University of Oulu

Ng, K.; Mäkelä, K.; Parkkari, J.; Kannas, L.; Vasankari, T.; Heinonen, O.J.; Savonen, K.; Alanko, L.; Korpelainen, R.; Selänne, H.; Villberg, J.; Kokko, S. Coaches’ Health Promotion Activity and Substance Use in Youth Sports. Societies 2017, 7, 4

Coaches’ health promotion activity and substance use in youth sports

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Author: Ng, Kwok1; Mäkelä, Kasper1; Parkkari, Jari2;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, 40014 Jyväskylä, Finland
2Tampere Research Centre of Sports Medicine, 33500 Tampere, Finland
3UKK Institute of Health Promotion Research, 33500 Tampere, Finland
4Paavo Nurmi Centre and Department of Health and Physical Activity, University of Turku, 20500 Turku, Finland
5Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine, 70100 Kuopio, Finland
6Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, 70210 Kuopio, Finland
7Clinic of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Foundation for Sport and Exercise Medicine, 00530 Helsinki, Finland
8Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute, 90100 Oulu, Finland
9Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
10Medical Research Center, University of Oulu and University Hospital of Oulu, 90220 Oulu, Finland
11Unit of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä, 40014 Jyväskylä
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-08-24


There is an increasing amount of evidence suggesting youth sports clubs are an important setting for health promotion. Adolescents in sport club settings can benefit from exposures of positive and negative consequences to health. To better understand the sport club context and coaches’ health promotion activity in substance use prevention, this study compares sport club members with non-members aged between 14–16 years old on their experience and use of alcohol, smoking and snuff and coaches’ health promotion activity on substances.

Methods: Adolescents (n = 671) from sports clubs and from matched schools (n = 1442) were recruited in this study. Multiple binary logistic regressions were performed on substance use.

Results: Higher prevalence of substance use was associated with discussions of substances, often held by coaches. Significantly fewer girls who are sport club members had experiences in alcohol, smoking or snuff than their non-member counter-parts, the differences among boys varied by substance. Fewer sport club members experienced smoking than non-members. More boys used snuff than girls.

Conclusions: The most salient points for health promotion were that girls who were sport club members used fewer substances and for boys the picture was more complicated. Coaches could be using reactive strategies through informal learning to address substance use in clubs, although more effective training on substance use for coaches is needed.

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Series: Societies
ISSN: 2075-4698
ISSN-E: 2075-4698
ISSN-L: 2075-4698
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Article number: 4
DOI: 10.3390/soc7020004
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
315 Sport and fitness sciences
Funding: This work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture (major, grant number: 6/091/2011), and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (minor, grant number: 152/THL/TE/2012)
Copyright information: © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (