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Interrelation of sport participation, physical activity, social capital and mental health in disadvantaged communities : a sem-analysis

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Background : The Health through Sport conceptual model links sport participation with physical, social and psychological outcomes and stresses the need for more understanding between these outcomes. The present study aims to uncover how sport participation, physical activity, social capital and mental health are interrelated by examining these outcomes in one model. Methods : A cross-sectional survey was conducted in nine disadvantaged communities in Antwerp (Belgium). Two hundred adults (aged 18-56) per community were randomly selected and visited at home to fill out a questionnaire on socio-demographics, sport participation, physical activity, social capital and mental health. A sample of 414 adults participated in the study. Results : Structural Equation Modeling analysis showed that sport participation (beta = .095) and not total physical activity (beta = .027) was associated with better mental health. No association was found between sport participation and community social capital (beta = .009) or individual social capital (beta = .045). Furthermore, only community social capital was linked with physical activity (beta = .114), individual social capital was not (beta = -.013). In contrast, only individual social capital was directly associated with mental health (beta = .152), community social capital was not (beta = .070). Conclusion : This study emphasizes the importance of sport participation and individual social capital to improve mental health in disadvantaged communities. It further gives a unique insight into the functionalities of how sport participation, physical activity, social capital and mental health are interrelated. Implications for policy are that cross-sector initiatives between the sport, social and health sector need to be supported as their outcomes are directly linked to one another.
Tijdschrift: PLOS ONE
ISSN: 1932-6203
Issue: 10
Volume: 10
Jaar van publicatie:2015
BOF-keylabel:ja
IOF-keylabel:ja
BOF-publication weight:2
CSS-citation score:1
Auteurs:International
Authors from:Higher Education
Toegankelijkheid:Open