Influences of club connectedness among young adults in Western Australian community-based sports clubs
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© The Author(s). 2020 Published in BMC Public Health. This article is published under the Open Access publishing model and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Please refer to the licence to obtain terms for any further reuse or distribution of this work.
Background: Along with physical benefits, community-based sport provides opportunities to enhance connectedness, an important protective factor of social and emotional health. However, young Australians participating in sport have been found to drink alcohol at higher levels than their non-sporting peers, and many clubs serve unhealthy food and beverages. This study explored the association between the dependent variable, level of alcohol consumption (AUDIT-C) and connectedness to club and other health behaviours among young people aged 18-30 years who play club sport in Western Australia. Methods: An online cross sectional survey measured levels of alcohol consumption (AUDIT-C), alcohol-related harm, connectedness (including volunteering and team cohesion), mental wellbeing, healthy food options and club sponsorship among young adults aged 18-30 years involved in sports clubs in Western Australia (n = 242). Relationships and association between the dependent variable (AUDIT-C) and independent variables were assessed. Results: Male sportspeople were more likely to drink alcohol at high-risk levels than females (p <.001), and respondents belonging to a club that received alcohol-related sponsorship were more likely to drink at high-risk levels (p =.019). Females were significantly more likely to want healthy food and beverage options provided at their clubs (p = 0.011). When all factors were considered team cohesion (p = 0.02), alcohol expectations (p = <.001), occurrences of experienced alcohol-related harm (p = <.001) and length of club membership (p = 0.18) were significant predictors of high-risk AUDIT-C (R 2 =.34, adjusted R 2 =.33, F (4, 156) = 20.43, p = <.001). High-risk AUDIT-C and club connectedness predicted strong team cohesion (R 2 =.39, adjusted R 2 =.39, F (2, 166) = 53.74, p = <.001). Conclusions: Findings from this study may inform policy and practice to enhance healthy behaviours among young adults participating in community sports clubs in Australia and other countries.
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