Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Lauren J. Lieberman


Research on Self-Determination Theory has been conducted on many aspects of an individual's across the lifespan. Studies have researched the effects of self-determined behaviors on general education, athletic sport participation, and an individual's control of their own needs. However, few studies have been conducted on self-determination opportunities that are provided in physical education. Studies indicate an importance of self-determination in all aspects of ones life with regard to perceived competence, motivation, goal setting, choice making and achievement of positive outcomes. Few studies have been conducted regarding the effects of self-determination on the lives of individuals with visual impairment or deaf-blindness. The current study examined self-determination opportunities across the following domains: at home, with friends, with health care, at school, and during physical education of students with visual impairments and deaf-blindness.

Fifty-four students, 31 boys and 23 girls (ages 8 to 23 years), who participated in a one-week summer sport camp were surveyed. The variables studied were: level of visual impairments, gender, and age. A 2X2X3 MANOVA and post hoc analysis indicated that a significant difference for level of visual impairment was present; however, no significant differences were indicated for gender and age. All classifications of visual impairment scored low across all domains studied. It was concluded that self-determination opportunities are not being provided to students with visual impairments.


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