Youth Sport Participation and Deviant Behavior

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 Texas Christian University
  • | 2 Skidmore College
  • | 3 Arizona State University
  • | 4 Mesa Public Schools
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Although several studies have investigated the relationship between interscholastic athletic participation and delinquency, little attention has been given to younger populations. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between youth sport participation and deviant behavior among elementary school children. The study ascertained deviancy among youth sport participants and nonparticipants, and compared the profiles of youth sport participants and deviants on a selected cluster of eight sociopsychological variables. Of a total sample of 381 sixth-grade students, 278 (146 boys and 132 girls) were classified as youth sport participants. Overall, the results indicated a negative association between youth sport participation and deviancy. Although the study showed some similarities in the profiles of youth sport participants and deviants, important distinctions were found regarding the variables delinquent associates, peer status, and personal values.

This paper is a revised version of a paper which the authors presented at the 1982 AAHPERD National Convention in Houston.

Funding for this study was obtained through grants from the Graduate School, Northern Illinois University, and Skidmore College.

Direct all correspondence to Douglas N. Hastad, Dept. of Physical Education, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX 76129.
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