Activity-specific pathways among duration of organized activity involvement, social support, and adolescent well-being: Findings from a nationally representative sample.
Journal of Adolescence
adolescent, organized activity, sports, physical activity, self-esteem, social support, substance use
Using data from N = 10,148 American youth (Mage = 15.18) who participated in the National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement, we tested whether duration of involvement in specific organized activities was associated with different sources of social support, and whether these links explained the health-related benefits affiliated with participation. Duration of involvement in certain activities was differentially associated with support from peers, teachers, and other adults, and many of these links partially mediated associations between involvement and well-being. Specifically, greater duration of sports involvement was indirectly associated with higher self-esteem and greater physical activity through greater adult support. Greater duration of club involvement was indirectly associated with greater physical activity through higher adult support and greater duration of music involvement was indirectly associated with lower substance use and greater self-esteem through greater teacher support. Prolonged engagement in specific activities may cultivate certain types of supportive relationships, which may promote adolescent well-being.