Investigating the Role of Intergroup Contact within an Inner-City Youth Sport-for-Development Program: A Case Study
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Sport is often viewed as having a positive impact on shaping both individual and community development. Sport, used for such developmental purposes, is commonly referred to as sport-for-development (SFD). A common goal of many SFD programs is to build relationships amongst divided societies and groups experiencing conflict. One of the ways that this can be done is through intergroup contact. By promoting positive contact between conflicting groups, it is believed that groups will learn about each other and as a result will change their thoughts and attitudes towards one another. Positive contact is said to not only change intergroup attitudes, but it also has the potential to promote positive relationship development. However, it has been well noted in the literature that there are many factors that may influence contact. The current study explores a youth soccer program that was developed as a means to facilitate positive contact and promote relationship development between youth and police within a community that was dealing with issues of youth deviance. By drawing on both SFD literature, and contact theory, this study investigates factors that facilitate contact within an inner-city youth SFD program. Further, the study investigates the impact that contact has on program stakeholders. Findings of the study reveal that understanding target-groups, developing partnerships, and having champions of youth development all play a role in facilitating contact within an inner-city youth sport for development program. In the current study, such factors were critical when it came to effectively promoting intergroup contact. On the whole, intergroup contact had many positive impacts on program stakeholders. Indeed, many positive relationships were developed, intergroup attitudes were shifted, and there was a positive change in youth behaviour. Overall, the study reveals some important findings and discusses their practice based implications. It also suggests future areas of research.
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Jessica Brake (2018). Investigating the Role of Intergroup Contact within an Inner-City Youth Sport-for-Development Program: A Case Study. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13227