Alternative high school (AHS) students engage in high levels of substance use and risky sexual behaviors. Sports team participation holds great potential for building resilience and preventing health-risk behaviors. Yet, little is known about sports team participation among this population. We used logistic regression-based path analytical frameworks (multiple mediator models) to simultaneously explore whether measures of social connectedness (i.e., connectedness to friends, adults, and school) and emotional distress mediated relationships between sports team participation and substance use/sexual risk-taking behaviors among AHS students in Minnesota. School connectedness and adult connectedness contributed to protective associations between sports team participation and most outcomes whereas friend connectedness had opposite effects, possibly diminishing overall associations. Emotional distress did not mediate associations. We conclude by discussing implications for future sport-related research and intervention with AHS students.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
SOURCES OF SUPPORT: This research was supported in part by the Adolescent Health Protection Research Training Program (School of Nursing, University of Minnesota) grant number T01-DP000112 (PI: Bearinger) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an MCH Nursing Training Program in the Center for Adolescent Nursing grant number T80-MC00021 (PI: Bearinger) from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), both of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.
Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Alternative high schools
- Health-risk behaviors
- Multiple mediation
- Social connectedness