Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport



Health and Wellbeing

Led by Dr Christof Leicht, the aim of the Health and wellbeing research strand is to develop knowledge that can be used to promote physical health and mental health among disabled people.


The Health and Well-being strand is shaped by two principal disciplines: physiology and psychology. Our research produces knowledge on disabled people’s health and well-being that is of major value for policy makers, practitioners, service users groups and academics.

Physiology research themes

Psychology research themes


  • Smith, B. (accepted). Disability, sport, and men’s narratives of health: A qualitative study. Health Psychology.
  • Smith, B. & Caddick, N. (accepted). Qualitative methods in sport: A concise overview for guiding social scientific research. Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science.
  • Phoenix, C. & Smith, B. (2011). Telling a (good?) counterstory of aging: Natural bodybuilding meets the narrative of decline. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 66(5), 628-639.
  • Sparkes, A. & Smith, B. (2011). Inhabiting different bodies over time: Narrative and pedagogical challenges. Sport, Education & Society, 16(3), 357-370.
  • Smith, B. & Sparkes, A. (2011). Multiple responses to a chaos narrative. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness & Medicine, 15(1), 38-53.
  • Stewart, C., Sparkes, A., & Smith, B. (2011). Sporting autobiographies of illness and the role of metaphor. Sport in Society. 14(5), 577–593.
  • Soundy, A., Smith, B., Dawes, H., Pall, H., Gimbrere, K., & Ramsay, J. (2011). Patients expression of hope and illness narratives in three neurological conditions: A meta-ethnography. Health Psychology Review, 1-25.
  • Smith, B. (2010). Narrative inquiry: Ongoing conversations and questions for sport psychology research. International Review of Sport Psychology, 3(1), 87-107.
  • Smith, B. (2010). Dialogism, monologism, and boundaries: Some possibilities for disability studies and interdisciplinary research. Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, 6(3), 25-33.
  • Sparkes, A. & Smith, B. (2009). Judging the quality of qualitative inquiry: Criteriology and relativism in action. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10, 491-497.
  • Sparkes, A. & Smith, B. (2009). Men, spinal cord injury, memories, and the narrative performance of pain. Disability & Society, 23(7), 679-690.
  • Smith, B. (2008). Imagining being disabled through playing sport: The body and alterity as limits to imagining others lives. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 2(2), 142-157.
  • Smith, B. & Sparkes, A. C. (2008). Changing bodies, changing narratives and the consequences of tellability: A case study of becoming disabled through sport. Sociology of Health and Illness, 30(2), 217-236.
  • Smith, B. & Sparkes, A. C. (2008). Narrative and its potential contribution to disability studies. Disability & Society, 23(1), 17-28.
  • Smith, B. & Sparkes, A. C. (2005). Men, sport, spinal cord injury and narratives of hope. Social Science & Medicine, 61(5), 1095-1105.
  • Smith, B. & Papathomas, A. (forthcoming). Disability sport. In. Swain, J., Barnes, C., & Thomas, C. Disabling Barriers, Enabling Environments. London: Sage.
  • Robertson, S., & Smith, B.. (forthcoming). Men and disability. In. Swain, J., Barnes, C., & Thomas, C. Disabling Barriers, Enabling Environments. London: Sage.
  • Smith, B. & Perrier, M-J. (forthcoming). Understanding disability, sport and exercise. In R., Eklund, G. & Tenenbaum. (Eds). Encyclopaedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Human Kinetics.
  • Smith, B. & Sparkes, A.  (forthcoming). Narrative analysis in sport and physical culture. In. K. Young & M. Atkinson (Eds). Research in the Sociology of Sport. Emerald Press.
  • Smith, B. & Sparkes, A. (2012). Disability, sport and physical activity. A critical review. In N. Watson, A. Roulstone, & C. Thomas, &  (Eds). Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies
  • (pp. 336-347). London: Routledge.
  • Smith, B. & Sparkes, A. (2012). Making sense of words and stories. Some strategies for consideration. In G. Tenenbaum, R. Eklund, & A Kamata (Eds). Handbook of Measurement in Sport and Exercise Psychology (pp. 119-129). Human Kinetics.
  • Sparkes, A. & Smith, B. (2011). Narrative analysis as an embodied engagement with the lives of others. In J. Holstein & J. Gubrium (Eds). Varieties of narrative analysis (pp. 53- 73). London: Sage.
  • Smith, B. & Sparkes, A. (2009). The narrative turn in sport and exercise psychology. In Ryba, T., Schinke, R., & Tenenbaum, G. (Eds.), The cultural turn in sport and exercise psychology (pp. 75-100). Fitness Information Technology.
  • Sparkes, A. C. & Smith, B. (2008). Narrative Constructionist Inquiry. In J. Holstein & J. Gubrium (Eds), Handbook of Constructionist Research (pp. 295-314). London: Guilford Publications.
  • Sparkes, A. C. & Smith, B. (2007). Disabled bodies and narrative time: Men, sport, and spinal cord injury. In J. Hargreaves and P. Vertinsky (Eds.) Physical Culture, Power, and the Body (pp. 158-175). London: Routledge.