Adolescent Athletic Participation Patterns and Self-Perceived Competence: Associations With Later Participation, Depressive Symptoms, and Health

Jennifer P. Agans, Sara K. Johnson, Richard M. Lerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Physical activity is important for well-being across the life span. However, links between patterns of adolescent activity, competence perceptions, and young adult outcomes are underexplored. We used data from seven waves of the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development (N = 5,961) to assess patterns of adolescent athletic participation, whether these patterns were associated with self-perceived athletic competence and young adult physical activity, depressive symptoms, and health, and associations between changes in participation across adolescence and young adult outcomes. Competence perceptions were associated with increased participation, and more active adolescents had higher rates of adult athletic activity, with links to better health and fewer depressive symptoms. We discuss results in light of the importance of using person-centered analyses to understand active lifestyles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-610
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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