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WHAT ARE THE ODDS? VARIABLES AFFECTING CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED SPORT AND DANCING
The Survey of Children’s Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2009
As with previous iterations, the 2009 CPCLA collected information on children's participation in selected organised cultural activities and organised sports outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview, and on participation in selected leisure activities (such as skateboarding or rollerblading, and watching television, videos or DVDs) outside of school hours during the most recent two school weeks prior to interview. The survey also collected data on the use of the internet in the last 12 months prior to interview and the ownership of mobile phones.
Multivariate analytical method
A multiple logistic regression analysis has been used to determine the relationship between the 20 selected variables and organised sport and dancing participation. This estimates the odds (or likelihood) of an event occurring given a set of explanatory variables. In this case, the likelihood of children participating in organised sport and dancing outside of school hours, given selected leisure activities, socio-economic background and demographic variables is modelled. The second part of the analysis seeks to identify any associations with either duration or frequency of participation, and is undertaken with non-participants removed from the model.
The dependant variable
The variable being determined by the logistic regression analysis is whether a child participated in organised sport or dancing outside of school hours at all in a 12-month period. In addition to organised sport and dancing participation, the analysis also estimates the effect of each variable on the duration and frequency of sports participation. Odds ratios for duration were established for three categories: 3 hours or more, 5 hours or more and 10 hours or more in the past two weeks. Frequency was grouped into 4 categories: 13 times or more, 27 times or more, 53 times or more, and 105 times or more sessions of participation in the 12 months leading up to April 2009.
The base case
The base case seeks to identify an average or typical situation with the relative impact of all explanatory variables being expressed relative to this. Any changes to this base case will only change what the results are relative to, but do not affect the results themselves.
The base case child takes on the following characteristics:
The 20 selected socio-economic, leisure and recreation variables were used to examine their association with participation in organised sport and dancing. While some of the activities included as explanatory variables can be regarded as sports, they were not organised and were therefore included as explanatory variables. These can be considered as physical activities that children may take part in, in addition to organised sport and dancing. For a complete list and permissible values for these variables, refer to Table 1 in the Appendix.
Although data for the recreational and leisure variables encompass only the participation in those activities for the two weeks prior to interview, these values are assumed to be indicative of the usual fortnightly participation by a respondent throughout the year and have been extrapolated to determine the sport participation rate which is collected over a 12 monthly period.
The analysis of participation rates, durations and frequencies was carried out by comparing the output result to the base case.
For each comparison an odds ratio was determined to establish how participation differs between children categorised by the selected variable. An odds ratio significantly greater than 1 means that the group is more likely to participate than the base case, whereas a value significantly less than 1 indicates that the group is less likely to participate. For example, an odds ratio of 0.83 for girls means that the participation in organised sport and dancing for a girl is 0.83 times that of the base case, or in other words, less than the odds of boys participating in organised sport and dancing.
The relationship between each variable and the duration (in hours per fortnight) and frequency (per 12 months) of participation in organised sport and dancing has been discussed in terms of the direction evident from the analysis. For example, looking at the duration of participation which can be found in Table 3 in the Appendix, children aged 5-7 years had odds ratios of 0.64 for 3 hours or more, 0.55 for 5 hours or more and 0.46 for 10 hours or more. Since these odds ratios are below one, they show that children aged 5-7 years were less likely to have the same level of duration of sports participation when compared with children aged 8-11 years. Table 5 in the Appendix presents a summary of the direction of the relationship between each explanatory variable, duration and frequency.
Values marked as not statistically significant were not significantly different from the base case at the 95% confidence level. This means that there is not enough evidence to suggest that the difference is meaningful with a 95% chance of accuracy. A difference between odds ratios may not be statistically significant due to sampling variability because estimates are based on a sample of persons.
For more information of standard error and statistical significance, please refer to the ABS (2012) Statistical Language Glossary.
An ordered summary of findings is included below in Table 1. Further information can be found in Tables 2 to 4 in the Appendix. Table 5 in the Appendix provides a comprehensive summary of findings including the results for duration and frequency of participation.
The CPCLA found that 513,300 (64%) children aged 5-7 years, 776,500 (71%) children aged 8-11 years and 581,300 (69%) children aged 12-14 years participated in organised sport and dancing in the 12 months leading up to April 2009. These values are consistent with the results of the analysis with children aged 12-14 years being less likely to participate than children aged 8-11 years (odds ratio 0.77). There was no significant difference between the odds of participation for children aged 5-7 years and children aged 8-11 years. Children aged 5-7 years were more likely to participate in organised sport and dancing for shorter durations and less frequently than children aged 8-11 years, while children aged 12-14 years were less likely to participate as frequently as 8-11 year olds.
The CPCLA showed that girls had a lower participation rate in organised sport and dancing (67%) than boys (70%). This is reflected in the analysis with girls having an odds ratio of 0.83 when compared with boys. Girls were also likely to participate less frequently than boys, but the duration of girls’ fortnightly participation was not different.
Family type and parental employment status
Children from a couple family with two employed parents were more likely to participate in organised sport and dancing than children from a couple family with one employed parent (odds ratio of 1.87). They also participated for longer and more frequently. Children living in a couple family with two unemployed parents were less likely to participate in organised sport and dancing than a child in a couple family with one employed parent (odds ratio of 0.68), however there was no difference in terms of the duration or frequency. Children with an unemployed single parent were least likely to participate (odds ratio of 0.56), and were also likely to participate less frequently and spend less time on organised sport and dancing.
The Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) is a set of four indexes used to classify geographic areas and reflect the socio-economic conditions of the people living in those areas. SEIFA summarises a variety of social and economic information to provide a more comprehensive assessment than those offered by measuring variables such as income or unemployment alone. Each area is classified into one of five quintiles, with the fifth being the highest socio-economic quintile and the first being the lowest socio-economic quintile. Additional information about SEIFA can be found at (ABS 2008) Information Paper: An Introduction to Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), 2006 (cat. no. 2039.0).
Distributing children according to their family’s SEIFA quintile showed that participation in organised sport and dancing varied widely with socio-economic status. Children from the 5th SEIFA quintile were found to be more likely to participate in organised sport and dancing than children in the 3rd, or base child, SEIFA quintile (odds ratio of 1.40), as well as being more likely to participate for longer periods and more frequently. Children from the two lowest (1st and 2nd) SEIFA quintiles were less likely to participate in organised sport and dancing than a child in the 3rd quintile (odds ratios of 0.72 and 0.78 respectively), and were less likely to participate for as long or as frequently. These results are supported by the CPCLA publication which shows that children in the highest quintile also had the highest participation rate of 80%. This dropped to a participation rate of 56% for children in the lowest quintile.
Background (birthplace of child and birthplace of parent)
Children who were born outside of Australia were less likely to participate in organised sport and dancing than children born in Australia (odds ratio of 0.72). Children with both parents born in a non-English speaking country had an odds ratio of 0.45, indicating a lower likelihood of participation in comparison to a child with at least one parent born in a main English-speaking country. Children born outside of Australia and children with both parents born in a non-main English speaking country were found to participate less often and spent less time taking part in organised sport and dancing.
State or territory of residence was not found to have a major bearing on children’s participation in organised sport and dancing for the majority of the states, except for Queensland (odds ratio of 0.79) and Tasmania (odds ratio of 0.73). According to the CPCLA publication, 66% of children in Queensland and 61% of children in Tasmania participated in organised sport and dancing.
The multivariate model results show that children in all states except for the Northern Territory were likely to spend less time on organised sport and dancing than children residing in New South Wales (the base case state). The likely frequency of participation was found to be higher for children residing in Victoria and South Australia and lower for children in Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory when compared with New South Wales.
LEISURE AND RECREATION ACTIVITY VARIABLES
Watching of television, DVDs or videos and screen based activities
Television and video games have traditionally been seen as a source of children’s physical inactivity. It was found that both these common leisure pastimes, in moderate amounts, did not have an impact on children’s participation in organised sport and dancing. Only children who watched over 40 hours per fortnight of television, DVDs or videos were less likely to participate in organised sport and dancing (odds ratio of 0.72). They were also less likely to participate as often or as long as children who watched under 20 hours of television, DVDs and videos a fortnight.
Children who participated in screen based activities for moderate amounts of time (1-4 hours per fortnight) were likely to participate in organised sport and dancing for longer periods of time and more regularly than those who did not participate in screen based activities. Children spending 5 or more hours per fortnight on screen based activities were likely to spend less time taking part in sport and dancing.
Use of the internet
Children who did not have use of the internet at home in the last 12 months were less likely to take part in organised sport and dancing than those who did (odds ratio 0.51), and participated for a shorter amount of time and less frequently.
Children who owned a mobile phone had higher odds of participating in organised sport and dancing (odds ratio of 1.30) and were also likely to participate more frequently and for longer periods of time than those who did not own a mobile phone.
Singing and playing a musical instrument
Involvement in music had a positive relationship with sport and dance participation. Results show that children who played a musical instrument for moderate amounts of time (1-4 hours per fortnight) were more likely to participate in organised sport and dancing than children who did not play a musical instrument (odds ratio of 1.31). Children who spent 1-4 hours per fortnight singing had similar results where they were more likely to participate in sport and dancing than those children who did not sing (odds ratio of 1.61). Frequency of participation was higher among children who played a musical instrument than those who did not, while children who spent more than 5 hours singing were likely to participate longer.
Drama and attendance of the performing arts
While only 5% of children participated in drama, this group was found to be highly active in organised sport and dancing (6% of total sport and dancing participants). Of the 126,700 children who were involved in drama, 110,000 (87%) children took part in sport and dancing.
The analysis shows that children who participated in drama for both moderate (1-4 hours per fortnight) and substantial (5 or more hours per fortnight) amounts of time were found to be more likely to take part in organised sport and dancing (odds ratios of 1.74 and 5.80 respectively). Those children who participated in drama also spent more time taking part in organised sport and dancing, and did so more regularly than children who did not take part in drama activities.
Children who patronised the performing arts had a participation rate in organised sport and dancing of 81% compared with 63% of children who did not attend any performing arts events. The multivariate analysis supports this, where children who attended the performing arts were more likely to participate in organised sport and dancing than those who did not. They also spent more time engaged in organised sport and dancing, and did so more frequently.
Non-organised physical activity (bike riding and skateboarding, rollerblading and using of a scooter)
While this analysis focuses on organised sport, children often take part in non-organised physical activities such as bike riding or skateboarding. CPCLA data shows that children spent 4.7 hours per fortnight bike riding and 5.9 hours skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter. These activities can compete for their time or act as a substitute for organised sport and dancing.
Organised sport and dancing participation had a similar relationship with bike riding and skateboarding, rollerblading and scooter use. Children who spent moderate amounts of time per fortnight (1-4 hours) on these activities were more likely to be involved in organised sport and dancing (odds ratios of 1.21 for bike riding and 1.27 for skateboarding, rollerblading and scooter use). Those who spent 5 or more hours per fortnight on these activities were similar in their sport and dancing participation to children who did not take part in any non-organised physical activities. The frequency and time spent on organised sport and dancing was higher for children who participated in either bike riding or skateboarding, rollerblading and scooter use than for children who did not, with the exception being children who spent 5 or more hours per fortnight on bike riding.
Art and craft activities
Children who spent 5 or more hours on art and craft were less likely to take part in organised sport and dancing than those children who did not spend any time on art and craft (odds ratio 0.68). Children who were engaged in art and craft were likely to have participated less often in organised sport and dancing, and for shorter periods of time, than children who did not.
Although popular media often portrays diligent students as not being “sporty”, the multivariate analysis has shown this to be a misconception. The analysis found that children who spent time on homework were more likely to participate in organised sport and dancing than children who did not do homework (odds ratios of 1.57 for those who do 1-4 hours of homework and 1.37 for those that do 5 or more hours). They also participated more frequently in organised sport and dancing and for longer amounts of time.
This was supported by the CPCLA data which showed that children who spent time on homework had a participation rate in organised sport and dancing of 71%, compared with 56% of children who did not spend time on homework (ABS 2009a).
Children who attended a museum between 1 and 4 times a year were more likely to participate in organised sport and dancing than those who do not attend a museum (odds ratio 1.19). Furthermore, all children who visited a museum, regardless of the number of their visits, participated in sport and dancing more regularly.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
From the results it is possible to identify a number of groups of children who are less likely to participate and/or participate for as long or as frequently, relative to the typical (or base case) child:
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2005, The Young and the Restful (Re-Visited) - The Effects of Recreational Choices and Demographic Factors on Children’s Participation in Sport, ABS, Canberra, Accessed 5 January 2012, <http://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/276912/
ABS 2008, Information Paper: An Introduction to Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), 2006, cat. no. 2039.0, ABS, Canberra.
ABS 2009a, Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, Apr 2009, cat. no. 4901.0, ABS, Canberra.
ABS 2009b, National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2007-2008 (Reissue), cat. no. 4364.0, ABS, Canberra.
ABS 2012, Statistical Language - Statistical Language Glossary, ABS, Canberra, Accessed 14 February 2012, <https://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/a3121120.nsf/home/statistical+language+-+statistical+language+glossary>
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2006, Australia’s Health 2006, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, cat. no. AUS 73, AIHW, Canberra.
Australian Sports Commission 2005, Guideline 2 - Getting Young People Involved, Australian Sports Commission, Canberra, Accessed 5 January 2012, <http://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/144612/Getting_young_people_involved.pdf>
Department of Health and Ageing 2010, Physical Activity Guidelines, Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra, Accessed 20 February 2012, <http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/health-pubhlth-strateg-phys-act-guidelines>
Monash Obesity and Diabetes Institute 2011, Facts & Figures Obesity in Australia, Monash University, Melbourne, Accessed 14 February 2012, <http://www.modi.monash.edu.au/obesity-facts-figures/obesity-in-australia/>
South Australian Government (SA Health) 2011, Parenting and Child Health Sport for Children, South Australian Government, Adelaide, Accessed 5 January 2012, <http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=114&np=301&id=1872>
State Government of Victoria 2011, Better Health Channel Sport and Children, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne, Accessed 5 January 2012, <http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Sport_and_children>
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