Adolescents with Disabilities and Sport A Comparative Study with “Adolescents and Sport,” a Survey Conducted by INSEP (National Institute of Sport and Physical Education)

By Gilles Bui-Xuân, Jacques Mikulovic

The INSEP study “Adolescents and Sport” shows that sport is an important component in the social construction of adolescents, especially in creating collective models for social positioning. Moreover, a survey of adolescents with mental disabilities (N = 621) suggests that the practice of sport is an indicator of position for these adolescents in a relatively static space of social and institutional conditioning.Adolescents with disabilities practice sports outside of institutions as much as the adolescents from the INSEP study, but the percentage of those who practice sports in a club, and especially in competition, is equivalent to the percentage of the most underprivileged in the INSEP study.This proportion is even greater among girls with disabilities.Besides overweight and obesity, there is no evidence of an “institutional effect,” in contrast to the INSEP study findings, only an “age effect.”Compared to the adolescents whom INSEP surveyed, adolescents with disabilities own and consume many fewer sporting cultural products, drop out much earlier, and practice sport mainly for pleasure rather than for health reasons.


  • adolescents
  • sport
  • mental disability
  • health
  • pleasure
Go to the article on