Identifying facilitators and barriers limiting youth sport participation among adolescents

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul E. Haas (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Michael Hemphill

Abstract: Recent research has diagnosed a reduction in participation within youth sporting events as a contributing factor to significant health and wellness concerns. Among adolescent populations nationwide, there is an alarming rate of decreased youth sport participation at a community and school level (Green et al., 2016). It is estimated that by age 13 nearly 70% of children no longer participate in extracurricular sports (Bell et al., 2019). The purpose of this research was to identify the most influential barriers limiting and facilitators influencing adolescent’s youth sport participation. It is more important than ever to formulate effective strategies that can mitigate the ever-growing number of adolescents who are no longer participating in youth sport opportunity (Charlton et al., 2014). The purpose of this study was to identify ideas and/or methods that keep adolescents participating in sports, to support physical activity participation among an adolescent age group is critical to celebrate positive associations with physical activity experiences. In this research, I referred to these instances as facilitators. Additionally, the research focused on identifying barriers that limit extra-curricular physical activity participation will provide framework and intervention solutions to administrations who support these types of opportunities. Unfortunately, recommendations for intervention cannot be made until these factors are thoroughly explored. This study was designed to be a mixed methods study. First, the author used two small focus groups of three and four students from two participating junior high schools to help structure a survey. The survey, which also aligned with foundational literature, was distributed to a 9th grade population resulting in 308 survey submissions that were used for data analysis. Focus groups were analyzed using zoom’s ability to produce transcription pages. In total, 19 pages of dialogue needed analyzation. The survey was then analyzed in SPSS to produce descriptive and correlative statistics. Results showed that students surveyed seem to be deemphasizing competition and focusing on factors such as wanting to have fun and use activity as a stress reliever. The general population of students are distancing themselves from varsity athletics, and feel overwhelmed with pressure of competition, whether that is by parents and/or coaches. Time and getting to and from their preferred activities are also limiting in how one can utilize extra-curricular activities. Recommendations to reassociate and reallocate resources to prioritize events that include leisure, recreation, and fun for potential adolescent sport participation. By doing so, we may see an increase in adolescent participation in movement and exercise. Thus, creating opportunity to directly improve various levels of personal and academic achievements and lifestyle. By emphasizing this, it would also be necessary to include resources to provide transportation options, recreational facility and activity improvements that increase accessibility, and likely limit fees and/or cost that may be associated with participation.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
Barriers, Decline, Facilitators, Sports, Youth
Sports for children
Exercise for children

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