The Impact of School-Organized Sport Activities on the Priority Youth Health-Risk Behaviors

Document Type


Publication Title

Annals of Epidemiology


PURPOSE: To evaluate the impact of school-organized sport activities on the priority youth health-risk behaviors.

METHODS: Data were taken from The 1997 National School-based Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Measures of prevalence rates in six categories of priority health-risk behaviors defined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were performed between participants and non-participants in school-organized sport activities. Then multiple logistic regression analyses were used to assess the association between participation in school-organized sport activities and the priority health-risk behaviors.

RESULTS: Overall, 49.5% of students nationwide participated in school-organized sport activities in 1997. The major behavioral factors that proved statistically significant in predicting participation in school-organized activities in the logistic regression model were non-use of seatbelt, non-use of helmet, and use of chewing tobacco. Behavioral factors that were inversely related to participation in school-organized activities were smoking cigarettes, using different kinds of drugs, using condoms, carrying weapons, eating vegetables, and attempting suicide.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the nationally representative data, participation in school-organized sport activities was positively associated with many desirable health behaviors. However, a challenge for us will be not only to promote youth participation in school-organized sport activities, but also to address some co-existing behavioral problems that may lead to non-intentional injury and use of chewing tobacco.



Publication Date