Why Play Sports? How Organized Sports Participation Can Contribute to the Healthy Development of Adolescent Hispanic Girls

Megan A. Horst


This study addressed the research question, “What is meaningful to Hispanic girls about their organized sports participation during the first year of high school?” Purposeful sampling (Maxwell, 1996) was used to select 15 9th-grade girls to participate in individual interviews about their organized sport participation. Transcripts were analyzed via inductive coding. Findings showed that organized sports offered Hispanic girls in this sample a venue for healthy youth development, including opportunities for the “5 C’s” – competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring (Lerner, Fisher, & Weinberg, 2000). This article highlights the salience of connection, caring, and competence in adolescent Hispanic girls’ organized sports experiences. Insights from girls’ narratives may help coaches and other educators structure athletic programs to best meet the needs of Hispanic girls during adolescence (AAUW, 1991; Brown & Gilligan, 1992; Erkut, Fields, Sing, & Marx, 1996; Gil & Vazquez, 1996; Sadker & Sadker, 1994).

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2008.288

Copyright (c) 2008 Journal of Youth Development

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/