ERIC Number: ED416268
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
The Athletic Experiences of Ethnically Diverse Girls. ERIC/CUE Digest, Number 131.
This digest discusses how race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and area of residence, whether urban, suburban, or rural, impact girls' sports experiences. The social context of girls' lives shapes their sports choices and opportunities, with financial restraints often restricting African American girls' opportunities. When access to sports is possible, all girls appear to derive positive benefits from exercise and athletic involvement, although they perceive the benefits differently based on their experiences and social contexts. Because low-income girls of color have their sports opportunities through schools, recreation departments, and nonprofit agencies, their participation is usually limited to the stereotypical popular sports of basketball and track and field, in which African American girls are over-represented. Economic class and racial and gender stratification also significantly impact the participation of women of color in sports leadership positions, including coaching and sports administration. In general, girls who participate in sports experience higher than average levels of self-esteem, and research suggests that higher rates of athletic participation or exercise were significantly related to postponing intercourse and lower rates of sexual activity and pregnancy. There is also a positive academic relationship between sports involvement and academic achievement, although there are great differences among groups. Sports participation reduced dropping out for rural Latina athletes and suburban and rural white athletes, but not for urban female athletes or African American girls from any area. Nor was there any correlation between occupational success and sports participation. Overall, the benefits of participation in athletics indicates that schools, community organizations, and sports organizations need to take steps to increase and improve the sports experiences of young women. (Contains eight references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Athletics, Black Students, Diversity (Student), Economic Factors, Educational Attainment, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnic Groups, Females, Hispanic Americans, Racial Differences, Self Concept, Socioeconomic Status, Student Attitudes, Urban Youth
ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Teachers College, Box 40, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, New York, NY.