Characterizing socially supportive environments relating to physical activity participation for young people with physical disabilities

<p><i>Purpose</i>: To explore the experiences of young people with physical disabilities relating to social inclusion and physical activity, in order to describe the characteristics of social environments that support participation in physical activity. <i>Method</i>: An iterative, qualitative design employed in-depth, semi-structured interviews with young people with physical disabilities aged 12–18 (<i>n</i> = 11). Data were analyzed using interpretive thematic analysis. <i>Results</i>: Young people described several ways that their social environments help motivate and support them in their physical activity participation. These include providing: fair and equitable participation beyond physical accommodations; belonging through teamwork; and socially supported independence. <i>Conclusions</i>: Supportive social environments characterized by equitable participation, a sense of belonging, and opportunities for interdependence, play a critical role in promoting the health and well-being of young people with physical disabilities. These characteristics are important to consider in the design of both integrated and dedicated physical activity programs.</p>