Call for Papers

Special Issue

Identity and Identity-Based Issues within Recreational Therapy Practices

Updated 11/17/20

New Deadline March 15, 2021

     The concept of identity drives motivations, attitudes, and behaviors of clients and professionals in the RT/TR field. Investigating identity as a factor within recreational therapy is needed to: 1) develop innovative ways to connect to and facil- itate programming for clients, and 2) to prepare future RT/TR professionals for influences related to identity. This current call is intended to provide a platform for various conceptual- izations of identity and current identity-based issues affecting recreational therapy practice. We invite authors to submit a variety of scholarly work, which may include but is not limited to: empirical investigations, conceptual or theoretical papers, case studies, integrative reviews, and meta-analyses.

    The concept of identity can viewed from various approaches, including psychosocial, social, humanistic, cog- nitive, and narrative. We provide keywords and existing research that highlight each of these approaches below, and encourage all RT/TR scholars to include how identity relates to their research.

Psychosocial Identity

-    Keywords: exploration and commitment of identity roles, developmental and normative tasks across the lifespan for those using recreational therapy services

Examples of existing research

•   Luyckx K, et al.: Identity development, coping, and adjustment in emerging adults with a chronic illness: The sample case of type 1 diabetes. J Adolescent Health. 2008; 43(5): 451-458.

•   Vogel-Scibilia SE, McNulty KC, Baxter B, et al.: The recov- ery process utilizing Erikson’s stages of human develop- ment. Comm Mental Health J. 2009; 45(6): 405-414.

•   Echard A: Making sense of self: An autoethnographic study of identity formation for adolescents in music therapy. Music Therapy Perspectives. 2019; 37(2): 141-150.

Social Identity

•   Keywords: identity salience, identity integration, sexual and gender identity, disability and illness identity, profes- sional identity development, social constructionism; social role valorization

Examples of existing research

•   Snelgrove R: Youth with chronic illness forming identities through leisure. J Leisure Research. 2015: 47(1): 154-173.

•   Nagata S: A pilot study of exclusivity of athletic identity among wheelchair rugby players. Therapeutic Recreation J. 2014; 43(4): 320-331.

•   Lundberg NR, Taniguchi S, McCormick BP, et al.: Identity negotiating: Redefining stigmatized identities through adap- tive sports and recreation participation among individuals with a disability. J Leisure Research. 2011; 43(2): 205-225.

Humanistic Identity

•   Keywords: Self-actualization, eudemonic well-being, self- discovery

Examples of existing research

•   Wise JB: Theory of human flourishing for therapeutic recre- ation. Amer J Rec Ther. 2010; 9(1): 27-34.

•   Heo J, et al.: Daily experience of serious leisure, flow and sub- jective well-being of older adults. Leisure Studies. 2010; 29(2):207-225.

•  Zalenski RJ, Raspa R: Maslow's hierarchy of needs: A framework for achieving human potential in hospice. J Palliative Med. 2006, 9(5): 1120-1127.

Cognitive Identity

-    Keywords: self-construction, external information, identity processing style

Examples of existing research

•  Gendreau A, de la Sablonnière R: The cognitive process of identity reconstruction after the onset of a neurological disabil- ity. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2014; 36(19): 1608-1617.

•   Faramarzi M, Jahanian K, Zarbakhsh M, et al.: The role of moral intelligence and identity styles in prediction of men- tal health problems in healthcare students. Health. 2014; 6:664-672.

•   Jørgensen CR: Identity style in patients with borderline personality disorder and normal controls. J Personality Disorders. 2019; 23(2): 101-112.

Narrative Identity (McAdams)

•   Keywords: autobiographical reasoning, meaning making, redemptive tone

Examples of existing research

•   Perrier MJ, Smith BM, Latimer-Cheung AE: Narrative environments and the capacity of disability narratives to motivate leisure-time physical activity among individuals with spinal cord injury. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2013; 35(24): 2089-2096.

•   Iwasaki Y, et al.: Role of leisure in meaning-making for community-dwelling adults with mental illness: Inspiration for engaged life. J Leisure Research. 2015; 47(5): 538-555.

• Smith B, Tomasone JR, Latimer-Cheung AE, et al.: Narrative as a knowledge translation tool for facilitating impact: Translating physical activity knowledge to disabled people and health professionals. Health Psychology. 2015; 34(4): 303-313.


As a result of the unique role of identity across therapists and clients, the profession needs to stay abreast of prominent and underlying identity processes and outcomes to provide the best opportunities for programmatic design, functional outcomes, and overall professional development.

Potential Manuscript Topics or Themes

•   The impacts of client and/or therapist identities on the experience or provision of RT/TR services

•   Integrative reviews of identity concepts related to RT/TR services and research

•   RT/TR services in response to changing conceptualizations of identity (i.e., gender identity, sexual identity, etc.)

•   Challenges with offering RT/TR services to clients across different identities and identity development stages

•   Methodological or research considerations with measuring identity

•   Specific identity-based interventions targeting develop- ment and recovery

•   Case studies on exemplary identity-based RT/TR programs and interventions, which may include specific program protocols

•   Career identity exploration and commitment among TR professionals across early, middle, and end of career stages

•   The experience of normative developmental tasks across the lifespan for individuals with social identities (cultural/ ethnic, disability, serious illnesses, LGBTQ+ identities)

•   Connections between identity and health and well-being among clients

•   Identity related understanding of functional skill develop- ment and decision making


Allison Wilder, PhD, Univesity of New Hampshire,

Cindy Hartman, PhD, University of New Hampshire,


Submissions are due March 15, 2021. Address questions to: Co-Editors or

How to Submit Papers

Submission details: To submit a manuscript, please visit and use the Manuscript Submission link on the journal’s website. When you submit your paper, please make sure you select the “Special Issue on Identity” in the Section/Category of the General Info tab to designate it for this special issue. Questions? Email us at For personal assistance contact us at 781-899-2702, ext. 114 from 9 am – 4 pm EST.

Important dates:

•   Manuscripts accepted: Thru March 15, 2021

•   Publication April 2021 - for initial online and print version

•   Distribution - Extended nationwide distribution, standard international distribution - Print and Ejournal formats

•   Print copies available for purchase. Limited advertising will be accepted for this special issue - reserve early.