Latest study by RAND Corporation focuses on participation in sports among lower and middle income families.
The study reveals that parents from lower-income are less likely to encourage children in youth sports in comparison to those from higher-income parents. Extracurricular activities and rising costs are determined as major attributes by researchers.
For the study, 52% of lower income families reported their children from grade 6-12 participated in sports, whereas the number varied to 66% for middle-income families.
The resaerch indicated that although costs for sports had increased since the past five years, 63% public school administrators claimed that school funding for sports was either flat or was decreasing considerably.
Furthermore, 35% families said financial costs were the sole reason for not involving children in sports, the same reason was cited by 42% of parents with low income.
“Most survey participants thought youth sports participation provided physical health, social and emotional and academic benefits,” commented Anamarie Whitaker, lead author of the report and a policy researcher at RAND, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. “However, the increasing costs for such activities are often passed along to families, which has become more burdensome for those who are lower-income.”
The study suggests, increased participation in sports from children belonging to lower-income families could be made possible by providing transportation and equipment and also by reducing parent time commitments.