Sports at any age keep one in a better physical shape. During teens, this is an excellent way to keep them busy and exercised. There are a great number of teens who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Sports and fitness will keep the teens involved in different physical activities and also keep them thinking about their nutrition. Research shows that playing sports can benefit teens as they are already going through challenging social relationships and hormonal changes. The essay aims to learn if active sports participation can also keep the teens out of trouble.
What the findings point out to
Conservative wisdom proposes that organized sports inculcates discipline and sportsmanship that further leads to a high character. Till date, the empirical evidence that if it deters delinquency in teens has shown mixed results. In a study, the frequency of athletic activity among teens is used to predict those behaviors in teens. It is suggested that sports and athletes work as the incentives for socially approved behavior among teenagers. Participation in organized sports is an important part of many teenagers. A number of researchers have confirmed the preventive effect of youth sports and sports participation has bene found to keep them away from serious criminal offenses as compared to other conventional activities. It could also be that the non-delinquent adolescents get naturally attracted to sports and extracurricular activities.
Millions of adolescents are routinely involved in at least one or two sports during their teen years. There have been different views and thoughts on the complex relationship between delinquency and sports participation. The midnight basketball programs were started as a part of the program to deter antisocial behavior in the 1990s and to lower crime (Miller711-23). Delinquent teens were seen to have a lack of attachment to school and sports and athletes were used as an anchor to hold them in school. The findings suggested that a teen is more delinquent at age 16 and less criminal at age 24. However, later studies also indicated a weak deterrent effect of sports activities on habits like substance use and alcohol. In fact, male athletes were found to be more abusive or alcohol-dependent as compared to the non-athletic counterparts.
How to build an attachment to school
The dropout rates at schools are declining, but the numbers are still alarming, especially in the competitive economic market of today. The school dropouts are barely able to support themselves, even in later life. These dropouts can lead to a vicious circle of poverty. According to researchers, the male population shows higher dropout rates. Social conditions are said to be the reason behind those dropouts along with poor performance in schools (Bush). There has been a consensus that participation in extracurricular activities and sports can lower those number of dropout’s among teens and keep them away from any trouble. It has been concluded that adolescent subcultures emphasize on and relate to such features as popularity and athleticism.
When the non-class experiences and their impact on educational aspirations were studied, it was found that extracurricular participation did not contribute to academic achievement, but it was also found that such participation did motivate high educational aspirations. There were different extracurricular activities such as performing arts, sports, school involvement, prosocial, etc. These activities did keep the teens protected from any risky behaviors. However, involvement in sports did raise the chance of a student getting engaged in one risky behavior, particularly alcohol. However, on the whole, the extracurricular activities along with sports, did lead to higher GPA’s and an increase in the attachment to school and lower dropouts. Structured school-based extracurricular activities such as sports were correlated with the positive academic outcomes.
The evidence for sport and physical activity being used as strategies to prevent crime has been encouraging. Studies reveal that the sports and physical activity benefit young people and can reduce crime in particular communities and groups. The sports activities connect positively within the social fabric of groups and can be aimed at particular crimes or communities. However, there is no one size fits all approach, and these programs and activities must be created keeping in mind the special needs of the group. Sports activities not only carry the potential to improve fitness, but can also improve the quality of life. These can have long-term benefits and positive social development of young people, especially teenagers (Crime Prevention through Sport and Physical Activity).
Sports activities among female students
Another study analyzing the connection between athletic participation among high school students and following psychosocial development found that youths from disadvantaged backgrounds were less likely to become athletes. They are also more likely to drop out by their senior year. The data shows that athletic participation could not be used as a strong predictor of the level of self-esteem and alcohol use later (Spreitzer 368-87). However, it was also found that educational attainment and self-esteem was certainly higher among student athletes. The females students were seen to take lesser interested in sports activities as compared to the male students.
When a study was done to explore the positive self-esteem among teen girls and their sports activity, there was found a positive relationship. The positive self-esteem among teen girls was linked to their physical activity. The girls involved in the study were asked to fill out a survey asking about their perceived competence, levels of activity, obstacles to physical activity, reasons for being active, career choices, etc. The data and factors studied helped to get an insight in the reasons why girls choose to drop out of sports and their diminished self-esteem. The discussions that followed shed light on their confidence, risk-taking behaviors and concerns on becoming adults. The decline in athletic participation and its link with their mental health propose that girls should be encouraged to remain physically active and participate in sports (Jafee, & Ricker). Both the younger and the older girls in this study found that boys often controlled the sports and their play in the schools. It is essential to encourage the athletic participation among girls and help them build their self-esteem and confidence.
Based on above studies and researches, it can be safely concluded that sports and physical activities are a good way tom keep the teens busy and away from trouble. This is a good way to help them build their self-esteem and confidence, and learn to develop team works. However, some teens will still get into trouble even while being active in sports. On the contrary, those teens who are good in sports, develop a high-headed attitude and consider themselves to be superior to others. They can get involved in alcohol and can bully those around them. Supportive parents, teachers, and programs are also essential to offer the right guidance to the teens.
Bush, J. (2003). The Effect of Extracurricular Activities on School Dropout. Illinois Wesleyan University.
Crime Prevention through Sport and Physical Activity. Woden: Australian Institute of Criminology, 2000. Print.
Jafee, L., & Ricker, S. (1993). Physical Activity and Self-Estem ,., (., in Girls: The Ten Years. Melpomene Journal.
Miller, Kathleen E., et al. "Athletic Involvement and Adolescent Delinquency." Journal of Youth and Adolescence 36.5 (2007): 711-23. Print.
Spreitzer, Elmer. "Does Participation in Interscholastic Athletics Affect Adult Development?: A Longitudinal Analysis of an 18-24 Age Cohort." Youth & Society 25.3 (1994): 368-87. Print.