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Reasons to stay: A study of 19 year old Swedish club sport participants
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1298-8186
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9965-0123
2014 (English)In: Sport Science Review, ISSN 2069-7244, Vol. 23, no 5-6, 205-224 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A vital part of many teenagers’ lives is participation in club sports. Despite this, many adolescents drop out of club sports. Since physical inactivity is increasing among young people, this is of great political concern. One aim of this study is to explore why young people in their late teens continue to participate in organized club sports. Another aim is to examine the perceived levels and intensity of physical activity among participants and non-participants (n = 377). The results show that primary reasons to continue participating in club sports are having fun and the sense of enjoyment, the sense of belonging, and the sense of improving sport skills. Of lesser importance, however, is the desire to compete. A large amount of club sports participants (74%) report that they are regularly physically active in an intense form of exercise compared to a significantly smaller amount (12%) of non-participants. The findings are discussed in relation to Aaron Antonovsky’s salutogenic approach and his concepts of sense of coherence (SOC).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 23, no 5-6, 205-224 p.
Keyword [en]
youth sports, club sports, participation, Antonovsky, sense of coherence
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-3634DOI: 10.1515/ssr-2015-0002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-3634DiVA: diva2:775449
Note

At the time of Britta Thedin Jakobsson's dissertation the article was submitted.

Available from: 2015-01-02 Created: 2015-01-02 Last updated: 2016-02-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Vilka stannar kvar och varför?: En studie om ungas föreningsidrottande under uppväxtåren
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vilka stannar kvar och varför?: En studie om ungas föreningsidrottande under uppväxtåren
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Who participate and why? : Youth participation in Swedish club sports
Abstract [en]

The main aim of this thesis is to increase knowledge of what characterizes club sport participation during childhood and youth, and what distinguishes young participators who continue club sport in their late teens and to understand why they continue.

An important premise for this thesis is that sport is one of the most widespread leisure activities among youth. Many young people in Sweden stop participating in club sport during their teens, but some continue. Rather than concentrating on those who drop out of club sports the focus of this thesis is on the ones who continue with club sports during teenager years. Aaron Antonovsky’s salutogenic theory and sense of coherence model (SOC) has inspired the analysis of what it is that seems to be comprehensible, manageable and meaningful when participating in club sport. Furthermore, Pierre Bourdieu's key concept habitus and capital have been used as research tools when analyzing the relationship between sports participation and social position among teenagers.

This thesis is based on four studies and, empirically, it is partly longitudinal where the same 585 pupils born 1991 have answered a questionnaire at 10, 13, 16 and 19 years of age. The study is also based on 18 in-depth interviews with teenagers 15 to 19 years of age.

The results of this thesis show that club sports are successful in getting large numbers of children to attend and participate, but there seem to be many who just participate for a short time and only about one third stay on in their late teens. Very few start after the age of 13. Teenagers who are active participants appear to have started early, have taken part in different sports and do not mind taking part in competitions. Furthermore, they seem to possess specific dispositions (and certain assets) in terms of a habitus with a taste for sport and a specific cultural capital in terms of academic success. Moreover, it looks as if doing club sport is a social space where the teenagers can experience meaningfulness based on learning, developing physical ability, experiencing a feeling of belonging, and being challenged but few had elite ambitions.

The conclusion is that sports clubs should try to organize activities emphasizing development with numerous opportunities and challenges for motor and social learning with less focus on competitions as the only focal point. By asking questions about and taking into account what teens need to understand, cope with, and what they perceive as meaningful in sports, it is possible that more young people want to participate longer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH, 2015
Series
Avhandlingsserie för Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, 03
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-3631 (URN)978-91-980862-2-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-02-06, Aulan, Lidingövägen 1, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Forskningslinjen Fritid
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-02 Last updated: 2016-09-19Bibliographically approved

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