Estimation of early sports specialization in adolescents in a Brazilian city
Keywords:adolescent, sport, athletic performance
The aim of the present study was to estimate the chance of early sports specialization in a school population. A questionnaire on Early Specialization was prepared, and 830 practitioners of different modalities answered demographic data. Participants were recruited from public and private schools. The classification of early specialization was based on self-rating methods and the three-point system. Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics, chi-square test and multinomial logistic regression analysis. The results showed that the chance for sports specialization by type of school is twice as high for public schools in the moderate (OR= 2.06; 95%CI 1.46–2.74) and high (OR= 1. 96; 95%CI 1.19–3.26) than private schools. The points system classified adolescents into levels: low, medium and high specialization, showing 61.8% (n= 495), 29.5% (n= 235), 8.7% (n= 70) respectively. Participants classified themselves as practicing a single (n= 405, 50.6%), or multiple sports (n= 396, 49.4%) through the self-classification system. Therefore, the chance of a student being specialized early is low, and the age variable was not determinant in influencing the specialization of students. However, sports specialization seems to be influenced by gender and school type.
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