Exploring perceived life skills development and participation in sport

Martin I. Jones*, David Lavallee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Organised sport provides favourable conditions for positive psychosocial development. However, few studies have examined how sport facilitates positive development. The purpose of this study was to explore how perceived life skills were developed. Five formal, semi-structured interviews and around 30 hours of informal discussions were conducted with a single participant. Resultant transcripts were subjected to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings reveal an integration of processes, which resulted in positive development. Dispositions (e.g. hard work and self-awareness) facilitated the learning of life skills. Experiential learning was described as the method in which the participant learned new life skills. Specifically, the experience of playing tennis required the participant to develop life skills. Findings provide a unique insight into the development of life skills. Findings are discussed in relation to extant life skill research and positive youth development research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-50
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Research in Sport and Exercise
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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