Understanding Take-Up, Drop-Out And Drop-Off In Youth Sport

Authored by: Jessica Fraser-Thomas , William Falcão , Lauren Wolman

Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415840033
eBook ISBN: 9780203795002
Adobe ISBN: 9781134469932

10.4324/9780203795002.ch22

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Abstract

Sport has been proposed as a context for youths’ positive physical, psychological and social development (Fraser-Thomas et al., 2005), encouraging extensive research examining factors associated with participation, and fuelling concern regarding withdrawal (e.g. Gould et al., 1982). Current research suggests 50–70 per cent of youth in western nations participate in sport programmes (e.g. Clark, 2008; Physical Activity Council, 2014), while 20–50 per cent of participants typically leave sport programmes each year (Delorme et al., 2011; Pelletier et al., 2001; Ullrich-French and Smith, 2009), with a 35 per cent withdrawal rate commonly cited in the literature (e.g. Gould, 1987). The reasons youth initially engage in, persist with and/or eventually withdraw from sport are extensive and interrelated, yet the study of withdrawal presents various methodological and practical challenges. Given these complexities, we begin the chapter by providing definitions of youth sport take-up, drop-out and drop-off, and providing an overview of the chapter.

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