...whatever your mode of movement is: media's place in young disabled people's physical activity
The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of young people with physical impairment of social marketing media that promoted physical activity. This was based on a generally held view that physical activity is important for the health and wellbeing of all people and social marketing is seen as a useful tool in raising awareness of healthy behaviours. A literature search found a gap in research regarding the influence or effectiveness of social marketing campaigns aimed at increasing the physical activity awareness of young disabled people aged between 18 and 25. It also pointed to a gap in research conducted by disabled people in the areas of health and physical activity. The initial concept for this research was grounded in anecdotal conversations with young disabled people through my employment in a tertiary institution student services’ office, and my own lived experience of impairment. During the time of my employment there was a nationwide advertising campaign to address inactivity in New Zealanders by promoting physical activity behaviour. The campaign used the social marketing technique, which is marketing principles applied to social change. Constructivist grounded theory provided the methodological approach for the study in which seven young people with physical impairment, aged between 19 and 25, from the greater Wellington area participated. They were interviewed in semi-structured one to one interviews, with data analysed using the constant comparative method. The Nvivo8 computer programme was used to assist with management and organisation of the data. The young people with physical impairment in this study did not relate to social marketing using television advertising because they did not see themselves represented in the campaigns. The young people identified that while engagement in physical activity is important for general health and fitness it can also be about being socially connected to their communities. There were also significant differences in how young people with acquired impairments and those with long-term impairments understood or constructed physical activity. Young people in this study preferred using the internet to obtain information about physical activity. They saw that there were possibilities for social marketing to promote positive attitudes towards disabled people to the public, as well as a tool for promoting inclusive sport and active recreation options for other youth with physical impairment. This research provides an explanatory framework for better understanding how young people with physical impairment perceive social marketing campaigns that promote physical activity. The results from this thesis can be used to guide future social marketing and health promotion campaigns, educational and public health policy, and practice of those who work with these young people and as the basis for research into physical activity among this cohort of young disabled people. Further research could include looking into national and local community initiatives that are successfully engaging young people in sport and active recreation. Further research could also examine the differences in perceptions of their own disability and of participation in physical activity between those young people with lifelong impairment and those who have acquired their impairment.
Advisor: Levack, William; Bowden, Chris
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Humanities
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: young disabled people; impairment; media; physical activity
Research Type: Thesis