If Only She Would Play? The Impact of Sports Participation on Self-Esteem, School Adjustment, and Substance Use Among Rural and Urban African American Girls.
Reference: Taylor, M., & Turek, G. (2010). If Only She Would Play? The Impact of Sports Participation on Self-Esteem, School Adjustment, and Substance Use among Rural and Urban African American Girls. Journal of Sport Behavior, 33(3), 315-336. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to offer some descriptive evidence about the impact of sports participation on the lives of African American girls. The objective of this study was to explore the impact of sports participation on self-esteem, school adjustment, and substance use among rural and urban dwelling African American high school girls. To this end, there were two primary goals of this study. The first was to test the hypotheses that sports participation would predict: better school adjustment, higher self-esteem, association with peers who use fewer substance, and less individual substance use. The second goal of this study was to develop a model of adolescent substance use using the relationship of sports participation to school adjustment, self-esteem, peer use, and individual use. It was hypothesized that the effects of sports participation would be positively related to self-esteem and school adjustment and negatively associated with peer and individual (own) substance use. The fit of this model was compared for both rural and urban samples given: 1) the lack of rural-specific focus in the extant research; and 2) the potential differential effects of location (e.g., limited peer groups in rural areas). Study Design: Two Group Random Sample Design
The study consisted of 1,976 participants, all of which that were female African American high school students. Participants were from rural (n = 1,048; 53%) and urban (n = 928; 47%) areas spread all across the United States. The sample included 528 freshmen (26.7%), 518 sophomores (26.2%), 507 juniors (25.7%), and 423 seniors (21.4%). The mean age of participants was 16.03 years (SD = 1.24). Data were obtained from a random selection of female, African American high school students from a previously collected dataset. Primary variables of study (school adjustment, self-esteem, and own and peer alcohol/drug use) were based upon items collected by the parent project using the Community Drug and Alcohol Survey. Each of the students where asked a series of questions based on the four point Likert Scale. Some examples were questioning the student about peer and drug abuse and if they liked their teachers, school, or themselves for which they would respond in the domains of, “Not at All,” to, “A lot.” It was hypothesized that the effects of sports participation would be positively related to self-esteem and school adjustment and negatively associated with peer and individual substance use. Some limitations were the lack of rural-specific focus in the extant research; and the potential differential effects of location. Findings: “Universal results indicated that participation in sports improved school adjustment and self-esteem. However, the idea of sports as a general defensive mechanism to substance use received mixed support as differential effects were established between rural and urban settings. Sports participants reported higher level of peer use for all substances in rural areas, but only for alcohol in urban settings. Sports participation did not directly impact individual substance use. The proposed model of use, in which sports participation indirectly predicts individual substance use through paths involving school adjustment, self-esteem, and peer substance use, fit better in the urban than in the rural sample.” [Taylor, M., & Turek, G. (2010)] Comment: The significance of this article is that participation in sports can not only be enjoyable to...