Developing Young People’s Sense of Self and Place through Sport

Eliza Kitchen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research has recognized positive health implications, both physical and mental, as an outcome of participation in leisure pursuits. They provide opportunities for self-expression and stress reduction, as well as an environment in which people can socialize. Leisure activities, specifically sport activities, can play a significant role in young people's identity development. This paper explores the leisure activities in which young people in Adelaide, Australia participate. It examines the role of leisure activities in terms of young people's identity and feelings towards their hometown. This study consisted of semi-structured focus groups conducted with 24 senior high school students, followed by a survey resulting in 226 useable responses. Respondents were aged between 16 and 18 years of age. From the range of activities identified and explored, the results revealed sports activities to have the greatest impact on young people's lives. The results demonstrated that frequency of participation has a significant effect on young people's involvement levels and how they identify with the activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Leisure Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Identity
  • Sense of place
  • Sport
  • Young people


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