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Selected dimensions influencing the sport participation of seventh-grade students

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Dickson, Jacqueline J.
Greenlee, Dr. Joy
MS, Physical Education
School sports; Junior high school students
This study examined the selected factors which influence youth participation in sports. Six sociological factors as well as timing accuracy were investigated to determine differences among male and female participants and non-participants. Sixty 7th grade students from Longfellow JHS in La Crosse, Wisconsin served as Ss for the study. Selected Ss included 15 male and 15 female participants and nonparticipants. The Sport Participation Inventory (SPI) utilized in the study required Ss to respond to a set of fixed - alternative Likert-scale questions. The SPI contained questions on the following factors influencing sport participation: (1) family; (2) socio--economic factors; (3) personal values; (4) role models; (5) peers and siblings; and (6) physical characteristic scores. Also utilized in the study was a timing accuracy task requiring Ss to respond to a series of lights moving down a track. The 6 trials were randomly ordered with scores recorded in thousandths of a sec. for each trial. The Hewlett-Packard Time-Shared Basic computer program $GANOVA was utilized to determine group differences in the 6 sociological factors as well as timing accuracy. Once significant - other influences were determined, a stepwise regression was performed to establish which factors actually had the most influence on youth participation in sports. Significant differences between participants and non-participants were found to exist on influences from family, personal values, peers and siblings, physical characteristic scores, and socio-economic factors. The only influence which did not have a differential effect on the groups was that of role models. Male and female Ss were not significantly different on any of the factors influencing participation. The timing accuracy scores indicated a significant difference between males and females, regardless of their participation status, with males having greater accuracy. The regression statement provided information that indicated the factors having had the greatest impact on the sport participation of each of the four groups. By ranking the selected factors according to their entry into the regression statement, ranked scores indicated that family, socio-economic factors, and personal values had the greatest impact on participation when all groups were considered together. All though these three factors had the greatest impact across the groups, the order of entry varied for each of the four groups.
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