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Research Commissioned by the National Children’s Office. Thursday 23 February 2006. Research Questions; What do Irish young people do in their free time? What are the barriers and supports they experience? What are their aspirations with regard to recreation and leisure?. 23-02-2006.

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  • Research Questions;

    • What do Irish young people do in their free time?

    • What are the barriers and supports they experience?

    • What are their aspirations with regard to recreation and leisure?

23-02-2006


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  • Sample

  • Sampling frame - Dept. of Education and Science, second level schools (2004)

  • 26 county representation

  • 51 second level schools; 38 co-ed, 7 all-male, 6 all-female

  • 2,260 young people aged 12 –18 years

  • 1125 male, 1134 female

  • 93% Irish

  • Survey was administered by one of two researchers in 90% of settings

  • Focus groups and interviews; young people with additional needs

23-02-2006


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General Free-Time Activities

  • Leisure time activities comprise between 40-50% of a young persons life (Caldwell et al, 1992)

  • Watching television (94%) and listening to music (88%) are the two most popular free time activities.

  • Over 93% of young people enjoy hanging out with their friends. The frequency with which young people report ‘hanging around outside’ decreases with age, particularly for females.

  • Over 55% read everyday or most days, 65% of girls and young women versus 45% of boys and young men. This trend is reversed for computer games.

23-02-2006


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  • Hobbies

  • Over two-thirds of young people have one or more hobbies

  • Young people from higher socio-economic backgrounds report more hobbies.

  • Girls and young women (72%) are more likely to be involved in hobbies than boys and young men (59%).

  • Participation in hobbies decreases with age from 12-18 years

23-02-2006


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Total n=1475

Male n=660

Female n=815

1

Play musical instrument

30.7% n=454

Play musical instrument

28.7% n=190

Dance

34.9% n=285

2

Pets

21.5% n=318

Pets

19.2% n=127

Play musical instrument

32.3% n=264

3

Art

21.4% n=317

Pool/Snooker

16.5% n=109

Art

26.9% n=220

4

Dance

20.3% n=300

Technology

15% n=99

Pets

23.8% n=191

5

Cooking

10.4% n=148

Art

14% n=97

Cooking

16% n=131

Most Popular Hobbies by Gender

23-02-2006


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  • Community/Charity Groups

  • One third of young people are members of one or more groups

  • Girls and young women (39%) report greater participation in community/charity groups than boys and young men (26%)

  • Those in rural schools (40%) are more likely to participate in groups than those in city schools (27%)

  • There is a drop in participation in community/charity groups from 12-18 years

23-02-2006


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Total n=728

Male n=291

Female n=437

1

Youth Clubs/Groups

58.7% n=428

Youth Clubs/Groups

68% n=198

Youth Clubs/Groups

52.6 % n=230

2

Choir/Folk Group

25.9% n=189

Scouts/Guides

11.3% n=33

Choir/Folk Group

37.5% n=164

3

Voluntary Work

11.2% n=82

Voluntary Work

9.2% n=28

Voluntary Work

12.3% n=54

4

Scouts/Guides

10.3% n=75

Choir/Folk Group

8.5% n=25

Scouts/Guides

9.6% n=42

Most Popular Groups by Gender

23-02-2006


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  • Sports

  • 88% of young people play at least one sport competitively or recreationally

  • Participation in sport declines with age, 96% at age 12 compared to 77% at age 18

  • The decline is marked with girls and young women from 98% at age 12 to 68% at age 18.

  • The most popular sports for boys and young men are soccer (70%), Gaelic football (56%) and hurling (30%).

  • The most popular sports for girls and young women are basketball (38%), Gaelic football (36%) and swimming (33%).

23-02-2006




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12

13

14

15

16

17

18

Male

1st

Soccer

68%

Soccer

69%

Soccer

56%

Soccer

59%

Soccer

69%

Soccer

66%

Gaelic

Football

73%

2nd

Gaelic

Football

64%

Gaelic

Football

67%

Gaelic

Football

52%

Gaelic

Football

38%

Gaelic

Football

49%

Gaelic

Football

58%

Soccer

70%

3rd

Hurling

39%

Hurling

29%

Hurling

28%

Hurling

26%

Hurling

27%

Hurling

25%

Hurling

30%

4th

Rugby

16%

Cycling

14%

Swimming

17%

Rugby

16%

Basketball

18%

Basketball

20%

Rugby

21%

5th

Basketball

14%

Basketball

13%

Cycling

15%

Basketball

16%

Rugby

13%

Swimming

14%

Basketball

12%

Female

1st

Swimming

44%

Gaelic

Football

41%

Basketball

49%

Basketball

43%

Gaelic

Football

35%

Gaelic

Football

36%

Basketball

47%

2nd

Basketball

41%

Basketball

41%

Gaelic Football

41%

Gaelic

Football

35%

Basketball

35%

Swimming

33%

Gaelic

Football

37%

3rd

Gaelic

Football

34%

Soccer

34%

Swimming

35%

Soccer

32%

Swimming

30%

Basketball

29%

Swimming

37%

4th

Soccer

33%

Swimming

33%

Soccer

31%

Swimming

31%

Soccer

23%

Soccer

17%

Camogie

23%

5th

Camogie

22%

Camogie

17%

Camogie

24%

Hockey

29%

Camogie

18%

Camogie

16%

Tennis

23%

Most Popular Sports by Age and Gender

23-02-2006


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Frequency of Participation in Sport

Male

Female

23-02-2006


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Adult male

12-18 male

Adult female

12-18 female

1st

Golf

17%

Soccer

70%

Swimming

17%

Basketball

38%

2nd

Soccer

13%

Gaelic

Football

56%

Aerobics/ keep fit

10%

Gaelic

Football

36%

3rd

Swimming

12%

Hurling

30%

Cycling

3%

Swimming

33%

4th

Gaelic football

8%%

Basketball

15%

Golf

3%

Soccer

27%

5th

Billiards/

snooker

6%

Swimming 14%

Tennis

3%

Camogie

19%

Comparison of Adolescent & Adult Most Popular Sports

(excl. walking)

Adult data from Fahey et al (2004)

23-02-2006


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TYPES OF BARRIERS & SUPPORTS

  • STRUCTURAL

  • Finance

  • Transport

  • Facilities

  • Time

  • Provision/

  • Programming

  • Weather

  • INTRAPERSONAL

  • Self esteem

  • Shyness

  • Self competence

  • Beliefs

  • Values

  • INTERPERSONAL

  • Relationships with

  • - parents

  • - peers

  • - coaches

  • - leaders

  • Availability of leisure partners

23-02-2006


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Barriers and Supports

Intrapersonal Constraints

Interpersonal Constraints

Structural Constraints

Interpersonal Compatibility &

Coordination

Participation (or non-participation)

Leisure Preferences

Ref: Crawford et al. (1991, p312)

23-02-2006


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  • Intrapersonal Barriers and Supports:

  • In general Irish young people are well motivated to engage in positive leisure time use.

  • Over three quarters enjoy competition, particularly boys and young men

  • Only just over half of girls and young women and three quarters of boys and young men are happy with the way they look

  • There are approximately 6% of young people who lack motivation to engage in positive leisure time use.

23-02-2006


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The Free Time Motivation Scale

Baldwin & Caldwell (2003)

Self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000)

social factors  psychological  motivation  behavioural

mediators types consequences

Intrinsic motivation  Extrinsic motivation  Amotivation

23-02-2006


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  • Interpersonal Barriers and Supports:

  • Irish young people report high levels of parental support for their leisure choices.

  • Mixed response to a preference for leader led activities.

  • Boys in the 12-15 year old age group are least likely to enjoy mixed sex leisure activities.

23-02-2006


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  • Structural Barriers and Supports:

  • A majority of young people believe that that there is very little leisure provision in their area. This is much more likely to be true of rural (68%) than urban (46%) dwellers.

  • Time, as a barrier to participation in leisure activities increases dramatically from 31% at age twelve to 71% at eighteen.

23-02-2006


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Structural Barriers and Supports:

  • There is a significant gender difference in the amount of time spent doing homework and studying.

  • Approaching half (43%) of girls agree that most of their free time is spent doing homework and studying compared to fewer than one third (29%) of boys.

  • Over one third of young people work part time weekly or more often. Older adolescents, boys and young men and those from lower SES backgrounds are more likely to work part time.

23-02-2006


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Structural Barriers and Supports:

  • One in three young people, especially those in rural areas, experience difficulties with transport to and from leisure.

  • One in seven young people does not feel safe going to and from activities in the evening. This sub-group are most likely to be female and urban dwellers.

  • Young people identified a range of barriers relating to specific activities (see Table 8).

  • The profile of barriers varied across activities.

23-02-2006


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  • Reasons for Drop-Out of Leisure Activities

  • Loss of interest is by far the most common reason cited for drop-out.

  • Other reasons for drop-out are a lack of time, not liking the leader and not having good enough skills.

  • The profile of reasons for drop-out differs from activity to activity.

23-02-2006


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Dance

Gaelic

Football

Soccer

Youth

Club

Scouts/

Guides

Swimming

Lost interest

57%

44%

50%

60%

68%

36%

Didn’t like the leader

31%

29%

29%

17%

39%

16%

Skill level not good enough

14%

32%

27%

7%

6%

17%

Friends dropped out

18%

8%

9%

34%

29%

16%

No way to get there

9%

13%

11%

14%

5%

24%

Didn’t like the rules

10%

8%

9%

16%

17%

6%

Felt I was too old

13%

2%

6%

2%

29%

10%

Cost too much

11%

2%

6%

9%

7%

10%

Reasons for Drop-Out by Activity

23-02-2006


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  • Aspirations with Regard to Leisure

  • Three quarters expressed a desire to join a new leisure activity. 75 different activities were cited, 65% of these were sports.

  • Dance, drama and swimming are the three most common activities that girls would like to join. For boys the top three activities are soccer, rugby and boxing.

23-02-2006


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Soccer

Dance

Rugby

Boxing

Swimming

Gaelic

Football

Drama

Not located nearby

36%

43%

50%

43%

52%

21%

42%

Didn’t know anyone else

22%

40%

26%

30%

36%

24%

34%

No transport

36%

30%

36%

26%

40%

18%

25%

Didn’t know how to join

10%

33%

22%

27%

19%

18%

27%

Skill level not good enough

23%

14%

13%

8%

18%

28%

17%

Cost too much

8%

23%

3%

6%

8%

4%

26%

Parents didn’t approve

5%

3%

13%

25%

0%

7%

6%

Barriers to Joining by Activity

23-02-2006


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  • Young People with Additional Needs:

  • Self-confidence is an issue for young people who leave school early.

  • Being barred is an issue for young members of the Traveller Community and for early school leavers.

  • Young people with sensory impairments often have dispersed friendship groups due to attending school in Dublin.

  • Parental over-protectiveness is an issue for young people with physical and learning disabilities.

  • Young people with additional needs experience more structural barriers than others.

23-02-2006


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  • Recommendations for Future Research in Ireland

    • Action research in provision of leisure interests identified in the study

    • Low motivation for leisure participation in Irish youth.

    • The prevalence and experience of ‘being barred’ in Irish youth.

    • Body image, self-concept and self-esteem and leisure participation.

    • Physical education; its role in enhancing physical activity in adulthood.

    • Young people leading young people in leisure activities.

    • Local needs analyses to determine the leisure preferences of young people.

23-02-2006