Sport and Crime Revisited: Participation, Capitalization, and Risk of Arrest Over the Life Course

Darren Wheelock, University of Minnesota
Jeremy Staff, University of Minnesota
Ross MacMillan, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Douglas Hartmann, University of Minnesota

This research proposes and assesses a "capitalization" model of sport participation and involvement in crime and deviance. While sport participation has beeh a constant theme in criminological work, results have shown variable effects. This research begins by examining sport within the context of life course capitalization processes. Specifically, we consider how sport participation facilitates or inhibits the accumulation of human, social, and cultural capital that characterize normative trajectories through life yet also serve as resources in the control of criminal and antisocial behavior. Using data from a prospective longitudinal survey, our research involves two parts. First, we create a typology of sport participation that emphasizes the degree to which involvement was part of more general life course capitalization processes. Second, we examine the degree to which different types of sport participation influence risk of arrest over the life course. In doing so, our research emphasizes the larger institutional embeddedness of sport participation in adolescence and furthers understanding of sport as an aspect of adolescent development that has important implications for involvement in crime and deviance over the life course.

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Updated 05/20/2006