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Christoph Rottensteiner, Niilo Konttinen, and Lauri Laakso

The main purpose of this study was to examine the links of coach-athlete relationship (CAR) and perceived coach-created motivational climate to persistence in youth sport. A total of 1692 persistent and 543 withdrawn football, ice hockey, and basketball players, aged 15–16 years, completed the Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire and the Perceived Motivational Climate Sport Questionnaire. Results indicated that persistent players reported higher scores in CAR and task-climate than withdrawn players. Persistent players also represented higher competition level, higher amount of training, and more years of involvement in sport than withdrawn players. Cluster analysis identified three profiles: 1) High CAR, high task climate, and moderate ego climate, 2) Moderate CAR, moderate task climate, and moderate ego climate, and 3) Low CAR, low task climate, and high ego climate. Differences between profiles were found in terms of relative proportion of continuing players, competition level, and amount of training. In all, Profile 1 appeared to be the most beneficial from the perspective of sport persistence. The present findings lend support for the view that coach-athlete relationship and motivational climate together can have implications for young athletes’ maintenance in organized sports.

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Risto Telama, Lauri Laakso, Heimo Nupponen, Arja Rimpelä, and Lasse Pere

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between youth physical activity and family socioeconomic status (FSES) over 28 years. As a part of the Finnish Adolescent Health and Lifestyle Survey a random sample of 12-, 15- and 18-year-old boys and girls participated in a nation-wide survey by answering questions every second year, from 1977 to 2005, on, among other things, leisure time physical activity and sport participation. Father’s education represented FSES. The results showed that there were no significant or only small differences between the high and low FSES groups in unorganised physical activity during the study period. Participation in physical activities organized by the school was not associated with FSES. Participation in youth sport organized by sport clubs was strongly associated with FSES in both sexes. The young people in the high FSES groups participated more than those in the low FSES groups. It was concluded that considerable inequality exists in youth sport participation, that this inequality has been growing during the last decade, and that it is bigger among girls than among boys.

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Minna T. Blomqvist, Pekka Luhtanen, Lauri Laakso, and Esko Keskinen

The purpose of this study is to report on the development and validation of a game-understanding test procedure in badminton. A basic video-based test was constructed, and primary school children (ages 9–10 and 11–12 years, N = 120) served as participants. An advanced test was designed to detect differences between national level junior badminton players (11–14 years, n = 19) and primary and secondary school children (11–14 years, n = 45). The video-based tests consisted of 15 to 19 different sequences that were simulations of actual offensive and defensive game situations. In every sequence, players were to solve tactical problems by selecting appropriate solutions and arguments for their decisions. Validity and reliability of the tests were examined through these groups, and the findings suggest that the test procedure developed provides a valid and reliable method for assessing game understanding in badminton.