A Longitudinal Investigation of Sport Participation and Life Satisfaction

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Georgia
  • 2 Orkand Corporation
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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between sport participation and life satisfaction. It involved 286 females and 262 males, categorized into three levels of sport participation (high, medium, low), who responded to two measures of life satisfaction over a 9-year period. There was no significant relationship between sport participation and life satisfaction for women. Among men, however, the high sport participation group reported the highest level of life satisfaction as freshmen in college and again 5 years after graduation. A farther path analysis, focusing on the causal nature of the sport experience/life satisfaction relationship, revealed that sport participation during adolescence significantly affected adult life satisfaction for men. These findings are discussed in terms of the psychological effects of sport.

The authors recognize that this research has been supported, in whole or in part, under the terms of a research grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 5 R01 HDO4134-10, William A. Owens, principal investigator.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Philip E. Varca, Dept. of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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