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The State of High School Sports Report: An Evaluation of the Nation’s Most Popular Extracurricular Activity

Content Summary

This study builds on previous research and policy that view teen sports as an educational tool and public health asset.

The results highlighted that school-based athletics continued to be the most popular activity provided by high schools in the U.S. and was the only school-based extracurricular activity that showed an increase in participation rates between 1989 and 2015.

The study found that high levels of involvement in school-based athletics were one of the strongest correlates with lower levels of depression, higher levels of self-esteem, and lower levels of self-derogation, higher grades, greater aspirations to attend college or graduate school, lower risk of truancy (i.e., cutting or skipping class) and school misbehavior, and lower risk of experiencing academic problems.

The report was made possible through a partnership between the Women’s Sports Foundation and the DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation.

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