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Barn i rörelse: Om förutsättningar för utveckling i alternativa (?) idrottsaktiviteter
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8256-922x
2021 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Children in motion : Alternative sports activities as settings for developing interest in physical activity (English)
Abstract [en]

The focus of this doctoral dissertation is programs and interventions aiming to increase the proportion of children that is physically active. These efforts are called alternative sports activities as their ambition is to offer alternative developmental paths that may complement the traditional sporting environments. With a starting point in children’s experiences, the characteristics of alternative sports activities are investigated in three empirical studies. In a fourth study, focus is directed toward the organizing partners and their conceptions of the purpose of the activities. The overall aim of the dissertation is to contribute knowledge about the conditions that the environment in alternative sports activities offers to develop children's interest in physical activity.

The main finding in the dissertation is that the activities are designed without a clear focus on the children who make up the target group, that is, the least active children. Instead, the conceptual starting point among organizers includes a view that children already possess the predisposing factors required for a physically active life. One consequence of this conception is that already physically active children who manage to produce physical capital are allowed to control the activities and, thus, define them as sporting environments. Another consequence of the lack of focus on less active children is that the activities are formed with a strong emphasis on bringing children and sports associations together and not on promoting long-term development which brings children closer to a sustainable interest in physical activity. 

The conclusion includes the view that alternative sports activities need to be designed as programs targeting the specific needs of physically inactive children rather than active and as ongoing over a brief period of time in order to create conditions for development of an interest in physical activity.

Abstract [sv]

Den här avhandlingen handlar om vårt samhälles strävan att finna nya, alternativa, vägar för att fler barn ska bli mer fysiskt aktiva. Den fokuserar på det som kallas alternativa idrottsaktiviteter och hur sådana aktiviteter kan utveckla barns intresse för fysisk aktivitet. I centrum för arbetet står barnen och deras syn på rörelse. 

Med utgångspunkt i barns egna röster undersöks verksamheter där barn provar idrotter, deltar i rörelseaktiviteter och organiserar egna idrottsaktiviteter. Genom barnens berättelser om fysisk aktivitet i vardagen utforskas de aspekter som framstår som betydelsefulla i barnens ögon. Resultaten som framkommer i avhandlingen tyder på att det finns stora utmaningar att utforma verksamheter som utvecklar ett intresse för fysisk aktivitet bland de barn som behöver det mest. 

Barn i rörelse är en resurs för dig som arbetar med att främja barns fysiska aktivitet eller är intresserad av idrott och rörelse från ett hälsofrämjande perspektiv. 

Johan Högman är doktorand i pedagogiskt arbete med inriktning mot idrottsvetenskap vid Institutionen för pedagogiska studier vid Karlstads universitet. Han är även verksam som adjunkt och har tidigare arbetat i kommunala organisationer med idrottsutveckling med fokus på barn och unga. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2021. , p. 172
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2021:22
Keywords [en]
alternative sports programs, physical activity, children, development, bioecological theory
Keywords [sv]
alternativa idrottsaktiviteter, fysisk aktivitet, rörelse, barn, utveckling, bioekologisk teori
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-85588ISBN: 978-91-7867-217-2 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7867-227-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-85588DiVA, id: diva2:1583361
Public defence
2021-09-24, Nyquistsalen, 9C203, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-09-06 Created: 2021-08-05 Last updated: 2021-09-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Let’s do those 60 minutes! Children’s perceived landscape for daily physical activity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Let’s do those 60 minutes! Children’s perceived landscape for daily physical activity
2020 (English)In: Sport, Education and Society, ISSN 1357-3322, E-ISSN 1470-1243, Vol. 25, no 4, p. 395-408Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In a scientific effort to understand the reasons for low physical-activity levels among children, there is a need to consider how children perceive and interact with their complex environments holistically. This study outlines an image of the perceived landscape within which children in two lower-socioeconomic contexts engage in daily physical activity. By applying bioecological perspectives (Bronfenbrenner, U. 2005. Making human Beings human: Bioecological perspectives on human development. SAGE), the aim included an analysis of how the perceived landscape and its interrelated factors influence children’s physical activity. We used 15 focus-group interviews with children (n = 63, ages 8–13) from four different rural and suburban areas of southern and central Sweden. Through analyzing the children’s stories about their experiences of everyday physical activity from a bioecological perspective, an image of a complex landscape was revealed. Structural (schools’ institutional frameworks), cultural (local sports cultures), and environmental factors (e.g. schoolyard design) were evident in interpersonal relations within the microsystem and interacted with personal characteristics, primarily gender and level of physical competence and, thereby, affected the possibilities of the children engaging in proximal processes related to physical activity. This study contributes new qualitative understanding based on children’s voices about how the performance of daily physical activity among younger children (ages 7–13) in lower-socioeconomic areas may be considered an interactional process between individuals and their perceived environment, which can be thought of as a multidimensional landscape. Implications include actions which contribute to more diverse environments enabling proximal processes among a broader group of children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2020
Keywords
bioecological theory, Child perspective, children’s everyday lives, daily physical activity, focus-group interviews, proximal processes, sports participation, youth sports, adolescent, article, child, environmental factor, female, gender, human, human development, human relation, interview, landscape, major clinical study, male, physical activity, suburban area, Sweden, voice, youth sport
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-72343 (URN)10.1080/13573322.2019.1610374 (DOI)000469673900001 ()2-s2.0-85065095755 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-06-07 Created: 2019-06-07 Last updated: 2021-11-18Bibliographically approved
2. To play or not to play, that's the question: young people's experiences of organized spontaneous sport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To play or not to play, that's the question: young people's experiences of organized spontaneous sport
2017 (English)In: Sport in Society: Cultures, Media, Politics, Commerce, ISSN 1743-0437, E-ISSN 1743-0445, Vol. 20, no 9, p. 1134-1149Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As an attempt to reach physically inactive young people, especially girls, organized spontaneous sport (OSP) was implemented as a part of the state programme 'The Sports Lift' (2010). Projects, however, tended to primarily attract physically active boys rather than the actual target group. This problem calls for a qualitative approach to gain further knowledge about the interplay within the activities. Accordingly, this study aims to examine young people's experiences of OSP activities with focus on participation, leadership and determining processes. To fulfil this purpose, a case study design was implemented. Data were collected through observations (pilot study) and semi-structured interviews with participants. The theoretical point of departure is developmental ecology, emphasizing the individual's interaction with the multilevel environment. Results show that OSP is experienced as different from conventional organized sport. Further, the domination of boys is made possible through upholding the masculine sports norm, which is actualized within determining processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65666 (URN)10.1080/17430437.2016.1269080 (DOI)000403820600004 ()
Available from: 2018-01-18 Created: 2018-01-18 Last updated: 2021-08-05Bibliographically approved
3. "Being or becoming physically active": unpacking conceptions about objectives and methods in partnership-based alternative sports activities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Being or becoming physically active": unpacking conceptions about objectives and methods in partnership-based alternative sports activities
2020 (English)In: European Journal for Sport and Society, ISSN 1613-8171, Vol. 17, no 4, p. 301-318Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Few intervention programmes focussing on increasing physical activity among children have been successful long term. It has also become increasingly common among scholars as well as politicians to advocate for organisations within a field to 'join up' to tackle social challenges. Research indicates that collaborative processes may entail challenges in implementing programmes informed by high quality knowledge. The aim of this study was, therefore, to examine partner organisations' conceptions about objectives of an alternative sports programme, how such objectives are meant to be achieved, and how such conceptions may affect children's development of a physically active lifestyle. Qualitative content analysis revealed three underlying lines of thought regarding alternative activities for children, as follows: they should increase the member base through modifications; they should awaken the inherent desire to move through targeting motor skills; and they should transform sports clubs by providing an exercise arena. The article discusses how activities fail to consider children's predisposing factors and what implications this has for the work of promoting children's physical activity. Finally, we suggest that partnerships would benefit from applying a multi-leveled ecological model when designing programmes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2020
Keywords
alternative sports activities, bioecological theory, youth physical activity promotion model, youth sports, partnership programmes
National Category
Pedagogical Work Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-79175 (URN)10.1080/16138171.2020.1792075 (DOI)000549741500001 ()2-s2.0-85087863012 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2020-08-05 Created: 2020-08-05 Last updated: 2021-11-19Bibliographically approved
4. A journey in motion: Children´s experiences of development in alternative sports programs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A journey in motion: Children´s experiences of development in alternative sports programs
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-85587 (URN)
Available from: 2021-08-05 Created: 2021-08-05 Last updated: 2021-11-22Bibliographically approved

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