Sports participation and alcohol-related behaviors amongadolescents Open Access

Mays, Darren Michael (2009)

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This dissertation research investigated the relationship between school-based sports participation and alcohol-related behaviors among adolescents through two separate studies. The first study examined the relationships among sports-specific factors, perceived peer drinking, and alcohol-related behaviors in a sample of adolescents taking part in school-based sports in the Muscogee County, Georgia area. The second study investigated the longitudinal relationship between participation in school-based sports and other non-sports activities and problem alcohol use (PAU) within a nationally-representative, multi-wave sample of U.S. adolescents. In both studies, differences between males and females were examined. The findings of the first study suggest that the relationships between alcohol-related behaviors and some sports-specific factors, including level of participation, contact sports, and females' participation in softball, warrant investigation in future research. In addition, greater perceived peer drinking was also associated with alcohol-related behaviors, and this relationship was stronger among males. These findings indicate that future research is needed to examine whether the contextual factors underlying specific aspects of sports participation may influence alcohol-related behaviors among adolescents. Furthermore, the findings of this study suggest that differences exist between males and females with respect to sports participation and the relationships among sports-specific factors, perceived peer drinking, and alcohol-related behaviors, which should be explored further in future research. The findings of the second study indicate that, among adolescents who only took part in sports, greater involvement in sports was associated with faster average acceleration in PAU over time. Furthermore, the relationship between sports participation and PAU varied based on participation in sports in combination with other activities (i.e., music and academic activities), and also differed between males and females. The results of this analysis suggest that school-based sports participation may represent a potentially important context to efficiently administer selective alcohol interventions. Future research is needed, however, to examine the optimal targets for interventions among adolescent sports participants. The findings point to a number of important areas of investigation, which will advance the science examining alcohol-related behaviors among adolescent sports participants and may provide insight into potential opportunities for intervention.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introductory Literature Review 1 Adolescent Alcohol Use 2 Adolescence and Sports Participation 6 Gaps and Limitations in the Current Research 13 Proposed Research 16 Chapter 1 References 20 Chapter 2. The Relationship between Sports-specific Factors and Alcohol-Related Behaviors among Adolescents in Southwest Georgia: An Exploratory Study 34 Abstract 35 Introduction 37 Methods 38 Setting and Procedures 38 Measures 39 Analyses 40 Results 41 Participants 41 Sports-Specific Factors and Alcohol-Related Behaviors 43 Discussion 44 Limitations 50 Conclusions 50 Chapter 2 References 52 Chapter 3. School-Based Sports Participation, Perceived Peer Drinking, and Alcohol-Related Behaviors among Adolescents in Southwest Georgia 57 Abstract 58 Introduction 59 Methods 61 Procedures 61 Participants 62 Measures 62 Analyses 64 Results 65 Participants 65 Sports-Specific Factors 65 Alcohol-Related Behaviors and Perceived Peer Drinking 65 Regression Analyses 66 Discussion 67 Limitations 72 Conclusions 73 Chapter 3 References 75 Chapter 4. Sports Participation and Problem Alcohol Use in a Multi-Wave National Sample of Adolescents 83 Abstract 84

Introduction 85 Methods 87 Procedures 87 Measures 88 Data Analysis 89 Results 92 Conditional LGM for the sample 92 Conditional LGM for males 92 Conditional LGM for females 93 Discussion 93 Acknowledgment 100 Chapter 4 References 101 Chapter 5. Summary and Conclusions 107 Chapter 5 References 118 List of Tables and Figures 124 Table 1. Sample Characteristics, Sports Participation, and Alcohol-Related Behaviors by Respondent Sex 125 Table 2. Regression Models for Sports-specific Factors and Alcohol-Related Behaviors 126

Table 3. Regression Models for Specific School-based Sports and Alcohol-Related Behaviors 128 Table 4. Sample Characteristics, Sports Participation, Alcohol-Related Behaviors, and Perceived Peer Drinking by Respondent Sex 130 Table 5. Regression Models for Sports-specific Factors, Perceived Peer Drinking, and Alcohol-Related Behaviors 131 Table 6. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health Sample Characteristics 132 Table 7. Past 12 Months Alcohol Use and Related Consequences by Sex 133 Table 8. Intercorrelations among Variables Included in Latent Growth Models 134 Figure 1. Latent Growth Model (LGM) for the Sample 135 Figure 2. Latent Growth Model (LGM) Stratified by Respondent Sex 136

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