Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Brandi M. Crowe

Committee Member

Michael R. Kaufman

Committee Member

Patrick J. Rosopa

Committee Member

Jasmine N. Townsend


The most common type of disability in the US is mobility or physical impairment, occurring in one in seven adults. Globally, musculoskeletal and neurological conditions account for nearly two-thirds (65.6%) of total physical rehabilitation needs. Approaches that promote healthy community living, rehabilitation, and reduce relapse and rehospitalization among people with physical impairments are critical. Participation in recreational activities and identification with social recreational groups may promote the health, quality of life, and functional abilities of people with physical impairments, contributing to reducing their hospitalization and healthcare needs. This explanatory sequential mixed methods research study had two aims. Using the experience-type framework as a conceptual framework, aim one sought to test and explain the type of experience, the predictors of experience, and the personality profile of recreational scuba divers with physical impairments. Using the social identity approach to health as a theoretical framework, aim two sought to test and explain the relationships between scuba diving social identity, self-efficacy, social health, psychological health, physical health, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and disability among recreational scuba divers with physical impairments. Study findings provide a unique glimpse into the potential of using scuba diving as both a preventative recreation participation approach and a rehabilitation modality for people with physical impairments.

Author ORCID Identifier


Available for download on Sunday, December 31, 2023