TitleTrajectories of Participation in Athletics and Positive Youth Development: The Influence of Sport Type
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsAgans, JP, Geldhof, GJ
JournalApplied Developmental Science
Pagination151 - 165
Date Published07/2012

In order to examine youth experiences in athletic activities with different characteristics, the present study explored the developmental outcomes associated with participation in three different types of sport (individual sports, team sports, and dance-type sports) as well as across six identified patterns of participation (no participation, joining sports, constant participation, changing participation, dropping out, and inconsistent participation), using data from Grades 10, 11, and 12 of the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development. Results indicated that female youth who participated in athletics across all three years, as well as youth who participated simultaneously in both individual and team sports, showed the most favorable outcomes when compared to youth who did not participate in athletics. Findings are discussed in relation to prior work on youth sport participation from an embodied relational developmental systems perspective. We also include suggestions for future research.