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Stacy Warner, Marlene A. Dixon and Christyn Schumann

Physical activity and sport developmental programs have demonstrated some success at providing valuable resources for young women as they navigate their teen years, yet these programs are not always intentional and/or accessible (Cadwallader, 2001; Petitpas, Cornelius, Van Raalte, & Jones, 2004; Tucker Center, 2007). One such program developed by the Women’s Sports Foundation is GoGirlGo. The curriculum, which combines sports participation with education, focuses on reducing and preventing unhealthy behaviors and on providing valuable connections and resources for girls. Using the theory of developmental intentionality, this qualitative investigation examined the efficacy of GoGirlGo in a five day long sport camp setting. This condensed delivery method is not addressed or recommended in the literature, yet the results of this investigation reveal that this delivery method is effective and could broaden the accessibility of the program.

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Kathleen E. Miller, Merrill J. Melnick, Grace M. Barnes, Michael P. Farrell and Don Sabo

Although previous research has established that high school sports participation might be associated with positive academic outcomes, the parameters of the relationship remain unclear. Using a longitudinal sample of nearly 600 western New York adolescents, this study examined gender- and race-specific differences on the impact of two dimensions of adolescent athletic involvement (“jock” identity and athlete status) on changes in school grades and school misconduct over a 2-year interval. Female and Black adolescents who identified themselves as jocks reported lower grades than did those who did not, whereas female athletes reported higher grades than female nonathletes. Jocks also reported significantly more misconduct (including skipping school, cutting classes, having someone from home called to the school for disciplinary purposes, and being sent to the principal’s office) than did nonjocks. Gender moderated the relationship between athlete status and school misconduct; athletic participation had a less salutary effect on misconduct for girls than for boys.

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Robert Fletcher

Early sociological research describes risk sports as a form of resistance to structural aspects of highly industrialized societies. Recent scholarship, however, suggests that conventional social forces operating on the demographic group (young, White, professional, middle-class males) from which most athletes originate actually motivate risk sports participation. This study contributes to the literature by seeking to explain risk athletes’ characteristic class status, a dynamic largely neglected by previous studies. Drawing on Bourdieu’s analysis of the relationship between sport and social class, I suggest that risk sports appeal particularly to members of the professional middle class because of such sports’ capacity to simultaneously satisfy and provide a temporary escape from a class habitus demanding continual progress through disciplined labor and deferred gratification.

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Linda M. Petlichkoff

In 1990 the Athletic Footwear Association (AFA) (1) released a report entitled “American Youth and Sports Participation” that examined teenagers’ (ages 10-18 years) feelings about their sport involvement. This report was the culmination of an extensive study of more than 10,000 young people from 11 cities across the U.S. in which issues related to why teenagers participate, why they quit, and their feelings about winning were addressed.1 The results highlighted in the AFA report indicate that (a) participation in organized sports declines sharply as youngsters get older, (b) “fun” is the key reason for involvement and “lack of fun” is one of the primary reasons for discontinuing, (c) winning plays less of a role than most adults would think, and (d) not all athletes have the same motivations for their involvement.

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Clemens Drenowatz, Olivia Wartha, Jochen Klenk, Susanne Brandstetter, Martin Wabitsch and Jürgen Steinacker

This study examined the association between biological maturity, CVD risk, fitness and health behavior in 709 (359 male, 350 female) 8-year-old children (range: 6.3–8.9 years). Sports participation and sedentary behavior was assessed via parent questionnaire. Height and weight was measured and maturity status was predicted based on % of adult-height reached. Fitness was assessed via a test battery and CVD risk was determined using mean arterial pressure, cholesterol and intra-abdominal fat. BMIpercentiles (BMIPCT) differed significantly among early, average and late maturing children. Early maturing children displayed a higher CVD risk profile (0.5 vs. -0.2), lower fitness scores (-0.4 vs. 0.2), and spent more time watching TV (51 vs. 43 min/day) compared with their peers. After controlling for BMIPCT differences remained only for fitness in boys and TV time in girls.

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Daniel Gould

The mission of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS) is to provide leadership, scholarship, and outreach that “transforms” the face of youth sports in ways that maximize the beneficial physical, psychological, and social effects of participation for children and youth while minimizing detrimental effects. Since its inception in 1978, ISYS has partnered with numerous organizations to promote healthy youth sports participation. In this article, the general steps ISYS takes to form and facilitate partnerships are addressed. Four long-term partnerships are also described. The services provided to these organizations are described and the advantages and challenges of working with partners, in general, are delineated. How these partnerships are used to facilitate the teaching, outreach-engagement, and scholarship components of the Michigan State University land grant mission are also described. The case of ISYS shows that conducting community outreach and engagement projects greatly enhance the scholarly mission of the university.

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Thomas Rowland

The two articles in the area of cardiovascular physiology and disease in youth were chosen for commentary because of their exploration of new approaches to the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular derangements in young persons. The first, by Hinds et al., describes the potential clinical importance of detection of cardiovascular changes during exercise testing in adolescent athletes following concussions. This approach might prove useful in establishing safe return-to-play guidelines. The second, a review article by Van De Schoor et al, evaluates the frequency of myocardial scarring in athletes, some of adolescent age, which is a recognized risk factor for sudden cardiac death. These findings support other evidence indicating that sports participation per se might rarely increase the risk of such tragedies. Clearly more research is indicated by the information raised in both of these articles, but their importance to clinical medicine is obvious.

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Bareket Falk, Sarah Braid, Michael Moore, Deborah O’Leary, Phil Sullivan and Panagiota Klentrou

The objective of this study was to assess bone strength using quantitative ultrasound (QUS, Sunlight Omnisense) in pre- and early-pubertal normal weight (NW, % body fat ≤20, n = 28), and overweight (OW, % body fat ≥25, n = 15) boys. Groups were similar in chronological and skeletal age, sexual maturity, sports participation, and calcium intake. Leisure-time physical activity was lower in OW boys. Radial speed of sound (SOS) was similar in the two groups. Tibial SOS, however, was significantly lower in OW compared with NW (3,554 ± 109 vs. 3,646 ± 71 m·s−1, respectively). Among pre- and early-pubertal boys, higher adiposity appears to be associated with lower bone SOS in the lower extremities.

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Guy L. Rowland, Robert E. Franken and Kimberley Harrison

A life-span inventory of sports participation and Zuckerman's (1979) Sensation Seeking Scale, Form V, were administered to 97 male and 104 female undergraduate students. The results indicated that, over time, high sensation seekers tend to become involved in more sports than do low sensation seekers, but low sensation seekers tend to remain involved with each sport for longer periods of time than do high sensation seekers. Gender and sensation seeking were found to interact in the choice of sporting activities. Low but generally positive correlations were observed between sensation seeking and participation in risky sports. These data suggest that both the need for new experiences and an attraction to high risk characterize the high sensation seeker 's participation in sporting activities.

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Meghan Schreck, Robert Althoff, Meike Bartels, Eco de Geus, Jeremy Sibold, Christine Giummo, David Rubin and James Hudziak

Few studies have explored the relation between withdrawn behavior (WB) and exercise and screen time. The current study used exploratory factor analysis to examine the factor structure of leisure-time exercise behavior (LTEB) and screentime sedentary behavior (STSB) in a clinical sample of youth. Structural equation modeling was employed to investigate the relations between WB and LTEB and STSB, conditional on gender. WB was assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist, and LTEB and STSB were measured using the Vermont Health Behavior Questionnaire. LTEB and STSB emerged as two separate factors. Gender moderated the structure of STSB only. For boys and girls, WB was inversely related to LTEB but not significantly related to STSB. LTEB and STSB are best represented as distinct, uncorrelated constructs. In addition, withdrawn youth may be at risk for poor health outcomes due to lower rates of LTEB. Mental health clinicians, sports psychologists, and related providers may be uniquely qualified to enhance motivation for sports participation in withdrawn youth.