The transition to adulthood: A game changer!? A longitudinal analysis of the impact of five major life events on sport participation
Number of pages
SourceEuropean Journal for Sport and Society, 16, 1, (2019), pp. 44-63
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
European Journal for Sport and Society
SubjectInequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
This article investigates the relationship between major life events and sport participation during the transition to adulthood. Two waves (2009 and 2013) of a Dutch panel study provided information on education, employment, relationship, civil/marital status, and parenthood for 2,829 Dutch citizens (ages 15-45) and their sport behaviour. Our analyses indicate that respondents who left full-time education, began to work, entered and/or formalised a relationship, and became a parent participated less frequently in sport than those who did not (between-person differences). Moreover, experiencing these events reduced sport frequency (within-person changes). All events except beginning to work reduced the number of sports practised. Further, those who entered an intimate relationship were more likely to switch from a 'heavy' club-sport setting to a 'lighter', more individualised setting and to stop practising sport altogether, compared to those who stayed single. Those who left full-time education and started working were more likely to continue sport in a club setting, compared to those who continued education and did not start working. Sport providers, programmes, and policies could use these results to inform efforts to pre-empt impacts of major life events, thus curbing drop out and retaining sport participants, especially during the transition to adulthood.
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