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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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Donald Sabo, Merrill J. Melnick and Beth E. Vanfossen

This study examines the impact of race and gender differences on the social mobility of high school athletes using the longitudinal, panel data of the High School and Beyond study. Regressions of educational and occupational attainment measures on sports participation were estimated for subgroups differentiated by race/ethnic status, gender, and school location (urban, suburban, and rural). It was found that participation in high school sports was most likely to affect the postsecondary status attainment of white males and, to a lesser extent, suburban white females and rural Hispanic females. High school athletic participation had almost no effect on the college-going behavior or educational expectations of black males and females. Interscholastic athletic participation was generally unrelated to postsecondary occupational status and aspirations.

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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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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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Koenraad J. Lindner

School children and youth from Primary Grade 5 to Secondary Grade 7 (average age range, 9 to 18 years) in Hong Kong completed a sports participation questionnaire and rated their own academic performance (AP). Results of ANOVAs indicated that frequency and extent of participation tended to be significantly higher for students with high self-ratings than for students with less satisfactory self-reported performance, and that this trend was significantly stronger in females than males and present in all age groups. The correlations between participation and AP were generally significant but low. These results indicate that those who perceive themselves to be the better achievers in academic subjects are as a group the more frequent participants, with stronger motives for involvement in sport and physical activity. A prevalent fear among parents and teachers in Hong Kong, that regular sport participation could threaten academic achievement, appears unfounded.

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Kathleen E. Miller and Joseph H. Hoffman

Past research has linked physical activity and sports participation with improved mental and social well-being, including reduced risk of depression and suicidality. In this study we examined relationships among several dimensions of athletic involvement (team sport participation, individual sport participation, athlete identity, and jock identity), gender, and depression and suicidal behavior in a sample of 791 undergraduate students. Both participation in a team sport and athlete identity were associated with lower depression scores. Athlete identity was also associated with lower odds of a past-year suicide attempt, whereas jock identity was associated with elevated odds of a suicide attempt. The findings are discussed in light of the relationship between mental well-being and a larger constellation of health-risk behaviors linked to a “toxic jock” identity.

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Collin Webster

Personal biography influences preservice classroom teachers’ (PCT) perceptions and attitudes related to school-based physical activity promotion (SPAP). Using an uncontrolled prepost design, this study investigated associations between biographical variables and changes in PCTs’ SPAP attitudes and perceived competence while enrolled in a 16-week SPAP course. PCTs (N = 201) completed baseline measures assessing biographical variables of year in school, sports participation, coaching/teaching experience, BMI, satisfaction with K-12 physical education (PE) and perceived physical activity (PA) competence, and prepost measures assessing SPAP attitudes and perceived competence. One-way repeated measures analysis of variance procedures showed statistically significant, positive changes in PCTs’ scores on all SPAP measures. Mixed-model analysis of variance/covariance techniques indicated sport participation, teaching/coaching experience, PE satisfaction and perceived PA competence were associated with changes in SPAP scores. Results suggest PCTs’ SPAP learning experiences should incorporate strategies for enhancing self-schemas and perceptions related to PE and PA.

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Renée M. Parker, Michael J. Lambert and Gary M. Burlingame

The present study was conducted to determine if female distance runners who report engaging in pathological food behaviors display the psychological characteristics of clinically diagnosed female eating-disordered patients. Comparisons were made among 29 eating-disturbed college runners, 31 normal college runners, 19 clinically diagnosed eating-disordered patients, and 34 nonathletic, non-eating-disordered college students. Measures included a 3-day diet journal, questionnaires collecting both personal information and information on eating behaviors and sports participation, the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), the Setting Conditions for Anorexia Nervosa Scale (SCANS), and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Without reaching eating-disordered clinical levels, the eating-disturbed runners appeared on psychological inventories as being more concerned with food and dieting than were the comparison runners and non-eating-disordered nonathletes. Only the eating-disordered group presented with significant levels of psychopathology. Implications for the athletic community are discussed.

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Martin Kristiansen, Ryna Levy-Milne, Susan Barr and Anne Flint

The purpose of this study was to assess reasons for and prevalence of supplement use among varsity athletes and nonvarsity athlete students (controls) at a Canadian university. A questionnaire, distributed to 247 varsity athletes and 204 controls, included variables regarding sports participation, supplements used, reasons for usage, perceived effects, and areas of interest about supplements. Response rates were 85.5% among varsity athletes and 44.6% among controls. Supplements were used by 98.6% of varsity athletes and 94.3% of controls. Varsity men most often reported using sports drinks, and used these (and carbohydrate gels, protein powder, and creatine) more than varsity women. Caffeine products were most often reported by other groups. Health professionals and the Internet were the most reported information sources, while friends most often recommended supplements. Many subjects indicated knowing little about supplements and wanting to learn more. Results indicate a need for nutrition education among both varsity athletes and university students.

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Gareth McNarry, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson and Adam B. Evans

Pain has long been associated with sports participation, being analyzed variously as a physical phenomenon, as well as a sociocultural construct in sport sociological literature. In this article, the authors employ a sociological–phenomenological approach to generate novel insights into the underresearched domain of “lived” pain in competitive swimming. Analytic attention is paid to specific aspects of pain, including “discomfort” and “good pain,” and how these sensations can be positively experienced and understood by the swimmers, as well as forming an integral part of the everyday routines of competitive swimming. Here, training is seen as “work” in the pursuit of athletic improvement. Discomfort and good pain thus become perceived as by-products of training, providing swimmers with important embodied information on pace, energy levels, and other bodily indicators of performance.