Community Size in Youth Sport Settings: Examining Developmental Assets and Sport Withdrawal
Macdonald, Dany J.
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Despite the popularity of youth sport programs, little research has examined the psychosocial benefits assumed to stem from involvement. Some studies suggest birthplace influences the development of elite athletes, but little work has examined other influences of community contexts. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between young athletes’ community size, developmental assets, and sport involvement. Current and recently withdrawn competitive swimmers (N = 181) completed the Developmental Assets Profile (Search Institute, 2004). Athletes from smaller cities had significantly higher developmental asset scores for support, commitment to learning, and boundaries/expectations. Further, community size was a significant predictor of withdrawal. Findings suggest community context should be given additional attention in youth sport literature.