Encyclopedia of Adolescence

2011 Edition
| Editors: Roger J. R. Levesque

Sports and Youth Development

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1695-2_372


This essay highlights the contribution of sport to positive adolescent development. Specifically, the research evidence on youth development outcomes associated with sport participation is synthesized. Ten key design principles are then described that promote and maximize adolescent development in this important social setting. An example sport-based youth development program, Learning in Fitness and Education (LiFE Sports), is then highlighted to illustrate each of these design principles. Finally, emergent practice issues and research priorities related to sport and adolescent development are discussed.

Youth Sport Participation

Adolescents in the USA spend more than half of their waking hours in leisure activities (Larson and Verma 1999). Many indeed spend this discretionary time in sport. Sport involvement often is defined by a primary activity, such as soccer, racing, football, tennis, golf, bowling, hunting, and basketball. The definition of sport, however, can be much...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Social WorkOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of AthleticsOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA