Konstantina Trampa, Fotini Venetsanou

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Physical activity (PA) is thought to positively contribute to the improvement of the (poor) Quality of Life (QoL) of youth living in institutions. However, youth’s participation in PA can be affected by the “significant others” in their life. The aim of this study was to (a) investigate the impact of a PA programme on the QoL of youth hosted in an orphanage and (b) understand the role of the relationships formed in this institution in the outcome of the programme objectives. For that purpose, a mixed methods approach was adopted. The study was conducted in an orphanage in Attica, Greece. Twelve of the 13 male orphans (Mage= 13.08 ± 2.43 years) participated in a 10-week PA programme implemented in the institution. The KINDL® questionnaire was completed by the orphans and one caregiver before and after the PA intervention. The qualitative data were collected through observation and semi-structured interviews with 12 orphans and 6 members of the orphanage staff. The results showed that orphans’ QoL levels were poor; whereas a statistically significant decline in their total KINDL® scores (p= .033) and the Emotional Well-Being subscale (p= .013) was identified. Quality data revealed that orphans’ participation in the PA programme was inconsistent, although they estimated that it was valuable. Intra- and inter-personal factors emerged as barriers for PA participation. It seems that living in an institution results in deep deteriorations in youth’s QoL that cannot be surmounted by their participation in a PA programme.


sports, orphans, well-being, health

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