Article Title



Crystal Adrianenna Fields, Gregg Rich, FACSM. Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA.

BACKGROUND: Socio-demographic factors pose a significant barrier to sport involvement, as social background variables possess correlations to individuals’ level of sport participation. Those from a higher socioeconomic status (SES), for example, are most likely to actively participate in leisure sports versus those from a lower SES. This idea stems from research indicating that high-income families are more capable of affording sports equipment, sports fees, and other playing necessities when compared to lower-income families. In the same context, SES and sociodemographic factors also affect sport preference. Low-income adolescents socialized into sports that require less expensive (e.g., basketball, track and field, soccer) or team-provided (e.g., football) equipment are more likely to prefer those sports given their financial accessibility. On the contrary, higher-income adolescents who are socialized into more cost-prohibitive sports (e.g., wrestling, baseball, and golf) are more likely to prefer sports that require greater financial investment. The purpose of this study is to understand how intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural constraints discourage or prohibit sport preference and participation during individuals’ adolescent years, with active consideration of sociodemographic backgrounds upon stages of life change. This study intends to begin the process of addressing the lack of research on sport preference mechanisms during the period of transitioning into adulthood. METHODS: I plan to recruit Georgia residents between the ages of 20-25 for participation in this study. Each participant will complete a 10-minute survey. The influence of various factors will be surveyed in both past and current day contexts using 5-point Likert-type scales. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with willing survey respondents to offer rich and robust data that supplements their survey responses. These interviews will be optional and last between 30- 45 minutes. A constant comparative thematic analysis method will be adopted to categorize and compare the qualitative data collected from each interview. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: It is hypothesized that sport socialization within low-income families will encourage preferences towards highly accessible sports (e.g., football, basketball, soccer, and track and field) due to the presence of strongly perceived structural constraints. It is also anticipated that there will be positive associations between both perceived structural constraints and intrapersonal constraints with sport preference among lower-income households. Consequently, in situations where quality of life and SES changes as one transition into adulthood, it is anticipated that sport preferences will change in a manner reflective of any changes in individuals’ perceived constraints.

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