Graduation Year

Fall 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Reader 1

Craig Bowman

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© 2013 Gregory J. Wilson II

Abstract

Participation in sports has a strong influence on the development of African American youth and the Black community as a whole. The purpose of this paper is to explore the positive and negative effects that participating in sports has on the African American community using previous works and experiments on the topic. Results found that participation in athletics helps African American youth develop important social skills, creates an outlet to keep Black youth off the streets in impoverished neighborhoods, and establishes a vehicle to help Black youth get into college. However, the overemphasized importance of sports within the African American community through the media and Black families themselves has resulted in multiple negative effects including career immaturity, lower academic achievement and the exploitation of the Black intercollegiate athlete.

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