Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of organized sports and club activity participation on adolescent males' use of alcohol, and intentions to use alcohol.
Methods: Participants consisted of 1690 adolescent males who were enrolled in grades 10 through 12 in four public school systems across a southern state.
Data were collected on site at the participating schools utilizing the 69-item Adolescent Health Survey. Preliminary analyses were conducted utilizing the chi-square statistic; statistically significant variables from the preliminary analyses were tested with the outcome variables. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to conduct all analyses. Goodness-of-fit measures contained within the SPSS hierarchical loglinear analysis and logistic regression procedures assessed the fit of each model and the linearity of the relationship between the group odds and predictor variables, respectively.
Results: One thousand three hundred seventy-two participants were White, 250 were African American, and 68 were of other ethicities. Forty-eight percent (n=814) of the participants reported no alcohol consumption during the previous month and were classified as non-drinkers. The remaining 872 participants (51.5%) had consumed alcohol once during the preceding month and were classified as drinkers. Five hundred eighty-two (34.4%) participants were binge drinkers and 1103 (65.3%) were non-bingers. Club members were significantly less likely to drink alcohol (p < .001) or binge drink (p < .001) than non-club members. Intentions to drink alcohol (p < .001) or binge drink (p < .001) in the next 6 months were significantly lower for club members than non-club members. Results indicated no differences in alcohol use between participants and non-participants in sports activities.
Discussion: This study revealed protective effects of club activities on alcohol abuse and intentions but showed no effect of sports activities on alcohol use. Program planners may consider providing brief sport-based screen and consultation tailored to adolescents' health habits to potentially reduce alcohol use. Studies that can successfully address these relationships may enhance the development of multi-dimensional interventions for reducing and preventing risk behaviors in youth.