attention, and
RESULTS: Linear regression analyses revealed no differences between the sports and control group for self-perception, quality
of life, and attention.
CONCLUSION: A school-based sports program seems to have no effect on psychosocial health and attention in youth with
physical disabilities. Research into the important factors influencing these variables is needed before further resources can be
given to improve sports participation for increasing psychosocial health and attention.