The purpose of critically reviewing journal articles is to develop the ability to understand the articles and review the scientific literature (Kowalski et al., 2014). For carrying out such critical review, there is a necessity to read the article in a proper manner for understanding what the report is about, the person who is reporting and how the subject is being investigated (Jha et al., 2013). It is very much crucial to take into consideration all the details and implications of the research (Elo et al., 2014). Writing a critical review implies that a systematic examination is done, and there is a discussion of all the details of the research. It is vital to comment on both the limitations and strengths of the research while taking a position with other literature for supporting the statements (Polga & Thomas, 2013).
The present critical review is of a research article using the MSC-554 Guidelines for Reviewing Research Parts I & II.
Adachi, P., & Willoughby, T. (2013). It’s Not How Much You Play, but How Much You Enjoy the Game: The Longitudinal Associations Between Adolescents’ Self-Esteem and the Frequency Versus Enjoyment of Involvement in Sports. J Youth Adolescence, 43(1), 137-145.
The reason for conducting the research study was to examine the longitudinal association between frequency and enjoyment of involvement of sports and self-esteem of adolescents.
Involvement in sports has been identified to be related with positive and constructive youth development in the society for a long time. This includes self-esteem, which makes up an important element of the features of human being that are enhanced by taking part in sports (Marques et al., 2016). Interestingly, the involvement in sports and self-esteem has been taken up for analyzing the impact both have on each other. The frequency of participating in sports has been both longitudinally and concurrently associated with higher self-esteem (Noordstar et al., 2016). There lies a hypothesis that involvement in sports causes higher degree of self-esteem with time. This is considered as a socializing effect. However, no research has been undertaken for testing the fact that higher levels of self-esteem results in more participation in sports, considered as a selection effect (Finez et al., 2012). Another very important aspect of participation in sports having relation with self-esteem is the extent to which youths enjoy taking part in sports and getting actively involved in it (Joseph et al., 2014). However, no research had been conducted previously on this concerned topic in spite of the fact that this aspect draws much attention for analyzing the impact of enjoyment of sports on self-esteem. A gap had therefore been formed in the literature that can throw light on this aspect. The present study was to address such significant gap in the literature.
The aims of the research were two-fold. The first aim of the research was to undertake an examination of whether self-esteem can make a prediction of the frequency of involvement in sports with time or whether the frequency of involvement in sports can make a prediction of self-esteem with time. This was done by conducting an examination of the bidirectional association between self-esteem and the frequency of involvement in sports. The second aim of the research was to research on the bidirectional association between self-esteem and the enjoyment of sports with time. For the first goal, it was hypothesized that higher levels of self-esteem would foresee greater frequency of involvement in sports over time. This was the selection effect. There was no explicit hypothesis on the relation between frequency of involvement in sports and prediction of self-esteem. For the second goal, it was hypothesized that enjoyment of sports would be associated with self-esteem. There was no specific hypothesis regarding whether self-esteem would make a prediction of the enjoyment of sports or whether the enjoyment of sports would make a prediction of self-esteem.
For addressing the goals, a longitudinal study was undertaken over a period of 4 years on high school students. There was a simultaneous assessment of the selection and socializing hypothesis in the relation between self-esteem and frequency of involvement in sports. The research also studied the bidirectional relationship between self-esteem and enjoyment of sports while controlling for the frequency of involvement in sports. Finally, there was an assessment of whether gender acted as an important moderator of the established results. A longitudinal study is the observational study where data is accumulated for a long period from the same subjects. Such study makes a comparison over time, unlike cross-sectional study, where such comparisons are made a one point of time (Le Cam et al., 2015). As the research aim was to determine the visions and feelings of the participants depending on a variable that requires long time span, that is involvement in sports, the approach of undertaking longitudinal study was best. The advantage of a longitudinal study is that there is a chance of detecting developments and changes in the features of the concerned participants in details (Magnusson, 2015).
The study was conducted on 1492 number of students from eight high schools in Ontario, Canada, over a period of 4 years. The mean age was 9 to 13 years, ten months. The special feature of the study was that it was a section of a more extensive cohort-sequential project on youth lifestyle choices. 92.4 % of the participants had birth place Canada. The other ethnic background other than Canadian were French, Italian, German and British. Moreover, 70 % of the participants lived with both parents, 15% with one birth parent, 12% with one biological parent and one step-parent, and the remaining with other guardians. Participants who completed the test at a minimum of 2 points of time out of four times were included. This made up 1472 participants out of the total sample of 1771 youths. 50.8% of the participants were female.
Maintaining ethics is an important part of the research (Miller et al., 2012). There are many causes why it is required to obey to ethical rules in conducting research. Ethics endore some values crucial for collaborative work, like trust, accountability and fairness. It also promotes the purpose of the research (Millum & Sina, 2014). Many of the rules in ethics ensure that research can be held responsible to the public. The present study followed ethical viewpoint by getting an approval of the research procedure from the University Research Ethics Board. Informed consent from the participants is the most crucial part of following ethics. Active, informed consent was taken from the participants. The parents of the participants were also involved in the process of getting informed assent. Participants were informed that the responses would be confidential.
The frequency of involvement in sports was measured with the help of two items based on a 5-point scale. The Enjoyment of Sports was also measured by a 5-point scale. The measurement of self-esteem was done with Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale. For assessing longitudinally the selection and socializing hypotheses between self-esteem and the frequency of involvement in sports a 4-wave autoregressive cross-lagged model in AMOS 19 was created. For further eliciting the relationship between self-esteem and sports, a test of bidirectional association between enjoyment of sports and self-esteem was added. For simultaneously assessing the selection and socializing hypothesis between enjoyment of sports and self-esteem while having control over the frequency of involvement in sports, a three wave autoregressive cross-lagged model was created in AMOS 19. Gender also included as a moderator in all the analysis.
Higher degree of self-esteem were found to be having relation with greater involvement with sports. However, greater involvement in sports was not found to be having relation with higher levels of self-esteem. This supported only selection effects. When the bidirectional effects between self-esteem and enjoyment of sports were tested, it was found that both socialization and selection held true. On a specific manner, more enjoyment of sports indicated more self-esteem. Higher self-esteem gave the indication of greater enjoyment of sports. Such findings highlighted the fact that adolescents who had higher self-esteem take up sports in a more frequent manner and they also enjoy sports to a greater extent than those who have lower self-esteem. Moreover, the extent to which they enjoy sports are more significant in increasing the levels of self-esteem than the frequency of playing sports. No important differences in the pattern of findings as a function of gender was present.
The study had some important limitations. These cropped up from the dependence on self-report measures. The measures of adolescents’ enjoyment of sports and involvement in sports were limited in several ways.
Construct validity is the suitability of inferences made based on observations or measurements (Sheahan et al., 2015). For the present research, it had justified construct validity as the inferences and results could satisfy the research objectives. Internal validity is the estimated truth about inferences in relation to cause-effect relationships (Woodman, 2014). The present research had fulfilled internal validity as it was successful in establishing the cause and effect relation between frequency of taking up sports, higher enjoyment of sports and self-esteem in a clear manner. External validity is the extent to which the results of a study has the potential to be generalized to other people and situations (Mitchell, 2012). For the present research, it had external validity as the results can be generalized to the general population as there was no gender bias and discrimination of ethnicity and research setting.
Future research may be carried out on the same concerned topic with some distinct changes. Future studies can benefit from undertaking assessment of the involvement of youth in sports by taking into consideration of how often they play and the period for which they play. In spite of the fact that the measure of adolescents’ enjoyment of sports possessed a good face validity, more advantage can be gained by using a multi-item measure, like the 8-item scale used by Shaffer and Wittes (Rizer et al. 2016) for future research. This would give the feature of assessing the internal reliability of the measure.
Overall, the research study was a significant one that was successful in drawing clear answers to the research questions. The findings signify vital developments in the general conceptualizing of the relation between self-esteem and sports, making the research a reliable one.
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