Online Program

Healthy and unhealthy correlates of sports involvement among italian adolescents? a 1 year longitudinal study

Monday, November 4, 2013

Spencer Nelson, Health Sciences, California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA
Enrique Ortega, Phd MPH, Health Sciences, California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA
Emanuela Rabaglietti, PhD, Developmental Psychology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
Background: Involvement in sporting activities has been shown to be associated with both healthy and unhealthy behaviors among US adolescents. Few investigations have investigated such associations among European adolescent populations. This study investigated the concurrent and longitudinal association of positive self-perception, problem drinking, aggressive behaviors, theft and vandalism, lying and disobedience, and sensation seeking on sports involvement among Italian adolescents.

Methods: The sample consisted of 302 Italian high school adolescents (48% female), ages 15-19 years (mean age = 17.4 (S.D. = 1.4)), living in the northwest of Italy. The participants were representative of the population of adolescents attending high school in this part of Italy. Regarding relevant structural indicators, this sample was comparable to the general Italian population. Linear regressions were used to explore the associations of among our variables of interest utilizing two waves of data. Age, gender, and sports involvement at baseline were used as covariates in the analysis.

Results: Results indicated greater positive self-perception (β = .385, p < 0.001), problem drinking (β = .06, p < 0.05), lying and disobedience (β = .289, p < 0.001) and lower sensation seeking (β = -.048, p < 0.05) to be concurrently associated to more weekly time spent on sporting activities. No longitudinal associations were identified

Conclusions: This study found some differences with US populations regarding particular health behavior associations with sporting activities. Such findings could greatly assist in the development of universal prevention efforts of adolescent problem behaviors.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify healthy and unhealthy behaviors associated with sports involvement. Explain possible causes of behavioral problems associated with sports involvement Differentiate US and European adolescent correlates of sports related behaviors

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a research assistant for a research group that has received funding for multiple project grants and which has a strong record of peer reviewed publications in the area of child and adolescent health behaviors. My scientific interests concern the healthy and unhealthy correlates of sports involvement among Italian adolescents, which are the basis for my statistical and research methods training. I am responsible to prepare this research for a scientific peer reviewed manuscript.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.