Recent Articles

Nominations Open For 2023 JSFD Early Career Scholar Award

We are pleased to announce the fourth annual call for nominations for the “JSFD Early Career Scholar Award,” to be awarded to an early career JSFD author in recognition of significant scholarly contributions to the sport for development field. The winner of the award will be recognized online and in a newsletter shared with all JSFD followers.

Call for Expressions of Interest for JSFD Co-Editor, Managing Editor, Copy Editor, and Layout Editor Vacancies

The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal. JSFD’s mission is to advance, examine, and disseminate evidence and best practices for programs and interventions that use sport to promote development, health, and/or peace. The JSFD Editorial Board is seeking expressions of interest for the role of Managing Editor until December 13, 2022.

Volume 10, Issue 2 published

The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of the second issue of the journal’s tenth volume.

Volume 10, Issue 1 published

The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of the first issue of the journal’s tenth volume.

Diving Into a New Era: The Role of an International Sport Event in Fostering Peace in a Post-Conflict City

This article investigates community development and social impacts of hosting an international sport event in a post-war city still marred by social divisions and internal conflict. Focusing on the case of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, this research examines resident perceptions of the recurrent Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event. The framework of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) guides this inquiry toward understanding how sport events can help facilitate greater unity and peace in transitional settings experiencing persistent social divisions. Qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with residents are supported by findings from a resident survey. The findings illustrate how sport events can help to transform communities in line with SDP goals by fostering spaces for social cohesion, generating collective pride, and offering new senses of possibility and opportunity for the city. These outcomes can occur even if the event organization is not explicitly driven by an SDP mission. Perceptions of trust and neutrality are important factors in how community members assess the event and its organizing body. This research highlights the role of international sport events in community development and calls attention to the importance of understanding local context and engaging a broad range of community members.

Understanding sport as a vehicle to promote positive development among youth with physical disabilities

Research has explored the benefits and challenges associated with sport participation among youth with physical disabilities (YWPD), however few studies have attempted to understand how sport may facilitate or hinder positive development. Positive youth development (PYD) is a widely used approach to understand youth development through sport, however limited research exists among YWPD. To address this gap, the study adopted Holt and colleagues’ (2017) model of PYD through sport to (a) uncover YWPD’s perspectives on the developmental outcomes associated with organized sport participation and (b) understand perceived social-contextual factors influencing these outcomes. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted among YWPD (N = 9; age between 14-21; seven male participants, two female participants). Outcomes discussed were mostly positive, though some participants reported negative outcomes. Participants experienced positive physical, social, and personal outcomes including the development of life skills. Positive outcomes were largely influenced by a sport climate that was supportive and encouraging, facilitated personal growth and athletic development, and promoted a sense of community and connectedness. These findings further our understanding of the utility of organized sport as a context to promote PYD among YWPD, and suggest that fostering experiences of mastery, belonging, challenge, and autonomy may be critically important.

JSFD Announces 2022 Early Career Scholar Award Recipient Dr. Mitchell McSweeney

The Journal of Sport for Development is delighted to announce Dr. Mitchell McSweeney has been selected as the 2022 JSFD Early Career Scholar Award recipient. The annual award, established in 2019, recognizes an early career JSFD author in recognition of significant scholarly contributions to the sport for development field.

Experiences abroad: The impacts of an international sport for development trip on American young women

While the field of Sport for Development (SFD) has grown over the last several decades, there remain gaps within program evaluation. Given that there are multiple models of programming SFD, Goals for Girls, a U.S. based SFD non-profit organization that uses soccer-based trips abroad to empower young women, provided a strong platform for study. The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of a SFD trip abroad on American young women. Through interviews with over 30 young women spanning 13-years of programming, three themes and five sub-themes emerged. Collectively, the trips impacted the young women in the areas of relationship building, expansion of perception, and desire for change. The authors suggest that programming like Goals for Girls highlights both the strengths and challenges inherent in SFD.

Improving adult women’s emotional health in rural Kenya through community soccer and the role of social support: A mixed-methods analysis

This study examines the contribution of a recreational adult women’s soccer league in rural Kenya to the development goals of enhancing social support, building community cohesion, and improving women’s emotional health. Using a sequential explanatory mixed methods approach, 702 members of a women’s health and literacy program, 229 of whom played in the program’s soccer league, completed surveys about various aspects of their lives. A five-item scale, perceived support from friends (PSF), queried women’s access to emotional and instrumental support; an exploratory factor analysis confirmed this scale’s suitability as a single measure. Bivariate and multivariate analyses examined attributes associated with PSF. Based on these findings, a purposive sample of 229 soccer league members participated in focus group discussions. Women’s perceptions were examined using thematic analysis. Quantitative findings indicated that soccer league members had greater odds of reporting high social support than their non-soccer-playing peers. Qualitative findings from the final analysis sample of 201 women suggested that soccer provided a social space in which team members formed a network of friendships within and across villages, providing emotional and instrumental support they associated with decreased stress and improved well-being. Given the positive effects of soccer on adult women’s lives, similar programs, particularly in rural settings with limited resources, should be considered as development strategies.

Moving beyond disciplinary silos: The potential for transdisciplinary research in Sport for Development

The Sport for Development (SfD) field is transdisciplinary by nature, and yet scholars tend to stay within their disciplinary perspectives in their study of SfD. There is a need for more collaborative and collective approaches in SfD research. Transdisciplinary research facilitates conceptual, theoretical, philosophical, and methodological innovations that transcend disciplinary boundaries, creating new knowledge that can advance a field. The purpose of this paper is to critically review the disciplinary trends in SfD research within (respectively) sport sociology, social anthropology, sport management, public health, leisure, sport pedagogy, and sport psychology, with a particular focus on where there may be intersection, duplication, obfuscation, and omission between these disciplines. Disciplinary intersections are then considered, along with gaps in the SfD evidence base that are ripe for transdisciplinary research. The paper concludes with an exploration of possibilities for future transdisciplinary research in SfD.