Characteristics Explanation Indicative References
Pattern of interest in specific sports Children tend to ‘sample’ many sports,
and gradually specialise as they move into
adolescence, and then adulthood.
Côté & Vierimaa, 2014;
Gulbin, Croser, Morley, et al, 2013;
Strachan, Côté, & Deakin, 2009.
Motivation for playing Children’s self-reports for their motivation are primarily
(nearly universally) expressed in terms of ‘fun’,
although the interpretation of fun changes as they get old (from
predominantly hedonistic accounts to those involving
skill learning). Adults seem to be more interested in
context-specific outcomes (such as health, recreation,
competition, etc.).
Collins, Bailey, Ford, et al, 2012;
Dismore & Bailey, 2011;
Visek, Achrati, Mannix, et al, 2015.
Attention strategies Children tend to utilise ‘total’ strategies, with early
childhood associated with overly exclusive, and later
childhood with overly inclusive strategies.
Bailey, 2012;
Bjorklund, 2009
Social influencers Parents and siblings are the main social factors
influencing participation in sport (and other recreational
activities) during early and later childhood; from
adolescence into adulthood, peers become more potent.
Davison, 2004;
Partridge, Brustad, & Stellino, 2008.