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NCJ Number: 206628 Find in a Library
Title: Sport, Recreation and Juvenile Crime: An Assessment of the Impact of Sport and Recreation Upon Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Youth Offenders
Author(s): Gail Mason; Paul Wilson
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 188
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Publication Number: ISBN 0 642 14012 X
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Document: PDF
Type: Literature Review
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This research examined the ability of recreation and sports activities to lessen the offending behavior among young people, with a focus on whether sport and recreation can impact Aboriginal delinquent youth.
Abstract: In Australia, males commit the bulk of juvenile crimes and Aboriginal juveniles are greatly overrepresented within the juvenile justice system. The main goal of the research was to examine relevant research literature, both overseas and in the United States, that has probed the possible effects of sports and recreation on delinquency. In so doing, the authors sought to inform Australian projects that utilize sports and recreation in their delinquency intervention approaches, especially those aimed specifically at Aboriginal youth. Over the last century there has been theoretical support for the notion that involvement in sports and recreation has a negative impact on delinquency. Various theories are explored that explain why involvement in sports and recreation negatively impacts delinquency. Empirical research also supports this notion, with overseas research indicating that boys who participate in sport activities are less likely to engage in delinquent activities. The problem with most empirical research on this topic is the problem of establishing causality; it is unclear whether participation in sport activities directly causes the decline in delinquency. Moreover, research on the criminality of girls and women is too scarce to draw any conclusions regarding the impact of girl’s participation in sporting activities. The United States has over 100 juvenile offender programs involving wilderness and survival camps due to the assumption that such activity will lead to long-term changes in adolescent delinquent behavior. However, standards of evaluation in this field have been poor leading to a lack of conclusive evidence of their actual impact, although short-term success has been noted. Delinquency intervention initiatives in France and Australia are also explored, including outdoor programs and Youth Detention Centers in Australia and the extensive sport and leisure program for young people in France. The Northern Territory in Australia has focused extensively on sport and recreation programs to curb the delinquent behavior of Aboriginal youth. Previous research has demonstrated that in order for programs to impact upon Aboriginal people, they must be Aboriginal-initiated and cater specifically to their unique needs. Thus, where sporting approaches are utilized with this population, they must be controlled by Aborigines and also involve wider-ranging economic and social reforms. Appendix, bibliography
Main Term(s): Literature reviews; Recreation
Index Term(s): Foreign juvenile delinquency; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile delinquency research; Juvenile delinquency theory
Note: Downloaded August 9, 2004.
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