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Toward Understanding Youth Athletes’ Fun Priorities: An Investigation of Sex, Age, and Levels of Play

Amanda J. Visek, Heather Mannix, Avinash Chandran, Sean D. Cleary, Karen A. McDonnell, and Loretta DiPietro

Fun is the primary determinant of youth athletes’ continued sport participation ( Gardner, Magee, & Vella, 2016 ; Petlichkoff, 1992 ; Scanlan, Carpenter, Schmidt, Simmons, & Keeler, 1993 ; Scanlan & Simmons, 1992 ; Tuffey, Medbery & Gould, 2006 ; Yungblut, Schinke, & McGannon, 2012 ); thus

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Engaging Alienated Youth in Physical Education: An Alternative Program with Lessons for the Traditional Class

Joannie Halas

This paper presents a case study of a physical education program for troubled youth attending an adolescent treatment center. The site selected for study was deliberately chosen due to the alternative nature of the physical education program and its apparent success in helping to connect students to their school environment. The researcher, as bricoleur, used a variety of methodological tools and strategies to collect data that corresponded to the study’s entry question: How does the physical education program work? Constructed from the data is the story of a gymnasium culture that has been carefully crafted to promote physically and psychologically safe participation that is fair and flexible, where students are encouraged to play just for fun, and a lack of competence is positioned as an opportunity to learn. By incorporating the theoretical framework of the “Circle of Courage” (Brendtro, Brokenleg, & Van Bockern, 1998) into the data analysis, this paper is intended to show how physical education can provide a reclaiming versus alienating learning environment for young people.

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The Fun Factor in Physical Education

Alex C. Garn and Donetta J. Cothran

Using Scanlan and Lewthwaite’s (1986) sport enjoyment model as a conceptual framework, this study was designed to explore two areas: (a) students’ and teachers’ perceptions of “fun” in physical education class and (b) differences that may exist in these perceptions between groups of students (in team sports, individual/dual sports, and fitness) and teachers. The critical incident technique and a fun survey were administered to 191 participants. Critical incident technique narratives and descriptive statistics revealed the importance of achievement motivation concepts, such as teacher, task, and the social aspects of fun in physical education, whereas MANOVA revealed significant differences in perceptions of fun between students and teachers.

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Fun, Failure, and Fulfillment: A Case-Study Approach to Informal Athlete Leadership in Minor League Baseball

Philip D. Imholte, Jedediah E. Blanton, and Michelle M. McAlarnen

see him as a leader by the end of the season. Major themes of navigating personal on-the-field failure, fulfilling others’ expectations, helping teammates manage emotions, and fostering a fun working environment emerged through their prevalence in interview responses from Nate, his teammates (A, B, C

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Mobilizing Fun: Provisioning Resources in Leisure Worlds

Gary Alan Fine

Despite the tendency to think of leisure activity in terms of personal preferences, leisure can also be understood in terms of the ability of organizations to provide resources for participants. Drawing on the resource mobilization approach to social movements, I outline a theoretical approach, labeled Provisioning Theory, which attempts to explain how leisure organizations use resources to attract and retain participants. Organizations must mobilize “fun” for members if they are to continue over time and the leisure activity is to increase in popularity. After describing how Provisioning Theory applies to a voluntary leisure subculture (mushroom collecting), I examine two special cases of the provisioning of resources: games that are “owned” or controlled by a corporation (Dungeons & Dragons) and voluntary sports activities organized with multiple levels of authority (Little League baseball).

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The Fun Integration Theory: Toward Sustaining Children and Adolescents Sport Participation

Amanda J. Visek, Sara M. Achrati, Heather M. Mannix, Karen McDonnell, Brandonn S. Harris, and Loretta DiPietro


Children cite “fun” as the primary reason for participation in organized sport and its absence as the number-one reason for youth sport attrition. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a theoretical framework of fun using a novel mixed-method assessment of participants in sport (FUN MAPS) via concept mapping.


Youth soccer players (n = 142), coaches (n = 37), and parents (n = 57) were stratified by age, sex, and competition level and contributed their ideas through (a) qualitative brainstorming, identifying all of the things that make playing sports fun for players; (b) sorting of ideas; and (c) rating each idea on its importance, frequency, and feasibility.


The FUN MAPS identify the 4 fundamental tenets of fun in youth sport within 11 fun-dimensions composed of 81 specific fun-determinants, while also establishing the youth sport ethos.


The FUN MAPS provide pictorial evidence-based blueprints for the fun integration theory (FIT), which is a multitheoretical, multidimensional, and stakeholder derived framework that can be used to maximize fun for children and adolescents to promote and sustain an active and healthy lifestyle through sport.

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A Season-Long Investigation of Fun in Youth Sports

Leonard M. Wankel and Judy M. Sefton

Fifty-five girls and 67 boys (ages 7-15 yrs) from five ringette and six hockey teams completed pregame and postgame questionnaires at 12 games of their youth sport schedule. Multiple-regression analyses were performed to identify the best predictors of the reported fun level experienced in each of the 12 games. Variables entered into the regression equations included the following: age and sex; pre- and postgame measures of state anxiety and affect, activation, and motivation mood states; pregame measures of choice, how well one expected to play, and confidence that one's team would win; and post-game measures of game outcome, level of challenge in the game, how much was at stake, and how well one played. Postgame positive affect, how well one played, and challenge were consistently the best predictors of fun. When the postgame mood state measures were deleted, game outcome also became an important predictor. The results are interpreted as indicating that fun in youth sports is a positive mood state largely determined by one's perception of personal achievement and the matching of one's skills against a realistic challenge. The results are interpreted as being consistent with the theoretical perspectives of Csikszentmihalyi (1975) and Nicholls (1984a).

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Effectiveness of the Fun for Wellness Online Behavioral Intervention to Promote Well-Being Actions in Adults With Obesity or Overweight: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Seungmin Lee, Adam McMahon, Isaac Prilleltensky, Nicholas D. Myers, Samantha Dietz, Ora Prilleltensky, Karin A. Pfeiffer, André G. Bateman, and Ahnalee M. Brincks

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Fun For Wellness (FFW) online behavioral intervention to increase well-being actions in adults with obesity in the United States in a relatively uncontrolled setting. Behavioral intervention studies can be placed on a continuum with

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All about Having Fun: Women’s Experience of Zumba Fitness

Tanya Nieri and Elizabeth Hughes

This study explored women’s subjective experience of Zumba, a new, popular form of group fitness. We interviewed 41 racially/ethnically diverse adult women from the Los Angeles/Inland Empire (California) area who had taken Zumba in the previous year. The women reported taking Zumba for the purpose of exercise and did not challenge the notion that exercise is imperative. However, they reported positive experiences of Zumba, contrasting it with other fitness forms, which they characterized as boring, stressful, painful, lonely, and/or atomistic, and with other dancing, which they characterized as more restrictive. They perceived Zumba to prioritize fun over work and process over outcomes; value individual autonomy and personalization rather than strict conformity; and engage the participant as more than just a body to be shaped. They felt freer to engage in behavior that is considered to violate structural gender norms, but their experience did not translate to an explicit challenge to the gender structure.

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A School-Based Physical Activity and Motor Development Program for Low-Fit Adolescent Females: The Sport4Fun Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Jodie Andruschko, Anthony D. Okely, and Phil Pearson

the time screening was completed to the commencement of the program, preventing their participating in screening for the pilot randomized controlled trial. Procedures The program comprised 17 weekly 90-minute School Sport sessions, incorporating fun and enjoyable activities designed to develop