RISKY BEHAVIOURS AMONG YOUNG ELITE-STUDENT-ATHLETES

Abstract : Since the end of the 1980s, 'youth risky behaviours' have become a major issue for public health. The relationship between these behaviours and sporting activity is well-documented but still controversial. This article examines some sociological hypotheses related to this relationship, with data from a pilot survey conducted on a sample of 458 elite-student-athletes (ESAs) aged 16–24, gathered and trained in specialized public centres. We found a significant relationship between motives to do sport and 'risky behaviours': ESAs who considered sport as a convivial leisure were more prone to use cannabis, while ESAs who mingled sporting and extra-sporting achievements together were more likely to engage in risky behaviours on the road, possibly because they transposed values from the sporting field (speed, competition) into the 'real world'. Moreover, sporting activity may provide opportunities for drug use with peers as well as incentives to use drugs in order to cope with the anxiety induced by high-level competition. Thus 'recreational' drugs may be used as 'integrative' drugs.
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Patrick Peretti-Watel, Valérie Guagliardo, Pierre Verger, Jacques Pruvost, Patrick Mignon, et al.. RISKY BEHAVIOURS AMONG YOUNG ELITE-STUDENT-ATHLETES . International Review for the Sociology of Sport, SAGE Publications, 2004, 39 (2), pp.233-244. ⟨10.1177/1012690204043467⟩. ⟨hal-01697050⟩

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