African American Mothers, Adolescent Girls and the Value of Sport and Physical Activity: Navigating the Cultural Conundrum


Sport and physical activity participation declines during the high school years, and African American girls experience greater decline in physical activity levels than other segments of the population during this time. Parents are primary socializing agents; therefore, it is important to explore the way in which parents 'perceptions of various sports/physical activities may influence adolescents' sport/physical activity behaviors. This study explored the values that mothers of high school age African American females ascribe to sport and physical activity participation, as well as their perceptions of what activities are culturally appropriate for their daughters. Twelve mothers whose daughters were either sport participants, sport non-participants, or participants in activities involving physical activity (e.g., dance, step) were recruited through contacting local high schools and churches. Semi-structured interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis, including within-case and cross case analyses, allowing themes to be compared among and within groups of mothers. Results indicated that activities deemed culturally appropriate were accessible, provide opportunities for relatedness, and were perceived to be culturally appropriate by other members of the culture. Further, mothers ascribed each type of value (i.e., utility, attainment, interest, cost) identified by Eccles ' theoretical framework (Eccles & Harold, 1991; Eccles, Wigfield, and Schiefele, 1998) to sport/physical activity regardless of their daughters ' type of participation. Culturally appropriate activities were discussed in terms of accessibility, affordability, and opportunities for relatedness among members of the African American community. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Journal of Sport Behavior is the property of University of South Alabama and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)



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Journal of Sport Behavior