Exploring How Urban Male Youth Athletes Understand and Value Their Own Identities


  • Carter Rockhill Northern State University
  • Tarkington Newman University of New Hampshire
  • Donta Ingram The Ohio State University
  • Leeann Lower-Hoppe The Ohio State University
  • Shea Brgoch The Ohio State University


sport-based positive youth development, masculinity, race, faith, athletics


The purpose of the present study was to: 1) understand how youth from urban areas in the United States define their social identity through masculinity, race, faith, and athletics in the context of a sport-based PYD program; 2) explore the perceived importance of these identities; and 3) identify the influences associated with youth identity formation. Utilizing a thematic analysis and social identity theory, data were collected via semi-structured interviews of 14 youth between the ages of 14 and 18 years old participating in a sport-based PYD program, most of whom identified as Black. This sport-based PYD program, which focuses on these identity domains, was found to be a positive environment for aiding youth in the development of each of these identities.


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