Special Olympics Research

The Positive Contributions of Special Olympics to the Family

Designed as a qualitative rather than quantitative study, this research was designed to explore how family members of Special Olympics athletes are involved in the movement, how parents and other family members benefit from this involvement, and the impact it has on their perceptions of their children with intellectual disability. It studied families from four state Programs in the United States.

Overall, findings can be used to draw two conclusions. First, Special Olympics operates as a powerful engine of connection for the families of athletes, providing opportunities for families to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones both within the family and with others. Second, the organization provides athletes and their families with normative life experience that are critical to healthy development.

Social support is a critical source of well-being for all families, and perhaps especially for families of youth with disabilities. By strengthening relationships within families and fostering opportunities to meet other families who are dealing with similar situations, Special Olympics offers families a deep sense of connection that contributes to their general well-being.

Other research has documented multi-faceted benefits to participation in sports for youth in their schools and communities. Young people with intellectual disabilities are often excluded from these activities. Most family members interviewed for this study mentioned that through Special Olympics, they are able to have the same type of experiences that families with children without intellectual disabilities have.

Click here to read the entire report…

Your Donation Matters

Special Olympics transforms athletes’ lives through the joy of sport. Help us make a difference.

DONATE TODAY»

Volunteer Near You

Volunteering with Special Olympics is fun and very rewarding, for both the athlete and the volunteer!

LEARN MORE»

Follow Us

Help us reach out to one more athlete.

Donate »

Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 220 worldwide locations.

FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU »

Videos and Photos

DifferentBarry Cairns tells what it's like to be a Special Olympics athlete.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

SpeechlessSpecial Olympics changed her life in deep and meaningful ways.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Summer GamesAround the world, months of practice are paying off.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Photos on FBSee photos and comments from our supporters around the world.See Photos »


Videos and Photos

Hope in HaitiLeo and Gedeon play in makeshift fields, tent towns, wherever they can.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Finding His VoiceDavid Egan has always dreamed big. Now look at him!Learn More »


Videos and Photos

Sport Teaches UsOur life-changing work is fueled by the power of sport.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Making SuccessDoctors said Lani is “never going to achieve anything.” Learn More »


Videos and Photos

Very Very SpecialMusic helps Special Olympics make an impact worldwide.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Around The WorldGreat photos of Special Olympics events and people.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Focus on ChangeWhat we do can't be done without our partners.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Who We AreWe are athletes, families, celebs, volunteers and more.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Playing UnifiedUnified Sports reveals strengths in every team member.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Healthier AthletesOur free health clinics are making a huge difference.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Deon NamisebHe's a speaker and role model. It didn't start that way in Namibia.Learn More »


Special Olympics Blog

Health Needs Need Closer Examination

"You can't compete if your feet hurt, if your teeth hurt or if your ears ache."read more »

Posted on 2014-04-07 by Ryan

go to blog »


*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan