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Table 3 Study characteristics for the quantitative studies included in the review

From: Barriers to voluntary participation in sport for children: a systematic review

Author & Year Research Aim Method Sample Country Age (Years) or School Grade Sport Socioeconomic info Barriers Identified Negative causal/association relationship
Boiche 2009 [71] To examine simultaneously several potential determinants of dropout in sport or continuation of sport Questionnaire (tested athelets views of their experience of sport, coaches, team mates and parents) 261,228 (62%) M 139 (38%) F France Mean age 14.6 General Outside school NR Personal goal conflict Lack of parental support Clash of or inapproprisate prractice times Location too far to travel Perceived competence – child feeling they are no good at sport Bad or negative relationship with coach Causal
Casper 2011 [47] To establish the most (and least) important reported constraints overall, to establish the relationship between perceived constraints and prior sports participation and identify how perceived constraints differ across sociodemographic groups Questionnaire (made use of a 25 items scale assessing 3 theoretical dimensions, intrapersonal, interpersonal and structural constraints) 2465 1169 (50%) M 1169 (50%) F USA 6th, 7th, 8th graders General 52% caucasian (1103), 36% African American (747), 11% Latino (237). 32% (739) received free or reduced price lunch. 1591 no reduced lunch Barriers predefined: Lack of time No one to partner with Lack of facilities Lack of accessibility Causal
Dollman 2010 [48] To identify relationship between socioeconomic position (SEP) and sport participation and to explore SEP gradients in personal, social and environmental mediators of participation Cross-sectional Survey (Children listed participation in organised sports over the previous 12 months, the season they participated in and the context. The Children’s Physical Activity Correlates (CPAC) Scale was administered.) 3434 786 (45%) M 951 (55%) F South Australia Grades 5–10 General 51% metropolitan schools, 49% rural schools. High socioeconomic background: M 36.6%, F 35.1%. Medium socioeconomic background: M 27%, F 29.3%. Low socioeconomic background: M 36.4%, F 35.5% Barriers predefined: Level of parental support for females Low socioeconomic background for females placed restriction on sport participation. Boys from low socioeconomic background reported less access to organised sport Association
Gordon 1996 [32] To examine the leisure activity involvement, deviant activity, reasons for participation, suggestions for leisure service provision, leisure satisfaction, and perceived control/barriers to leisure fur adolescents from two Queensland areas, one an urban city and the other a small rural region. Survey (to gain insight into youth’s leisure time use, activity choices, reasons for involvement in activity, situational factors, satisfaction, dissatisfaction with leisure time use) 140 students Australia Grades 8, 10, 12 General Outside School NR Lack of support from parents / guardians Lack of opportunities, Lack of transport, Cost too high Laziness, Lack of friends Association
Gracia-Marco 2010 [70] To highlight the sports that are practised most as extra-curricular activities, identify differences between the sexes in extra-curricular participation in sports, and determine its association with body fat and socio-demographic factors. Survey (to determine extra-curricular participation in sports, also made use of 2 anthropometrics in each city measuring, weight, height, skinfolds and circumferences) 2165 Students 1124 (52%) M 1041 (48%) F Spain 13–18 General Outside School NR Being female rather than male Association
Hardy 2010 [35] To explore parents’ perceptions of factors related to time, costs and activity choice which may influence their decision to allow their child to participate in organised sports, and to describe parent’s recent expenditure on children’s sport-related items. Questionnaire (Asked parents if their child had participated in sport in the last month, if factors such as cost, travel and availability would make them more or less likely to allow their child to participate in organised sports activity and whether they had paid for any sports-related expenditure in the past 3 months) 402 (parents) 22% Fathers 78% Mothers Australia 5–17 General Outside School Half of households had income less than $80,000 Australian Location too far
Lack of time
Convenience to parents
Lack of availability Cost too high
Irwin 2009 [34] To determine variables influencing swimming participation among underrepresented youth. Survey (drawn from physical activity constraint studies was designed in collaboration with the study’s sponsor, USA Swimming and reviewed by expert panel) 1680, 848 (50.5%) M 832 (49.5%) F USA 4–17 Swimming Outside school NR Not feeling safe
Fear of drowning
Lack of encouragement from family
Kirshnit 1989 [33] To determine sports participation meanings and experiential outcomes according to context, age and gender. Survey (used experience sampling method and participants carried a pager for 1 week, in response to a pager signal they filled out a self-report form) 401 USA, Chicago 5th to 9th Grade General In and out school Working and middle class communities Lack of choice Association
Perry 2011 [49] To identify intrapersonal perceptions of motivators and barriers to PA, behavioural factors and environmental factors of opportunities for PA that are associated with meeting recommended levels of PA. Survey (Included questions about use of 13 parks and schoolyard in the local area, questions relating to risk behaviours and protective factors and the rest of the survey questions were drawn from the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey) 773,379 (49%) M 394 (51%) F USA Grades 6, 8, 10, 12 General 30% below federal poverty level, 100% on free or reduced cost lunch program Lack of time
Lack of transport
  1. NR Not reported, M Male, F Female, PE Physical education, PA Physical activity