Introduction to GBA+

Youth fitness case study

Factor 4: GBA+ / Income

So far in this case study, we have considered gender and age. To ensure your initiative is effective, let’s consider an additional factor, one that is a strong determinant of participation (or non-participation) in sports: household income.

Youth from higher-income families are more likely to participate in team sports than those from lower-income families. The biggest barrier to sports participation for middle- to low-income families is financial, although issues of safety and parental involvement can also have an impact.

The participation gap between boys and girls narrows as income rises – suggesting that girls from lower-income families are particularly disadvantaged.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of girls from high-income families participate in sports compared to seventy-five percent (75%) of boys. Thirty-five percent (35%) of girls from low-income families participate in sports compared to fifty-two percent (52%) of boys.

Additional Research

Additional Research

  • Explanations for this variable exist in the research. Girls from lower-income families often have more responsibilities at home, particularly those from single-parent, low-income families. This, combined with issues of neighbourhood safety and availability of programming nearby, might help to explain the differences in the participation rate between boys and girls in lower-income families.