Predictors of Social Competence Among African American Teenagers Participating in a Sport-Based Youth Development Program
METHODS: Data were collected at pre- and post-participation in a large sport-based urban PYD program during the summer of 2011. A sample of African American adolescents (N=299, Age M=12, SD=1.6, male=62.5%), who make up the majority of the youth (72%) participating in the program, were selected for this study. Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted with simultaneous entry of sociodemographic, personal, and family characteristics (age, gender, BMI, academic performance, and characteristics of the family and school) and several domains of social skills (self-control, effort, teamwork, social responsibility, athletic competence, transfer of skills; α=.86 to .92) to assess the effects on general social competence (1 =above 75% of the measure, 0 =below 75%).
RESULTS: Results from the logistic regression model pre-intervention indicate that Teamwork in Sport (OR=2.03; p<.001; 95% CI= 1.5 - 2.7), Transfer of Skills (OR=1.90; p=.001; 95% CI= 1.3 - 2.8), and General Athletic Abilities (OR=1.56; p=.025; 95% CI= 1.06 - 2.31) positively predicted general social competence. Results from the logistic regression model post intervention also indicate that Teamwork in Sport (OR=3.31; p<.001; 95% CI= 2.07 - 5.27), Transfer of Skills (OR=2.18; p=.012; 95% CI= 1.18 - 4.02), and General Athletic Abilities (OR=2.19; p=.011; 95% CI= 1.20 - 4.02) positively predicted general social competence. This model also indicates that Commitment to Sport (OR=.50; p=.034; 95% CI= .26 - .95) and receiving Lunch in School (OR=.47; p=.043; 95% CI= .22 - .98) negatively predicted general social competence.
CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS: The findings from this study highlight the importance of teamwork in sport, general athletic abilities, and the transfer of skills in fostering social competence among this specific vulnerable population. The results also suggest economic disadvantage (lunch in school) prevents the development of this positive youth domain. Commitment to sport as a negative predictor of social competence is an unexpected finding of this study. These results inform PYD programs and strategies.