Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

An Investigation of Commitment among Underserved Youth Participants in an Extended Day Physical Activity Program

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

An Investigation of Commitment among Underserved Youth Participants in an Extended Day Physical Activity Program

Article excerpt

Tammy A. Schilling, University of Memphis

With increasing violence among youth in school settings, the importance of promoting and maintaining youth involvement in positive extracurricular activities has been recognized. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate how underserved youth participants became and remained connected over a multiyear period to an extended day physical activity program. To achieve this purpose, youth participants' perceptions of the notion of program commitment were examined. Three 9th grade students (2 girls, 1 boy) and two 7th grade students (1 girl, 1 boy) participated in the study. They ranged in age from 12-15 years and were all African American. The participants were "veterans" in that they joined the program during the first year of operation, had been involved for at least four years, and had all previously served as youth leaders in a summer basketball camp. Two methods for collecting participants' data were used: personal interviews and a focus group interview. Parents were interviewed and two program lea ders completed profiles for each participant to provide for data triangulation. A commitment analysis was completed for each participant. This included the identification of main themes representing participants' perceptions of antecedents to commitment and nature of commitment. …

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