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Hope E. Yungblut, Robert J. Schinke, Kerry R. McGannon and Mark A. Eys

Researchers have found that female youths are particularly vulnerable to withdrawing from sport and physical activity programs in early adolescence (see Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2010). However, there is an absence of a comprehensive, emic description of how female adolescents experience physical activity. Open-ended, semi-structured interviews were conducted individually with 15 early adolescent females (12–14 years old) and 20 middle and late adolescent females (15–18years old). Co-participants in the mid to late adolescent cohort provided retrospective accounts of their early adolescent experiences along with insight on how their experiences shaped their current participation. The girls’ voices were brought to the forefront through composite vignettes that highlight their physical activity experiences, integrating the words used by the co-participants. Results are discussed in relation to physical activity programming for adolescent females and why a qualitative approach is useful in contributing to gender-specific physical activity programming.

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Robert Schinke, Hope Yungblut, Amy Blodgett, Mark Eys, Duke Peltier, Stephen Ritchie and Danielle Recollet-Saikkonen

Background:

There has been a recent push in the sport psychology literature for sport participants to be approached based on their cultural backgrounds. However, there are few examples where a cultural approach is considered, such as a culturally reflexive version of participatory action research (PAR). In the current study, the role of family is considered in relation to the sport engagement of Canadian Aboriginal youth.

Methods:

Mainstream researchers teamed with coresearchers from the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve for 5 years. Community meetings and talking circles were employed as culturally sensitive data collection techniques to uncover how to encourage youth participation in Wikwemikong’s sport programs. The overarching methodology for the project is PAR.

Results:

Themes and subthemes were determined by community consensus with terms indigenous (ie, culturally relevant) among the local Aboriginal culture. Family was considered important for youth involvement in Aboriginal community sport programs. Parents were expected to support their children by managing schedules and priorities, providing transportation, financial support, encouragement, and being committed to the child’s activity. Aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, grandparents, and the family as a whole were seen as sharing the responsibility to retain youth in sport through collateral support (ie, when gaps in parental support arose).

Conclusions:

Suggestions are proposed regarding how families in Aboriginal communities can collaborate to facilitate sport and physical activity among their youth. Further suggestions are proposed for researchers engaging in culturally reflexive research with participants and coresearchers from oppressed cultures.