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Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Justin Low

First Committee Member

Amy Scott

Second Committee Member

Lynn G. Beck

Abstract

Parent marital status is a highly influential variable within the family context, as it can serve as a protective factor in many ways. However, it can also be a risk factor for youth. Despite the large body of literature that delineates the benefits of sports participation and the negative outcomes associated with divorce, researchers have yet to examine the impact of athletic participation on youth who have experienced familial disruptions, such as divorce, separation, and remarriage. Sports participation was chosen as a moderating variable in the present study, as it is believed to serve as a protective factor for those who experience parental divorce. Specifically, the present study aims to answer the following research question: Does sports participation moderate the effects of parent marital status and belongingness on achievement and behavior problems after controlling for sex, socioeconomic status, and maternal education? Many theoretical mechanisms support the hypothesis that positive outcomes are be associated with sporting programs, such as Social Capital Theory, as well as theories associated with 7 motivation and belonging. This study analyzed data collected as part of the NICHDSECCYD comprehensive longitudinal study. Specifically, the effects of parent marital status and belongingness on academic achievement were analyzed in AMOS 22, using a multiple group path model with sports participation as a moderator. Although results did not support sports participation as a moderator, findings supported previous research that connects intact, two-parent marriages with positive outcomes for youth.

Pages

98

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