The relationship between sports participation and violent delinquency


Finkeldey, Jessica (2014). The relationship between sports participation and violent delinquency. 2014 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


It is largely recognized that sports are prominent social institutions that influence American culture. How sports participation during adolescence affects delinquent behavior, however, remains unclear. Some research finds that participation in sports reduces delinquent behavior, whereas other research finds that participation in sports increases these behaviors. Furthermore, some studies suggest the relationship between sports participation and delinquency depends on the type of sport and the type of delinquent behavior being examined. The current research intends to add to the literature by using in-school and in-home data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to further investigate if male adolescents involved in organized sports at school (comparing football, other contact sports, and non-contact sports) are more likely to engage in violent/aggressive delinquency than those not involved in organized sports. I expect logistic regressions to reveal that participation in sports will lead to a higher likelihood of young men engaging in violent delinquency even after controlling for demographic and social measures, including race and ethnicity, age, SES, low self-control, substance use, general delinquency, and prior violent delinquency. Furthermore, when parsing out the different types of sports, I predict participation in football will have the highest odds of engaging in violent delinquency. Preliminary analyses support my hypotheses.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2014 Add Health Users Conference


Finkeldey, Jessica

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID