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The purpose of this cross sectional study was to predict feelings of belonging and social responsibility based on climate perceptions of youth participating in a middle school running program. Method: Seventy-four youth from a middle school track and cross country program in the Midwest participated. Results: Based on multiple regression analyses we predicted 52% of the variance in feelings of belonging largely due to perceptions of leadership emotional support and task climate and 25% of the variance in feelings of social responsibility largely due to perceptions of a caring climate. Conclusions: Our findings support the importance of middle school running programs which offered an environment allowing multiple psychosocial benefits, such as nurturing feelings of belonging and social responsibility.
Brigid Byrd and Jeffrey J. Martin are with the Department of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.