Adrienne Edwards, Ph.D., CFLE


Social Work


College of Arts and Sciences


From an early age, many children are engaged in or connected to various sporting activities. In a recent study, the Aspen Institute (2018) reported that 61.1% of males between the ages of six and 12 had played a team sport at least one day in 2016. Statistical data on racial differences and child involvement in sport activities is sparse. However, while the research on Black sports socialization is limited, Stodolska, Shinew, Floyd, and Walker (2014) were able to link Black sport involvement to cultural and gendered forms of socialization, which is often perpetuated through interpersonal relationships and interactions. Despite the prevalence of Black boys participating in sports, the research on their sport socialization is limited. The purpose of this study is twofold; (1) To examine the nuances of how parents and community agents integrate racial socialization and gendered socialization during interactions with young Black boys, and (2) how that socialization influences young Black boys' perceptions of the importance of playing sports. To investigate these questions, Black boys, their parents, and community agents were interviewed to see what external influences in a Black boy’s life played a role in his sport socialization. Literature shows that interpersonal relationships can influence physical activity by providing social support and establishing social norms that constrain or enable health promoting behaviors.