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Durham e-Theses
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Trajectories, Transitions
and Turning Points: Sports, Substance Misuse and Desistance.

LANDALE, SARAH,A (2012) Trajectories, Transitions
and Turning Points: Sports, Substance Misuse and Desistance.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Despite well-established health benefits of physical exercise (Department of Health 2004; 2010; Pang et al., 2008), sport has played relatively little part in adult alcohol and drug treatment programmes. Limited research examines the contribution sporting programmes may make to people in their recovery from addiction. However, natural recovery research (overcoming addiction without formal treatment) identifies that meaningful activities are a key part of resolving alcohol and drug problems. At six-month intervals, this study conducted three individual, in-depth interviews with 19 male adults with substance misuse problems. They were engaging regularly on Second Chance, a sports programme for socially excluded groups, as part of their recovery from addiction. The study identified two patterns of behaviour. One group were desisting. In addition to Second Chance they had occupations which provided them with networks of support, and their narratives reflected hope and self-efficacy. The second group had few occupations, low self-efficacy, and high levels of anxiety, and their time was spent with other similarly situated people. Employing a developmental, life course theory of informal social controls (Laub and Sampson 2003), this study prospectively examined desistance from substance misuse in the context of Second Chance. The theory suggests that desistance and persistence from crime can be meaningfully understood by examining individuals’ routine activities, informal social controls and agency. Turning points are a key concept in life course theories, defined as change in the long term pathway which was initiated at an earlier point in time (Elder 1998). This study suggested that Second Chance was a “window of opportunity for change” (Groshkova and Best 2011:33), within which a turning point was being experienced by some of the interviewees. The turning point was an identity transformation, and this was facilitated through a confluence of meaningful routine activities, informal social controls, and, personal agency.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Drugs; Crime; Recovery; Sports; Meaningful activities.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Jun 2012 15:24

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