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  • Author: Jonathan Casper x
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Jonathan M. Casper and Jung-Hwan Jeon

The purpose of this study was to examine psychological connection to the sport of pickleball by investigating active older adults (55 years and older) in relation to behavioral involvement and motives for participation. Data were collected via an online survey of a representative sample of active pickleball players in North Carolina (N = 690). The psychological continuum model (PCM) categorized players into four distinct connection levels of Awareness, Attraction, Attachment, and Allegiance. Participants on each PCM level were analyzed based on playing length, play frequency, and motivations for participation (Competition, Diversion, Fitness, Skill Mastery, and Socialization). Results showed respondents at the highest PCM levels have played pickleball for at least 1 year and play at least 10 times per month. Although Fitness and Socialization were reported as the most important motives for the entire sample, Competition and Skill Mastery were viewed significantly higher for respondents at higher PCM levels.

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Jonathan M. Casper, Jason N. Bocarro, Michael A. Kanters and Myron F. Floyd

Background:

Organized sport is viewed as a viable medium for promoting more physical activity among youth. However, participation in youth sport declines significantly among both boys and girls during their middle school years. This study examined middle school students’ perceived constraints to sport participation.

Methods:

Middle school students from 4 schools (6th−8th grade, N = 2465) completed a web based survey (97.3% response rate). Descriptive analysis, t tests, and ANOVA were used to assess extent of perceived constraints and differences among demographic and sport participation level subgroups.

Results:

The most salient constraint perceived by respondents was time, while knowledge was perceived as the lowest among the overall sample. Significant (P < .01) differences in perceived constraints were found among all comparisons groups. Girls, Latinos, lower SES students, and students who did not play sports reported more constraints than respective comparisons groups.

Discussion:

The sociodemographic characteristics of middle school students appear to be a significant factor in their perception of constraints to sport participation. Identifying constraints associated with sport participation can enable policy-makers and administrators to be more deliberate in channeling resources.