Term of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Brandonn Harris

Committee Member 1

Katy Gregg

Committee Member 2

Daniel Czech


At-risk youth are children and adolescents who live in a negative environment and/or do not possess the skills they need in becoming responsible members of society (Collingwood, 1997). Many of these youth experience adjustment difficulties, behavioral problems, academic failure and dropout, or mental health difficulties (Moreau et al., 2012). One of the current resources for these youth has been sport-based interventions or physical activity to measure the benefits of psychosocial wellbeing among the adolescents. However, these have typically been outreach projects rather than research based. The current study analyzed the effectiveness of a life skills program called SUPER that used sport in a population of at-risk youth (Danish, 2002). There were also two additional mental skill modules implemented. A single subject ABA design was used. The researcher worked with three male participants using basketball to teach life skills to these youth. The life skills included managing emotions, goal setting, relaxation, confidence, mental preparation, and seeking help from others. The participants responded to a portion of the Life Skills Transfer Survey (Weiss, Bolter, & Kipp, 2014) as well as a portion of the Ottawa Mental Skills Assessment Tool (Durand-Bush, Salmela, & Green-Demers, 2001) to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. Results indicated that the intervention was effective at enhancing the ability for two of the three participants to use life skills they learned in the intervention. This study supports the use of sport-based interventions with at-risk youth as well as the use of individualized interventions to enhance the results.