Adolescent sports participation: a case study of the Maldives
Throughout the world participation in sport and physical activity is considered to be one of the most important leisure time activities among adolescents (e.g. Rees, Brettschneider & Brandl-Bredenbeck, 1998; Eitzen & Sage, 1993; Patriksson, 1993; Sisjord, 1993; Thomson, 2000; Wang & Olson, 1997; Weiss, 1996; Yamaguchi, 1996). However, the meaning it has may vary among adolescents from different nations due to various social, physical and cultural factors (Rees et al., 1998; Thomson, 2000). These variations often result from differing socialisation experiences, which also differ along lines of gender (Coakley, 1998). Much research continues to be carried out on what motivates adolescents to participate in sport and physical activity, due to its in their lives. The aim of this study was to study these motivating factors in a South Asian country, the Republic of Maldives exploring, in particular the importance and meanings placed on sport by the adolescents of the Maldives, their reasons for sports participation or non-participation, related gender differences, and whether globalisation was influencing their sporting culture. In order to investigate the aforementioned, a questionnaire was administered to a sample of 667 secondary school students. Results showed that Maldivian adolescents ranked sport at 71.9 on a scale of 0-100, suggesting that it had considerable significance for them. Sport meant 'fun and enjoyment' to the most participants, followed by 'health and fitness', 'team sports', and 'individual sports'. The three most preferred reasons for sports participation were that it is 'good for the body', 'physical fitness', and the 'enjoyment of exercise'. In relation to gender differences, it was found that Maldivian boys were more gender conscious (i.e. prone to gender stereotyping) than girls. The sample was also not as supportive of non-gendered sports participation in comparison to their counterparts from New Zealand and the United States. It was also evident that sport globalisation trends were affecting the Maldivian youth sporting culture, with 'global' sports such as basketball and soccer becoming increasingly popular.
Advisor: Thomson, Rex; Jones, Robyn
Degree Name: Master of Physical Education
Degree Discipline: Physical Education
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis