Nov
26
2007

Athletic success = personal happiness? A new study says it can help

Kicking away the blues?: Researchers in Canada have found that kids who have a high opinion of their athletic abilities tend to be more satisfied with their friendships. Why might that be?
Kicking away the blues?: Researchers in Canada have found that kids who have a high opinion of their athletic abilities tend to be more satisfied with their friendships. Why might that be?Courtesy afsilva
It’s no secret that the top athletes are BMOC – Big Man on Campus – in many of people’s eyes. But a new study completed recently in Canada looks at the relationship between athletic abilities and personal self-image. And researchers think there is a similar connection.

The study has found there is a correlation between a kid’s perception of his/her athletic abilities and the satisfaction they find in the number and quality of friends that they have. The better they perceive themselves athletically, the happier they are in their social life. Conversely, kids who felt they had lower athletic ability tended to say that they were lonelier in school.

The study was done through questionnaires given to 208 students in grades four to six at Canadian schools. The kids had to measure both their personal loneliness factor at school along with their athletic abilities. Also, students had to assess the athletic abilities of the students they like best and like least.

The students who rated higher for loneliness more commonly also rated low on athletic abilities, both by themselves and by their peers. And that leads the researchers to ask some new questions, that weren’t included in the survey.

Are kids with poor athletic skills less popular because they have fewer chances to make friends through being part of sports teams? Or are their athletic skills not as developed because they their lack of friendships with others have kept them from being a part of teams?

I’m not sure how I fall on this issue, but it does bring back to light the strong contention a former high school athletic director friend of mine would always talk about: that students involved in extra-curricular activities tended to have better grades.

What do you think of all of this? Share your thoughts here with a comment or two for other Science Buzz readers.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

James Johnson's picture
James Johnson says:

Hi,

ON the subject of Researchers in Canada have found that kids who have a high opinion of their athletic abilities tend to be more satisfied with their friendships. Why might that be?

because these kids are likely the types who care enough about themselves not to indulge in quantum humanistics that derate relations or build up self worth.

j

posted on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 6:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This study is an example of a study of the obvious. I could have used the money blown on the study had I been paid to tell the researchers about my childhood. I had no athletic ability, to the point of being laughed off the field, picked last, etc. and no friends. I literally had no social life until age 21 only because I got to drink in bars. Childhood was a waste of 21 years.

posted on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 12:33am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This may be true for you, but not true for all.

As me being a kid right now I am not very good at sports, I play on a soccer team but I do not score many goals. People did like me though, they thought I was funny, nice, smart and held good opinions on things. Being in sports does NOT help me have good relationships with anyone else, usually they just get mad because I am not too good. I would advise not to stress this on your children because it is their own choices in life and they should decide weather to be on a sports team or not.

I'm 13 by the way.

posted on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 12:53am

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