Psychological Effects of Athletics on Fragile Populations

Author: Laura Sullivan
Major: Psychology
Approved: Fall 2016
Status: Completed

I will analyze the correlation between team sports and healthy psychological traits by examining the effectiveness of programs that seek to use sport participation to improve the lives of underserved girls in fragile populations. For my project, I am going to conduct a literature review independent psychology study this spring to prepare for my trip to Peru to work with and conduct research on Girl Sport Works, an organization that brings athletics to girls in unstable populations. I will read the most recent articles that analyze similar projects that seek to use athletics and healthy living education to promote psychological benefits for young girls in poor countries. These articles will provide the framework for designing my research emphasis to test the impact of Girl Sport Works and possibly other similar programs. Then in the summer 2017 I will go to Peru for two to three weeks to live and work in the community where the program is present. Here I will experience firsthand the work they do within the community that will allow me to observe and interview the natives and project volunteers and managers about the effect of the program on the girls, as well as their families and communities. In the fall 2017 I will return to Roanoke to conduct an empirical independent psychology study to analyze my results and present my findings.