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Douglas N. Hastad, Jeffrey O. Segrave, Robert Pangrazi, and Gene Petersen

Although several studies have investigated the relationship between interscholastic athletic participation and delinquency, little attention has been given to younger populations. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between youth sport participation and deviant behavior among elementary school children. The study ascertained deviancy among youth sport participants and nonparticipants, and compared the profiles of youth sport participants and deviants on a selected cluster of eight sociopsychological variables. Of a total sample of 381 sixth-grade students, 278 (146 boys and 132 girls) were classified as youth sport participants. Overall, the results indicated a negative association between youth sport participation and deviancy. Although the study showed some similarities in the profiles of youth sport participants and deviants, important distinctions were found regarding the variables delinquent associates, peer status, and personal values.