If Only She Would Play? The Impact of Sports Participation On Self-Esteem, School Adjustment, and Substance Use Among Rural and Urban African American Girls

The impact of sports participation on school adjustment, self-esteem, peer and individual substance use (alcohol, marijuana, other drugs) was examined among a sample (n = 1,976) of rural and urban dwelling African American adolescent girls. Additionally, a model of adolescent substance use, based upon the health belief model and social control theory and comprised of the aforementioned variables of study, was proposed and tested upon the two locations of residence. Multivariate analyses and structural equation modeling were performed. General results indicated that participation in sports enhanced school adjustment and self-esteem. However, the notion of sport as a universal protective mechanism to substance use received mixed support as differential effects were found between rural and urban settings. Sports participants reported higher level of peer use for all substances in rural areas, but only for alcohol in urban settings. Sports participation did not directly impact individual substance use. The proposed model of use, in which sports participation indirectly predicts individual substance use through paths involving school adjustment, self-esteem, and peer substance use, fit better in the urban than in the rural sample.

© Journal of Sport Behavior Sep 2010. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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