The Development and Initial Validation of a Short, Self-Report Measure on Social Inclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities-A Transnational Study

Piritta Asunta, Pauli Rintala, Florian Pochstein, Nelli Lyyra, Roy McConkey

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    Sport has been promoted as a means of increasing the social inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities. Suitable tools for evaluating this claim are not readily available. The aim of this study was to develop a self-report tool for use by people with intellectual disabilities regarding the social inclusion they experience in sport and in the community. A three-phase process was used. In the first phase an item bank of questionnaire items was created and field-tested with 111 participants. Initial factor analysis identified 42 items which were further evaluated in Phase 2 with 941 participants from six European countries. Construct validity was established first through Exploratory and then Confirmatory factor analysis. These analyses identified ten items relating to inclusion in sports and ten to inclusion in local communities. A third phase checked the usability and test-retest reliability of the short form with a further 228 participants. In all, 1280 athletes and non-disabled partners were involved from eight countries. This short social inclusion questionnaire has been shown to be a reliable and valid measure for use transnationally. Further psychometric properties remain to be tested; notably its sensitivity to change resulting from interventions aimed at promoting social inclusion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2540
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Issue number5
    Early online date4 Mar 2021
    Publication statusPublished online - 4 Mar 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The study was funded in part by a European Union grant to Special Olympics Eu-rope/Eurasia. The funders had no role in the design of the study analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript. We are indebted to our co?researchers in Europe for assistance with data gathering: notably Daniela Schwarz and Elke Langbein, Technical University of Munich, Germany; Aura Bota, National University of Physical Education and Sports, Bucharest, Romania; Maciej Wilski and Anna Nadolska, Poznan University of Physical Education, Poland; Amanda Dimech, Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), Malta and Liz Carlin, Ulster University, N. Ireland. Our thanks also to Ashlyn Smith, Special Olympics Inc, Washington DC, for coordinating data gathering in the USA and to Sabine Menke, Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia for instigating the study and her support throughout.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


    • Transnational
    • Self‐report measures
    • Community
    • Sports
    • Social Inclusion
    • Reproducibility of Results
    • Europe
    • Humans
    • Self Report
    • Psychometrics
    • Surveys and Questionnaires
    • Intellectual Disability


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