Sources of Social Support, Physical Activity and Sports Participation in Middle School Children




Conklin, Sarah

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The present study investigated sources of social support (parent, friend, and teacher), physical activity, and sports participation with middle school children. It was hypothesized that social support would predict physical activity, the combination of the sources would predict higher levels of physical activity, and there would be differences across demographic variables (gender, ethnicity, parental language use). Results revealed that social support was a significant predictor of physical activity and sports participation, and the combination of the three social support sources predicted higher levels of physical activity and sports participation. There were differences based on gender, with females reporting higher levels of support for physical activity, and males reporting higher support for sports participation; ethnicity, with Caucasians reporting the highest levels of support; and parental langue use, with Hispanics who speak English reporting the highest levels of support. Recommendations for parents, teachers, and schools are discussed.



Physical Activity, Obesity, Sports, Social Support