Participation in school sports: Risk or protective factor for drug use among Black and White students?

Marvin P. Dawkins, Mary M. Williams, Michael Guilbault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This study examined the relationship between participation in school-based sports and drug use among Black and White high school students, using data from participants in the National Educational Longitudinal Survey of 1988 (NELS, NCES, 1988) and follow-up surveys in 1990 and 1992. While previous research produced inconsistent results, the present study revealed that participation in school-based sports was associated with a reduction in cigarette and marijuana use, thus, serving as a protective factor for Black and White students. However, the protective role of sports involvement for alcohol use was present only among Black females. Participation in sports was associated with an increase in alcohol use (serving as a risk factor) among White males and females and Black males (after controlling for conventional predictors of alcohol use in adolescence). Implications for expanding the role of sports as a potential school resource in drug use prevention planning are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Negro Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology


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