Sports Team Participation Among US High School Girls, 1999-2015

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Abstract

Sports team participation has myriad benefits for girls. We used the 1999-2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a nationally representative survey of US high school students, to examine time trends in sports team participation. Data from 2015 alone were examined for current differences in participation by sex, race/ethnicity, grade, and weight status. For both analyses, unadjusted and adjusted logistic regressions, with team participation as the dependent variable, were used. In 2015, 53% of US high school girls participated in team sports. Participation was higher among non-Hispanic white (60.7%) compared to Hispanic (40.7%) and Asian (35.6%) girls, and girls with normal-weight status (58.1%) compared to overweight (50.0%) and obese (36.5%) girls (P < .01 for all comparisons). From 1999 to 2015, the rate of increase in participation was higher among non-Hispanic black girls than non-Hispanic white girls. No increase was observed for Hispanic and Asian girls. Addressing the disparities found in team participation is imperative.

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