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Participating in Sport and Music Activities in Adolescence: The Role of Activity Participation and Motivational Beliefs During Elementary School

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Abstract

This investigation examined the precursors of adolescents’ participation in sport and music activities in the United States by testing a developmental model across 7 years. Data were drawn from youth questionnaires in the Childhood and Beyond Study (92% European American; N = 594). Findings suggest that patterns of participation across a 3-year period in elementary school predict adolescents’ participation through their motivational beliefs. Specifically, children who participated in an activity, children who participated consistently across multiple years, and children who were highly active had higher adolescent motivational beliefs 4 years later than their peers. These motivational beliefs, in turn, positively predicted adolescents’ participation 1 year later. Cross-domain analyses suggest that children typically maintain their orientation toward sports and music (e.g., high music-low sport orientation, not oriented toward either domain) as they age. These findings highlight the consistency in children’s leisure pursuits and interests from childhood through adolescence.

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Notes

  1. To test if there were differences between children recruited at Wave 3 or at Waves 1 or 2, we compared children who were recruited at Wave 3 (n = 193) to those who were recruited at Waves 1 and 2 (n = 794). Specifically, we tested for differences in child gender, cohort, parent education, family income, and the study indicators. Of the 13 comparisons, four were significant. Children recruited at Wave 3 were less likely to spend time in music at Wave 6 (d = .21), have higher physical ability (d = .34), have parents with higher educations (d = .16), and have higher family income (d = .40) than children recruited at Waves 1 or 2.

  2. We compared children who had three waves of participation data and children who had missing data on all study indicators. Of the 17 comparisons, four were significant. Children with three waves of data were more likely to have lower music self-concepts at Wave 2 (d = .18), have higher physical abilities (d = .24), spend more time in music activities at Wave 6 (d = .46), and have higher family income (d = .21) than children with missing data.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by Grant HD17553 from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development to Jacquelynne Eccles, Allan Wigfield, Phyllis Blumenfeld, and Rena Harold, Grant 0089972 from the National Science Foundation to Jacquelynne Eccles and Pamela Davis-Kean, and grants from the MacArthur Network on Successful Pathways through Middle Childhood to Eccles. We would like to thank the principals, teachers, students, and parents of the cooperating school districts for their participation in this project. We would also like to thank the following people for their work on the project: Amy Arbreton, Phyllis Blumenfeld, Carol Freedman-Doan, Rena Harold, Janis Jacobs, Toby Jayaratne, Mina Vida, Allan Wigfield, and Kwang Suk Yoon.

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Correspondence to Sandra D. Simpkins.

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Appendix

See Table 5.

Table 5 The unstandardized/standardized coefficients for the control variables from the models

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Simpkins, S.D., Vest, A.E. & Becnel, J.N. Participating in Sport and Music Activities in Adolescence: The Role of Activity Participation and Motivational Beliefs During Elementary School. J Youth Adolescence 39, 1368–1386 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-009-9448-2

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