Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Social Attitudes of Turkish Students towards Participation in Physical Education and Sport

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Social Attitudes of Turkish Students towards Participation in Physical Education and Sport

Article excerpt

The aim of the study was to determine the factors that are effective in encouraging Turkish high school students to try sports and to identify ways to increase the number of students taking part in sport. The importance of sport in acquiring appropriate social attitudes, making good use of free time, and acquiring self-discipline and positive attitudes by learning patience, anger management, tolerance, courage, affection, and competition has been noted. In the study it was found that factors that are effective for encouraging potential participants vary according to gender and family economic situation. It was found that families give more encouragement to males compared to females for participating in sports. Wealthier families were also found to provide more support compared to less well-off families.

Keywords: physical education, sport, high school students, Turkey.

Sport has an important role in creating healthy societies. This can be observed easily just by examining its effects on the lives of those who participate in sports. People who play sport tend to have good health and be more active and strong (Roberts, 1996; Tomlinson, Young, & Holt, 2010). Self-confidence, developed through physical and mental education helps individuals to be useful people in the family and in society. People participate in sport and physical education for different reasons, such as aiming to improve their physical condition, filling up their spare time, or being professionally involved in sports. In trying to achieve these aims, they generally choose a sport that suits their personality (Assor, Vansteenkiste, & Kaplan, 2009; Eysenck, Nias, & Cox, 1982).

Encouraging people to participate in sports is part of the purpose of, and depends on, a country's sport policies. Sport programs serve to increase general public health, Ufe quality, encourage productive use of spare time, and also facilitate the discovery and training of talented sportspeople. Sport is a varied, multidimensional, and comprehensive concept (for example, football, wrestling, motocross, mountaineering, horse racing, and sailing are all covered by the concept of sport). Blanchard, Mask, Vallerand, de la Sablonnière, and Provencher (2007), and Sit and Lindner (2005) differentiate general sport from performance (or peak) sports, show sports, recreational sports, sports for healthy Ufe, handicapped sports, official, and nonofficial sports.

Sport is a universal issue relating to aU human beings irrespective of social or cultural differences. Physical education and sport can be considered as tools that can be used to improve lifestyle, particularly social lives, in that those who participate in sports can gain numerous social skills. The multiple skills and disciplines involved hi sport can help individuals to interact with a diverse range of people (Cumming, Smith, Smoll, Standage, & Grossbard, 2008; Findlay & Copian, 2008; Linver, Roth, & Brooks-Gum, 2009). According to the results of these recent surveys, interest in sport has been increasing steadily. Sport plays an important role in social life by means of promoting group identity, group cohesion, good behavior within a group, coUaboration, following rules and a leader, sharing of group emotions/victories/defeats, respect for self and group members, self-confidence, and trust in others. Some countries have formed a specialized group of sportspeople to formulate extensive sport poücies (Caspi et al., 2004; Ntoumanis & Biddle, 1998; Young, Eaves, & Eysenck, 1980).

Rather than rationaUzing an inclination towards participating hi physical education and sport as purely doing it just for the love of it, several reasons have been suggested that may differ significantly from one person to other. Some of those reasons have been identified in research as: (a) a desire to be famous and well-known; (b) a desire to earn a lot of money; (c) a desire to feel strong and superior; (d) a desire to please family members; (e) pressure from one's partner; (f) a desire to participate in a social group; (g) satisfying some other feelings; and (h) a desire to direct one's own Ufe (BortoU, Bertollo, & Robazza, 2009); McCarthy, Jones, & Clark-Carter, 2008). …

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