ERIC Number: ED413320
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-May
Physical Activity and Sport in the Lives of Girls. Physical & Mental Health Dimensions from an Interdisciplinary Approach.
Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport.
This report highlights relevant research and expert opinion on girls' involvement in physical activity and sport. Research findings revealed: (1) more girls are participating in a wider array of physical activities than ever before; (2) regular physical activity in adolescence can reduce risk for obesity and hyperlipidemia, increase bone mass and reduce risk of osteoporosis in later life, and reduce stress and depression; (3) exercise and sport participation can enhance mental health by improving feelings about body image, self esteem, and enhancing self confidence; (4) poverty substantially limits many girls' access to physical activity and sports; (5) excessive exercise and certain forms of athletic participation can lead to eating disorders; and (6) barriers to positive experiences for some girls are lack of opportunity, gender stereotypes, and homophobia. Study findings suggest a number of conclusions and practical recommendations, including: girls should be encouraged to get involved in sports at an early age; specific mechanisms which enhance girls' opportunities to be physically active must be developed and supported; physical educators, exercise leaders, and coaches are in a primary position to recognize disordered eating patterns; girls and boys should work and play together from an early age; coaches and physical educators should give girls equal access and attention; and professionals must actively intervene in the face of discrimination. Directions for future research are also outlined. (Contains approximately 300 references.) (ND)
Descriptors: Child Health, Elementary School Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Females, Health Promotion, Health Related Fitness, Interdisciplinary Approach, Mental Health, Physical Activities, Physical Fitness, Research Needs, Secondary School Students, Sex Stereotypes, Womens Athletics
Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, 203 Cooke Hall, 1900 University Ave., S.E., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455; phone: 612-625-7327; World Wide Web: http://www.kls.coled.umn.edu/crgws/
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (DHHS/PHS), Rockville, MD. Center for Mental Health Services.; President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport.