An egocentric social network analysis of individuals with spinal cord injuries attending a medical specialty camp




spinal cord injury, egocentric social network analysis, ego, alter, medical specialty camp


Social connectedness may be a barrier for people with disabilities and can vary based on diagnosis. People with traumatic spinal cord injuries (SCIs) pose a unique perspective to this concept as they have, at one point, lived as an individual without a disability. This study examined individuals with a range of duration and severity of injury, evaluating how attendance at a disability-specific summer camp may affect participants’ social networks. This study applied an egocentric social network analysis to better understand the alters these individuals go to for important matters in their lives. Through the completion of an adapted version of the Health and Important Matters Social Network Battery, the responses of 14 research subjects were recorded and analyzed. This study found that many of the participant’s social networks consisted of friends and family with whom they had built friendships with prior to their injury. This finding was contrary to previous research findings, indicating that it would be likely that networks would consist of multiple individuals from the medical specialty camp. The findings serve as a guide to help better understand the diverse social networks of people with traumatic SCIs with implications to recreational therapy practice.


Author Biographies

Kamryn C. Cushway, CTRS

College of Education and Human Services, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Shay Dawson, PhD, CTRS

College of Education and Human Services, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan


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How to Cite

Cushway, K. C., & Dawson, S. (2023). An egocentric social network analysis of individuals with spinal cord injuries attending a medical specialty camp. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 22(1), 21–30.