Development of Life Skills and Involvement in the Girls on Track Program

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal

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Jennifer J. WaldronUniversity of Northern Iowa

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There has been a growing trend in examining how life skills can be developed through sport programs (Danish, 2002). Four components of life skills central to the current study were interpersonal communication, problem solving, health maintenance, and identity development (Darden & Gazda, 1996). The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of participation in Girls on Track (GOT), a sport-based life-skills program, to the effects of participation in soccer programs and the Girl Scouts. The GOT program is a running program intended to teach girls physical, personal, and social skills. Nineteen girls from the three programs were interviewed individually. Results revealed that all four components of life skills emerged from the interviews with GOT participants. In comparison, only three components emerged for the other two programs. These data suggest that the GOT program may be more successful in delivering life skills compared to the soccer and Girl Scouts programs.

Jennifer J. Waldron, Ph.D. School of HPELS 203 Wellness/Recreation Center Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0241 E-mail: Phone: (319) 273-2730 Fax: (319) 273-5958

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