Just released: April 1, 2018
Girls & Sports: A Girls' Index™ IMpact REport
FEMALE ATHLETES FARE BETTER IN NEARLY EVERY ASPECT OF ADOLESCENCE COMPARED TO NON-SPORT-PLAYING PEERS, ACCORDING TO NEW RESEARCH FINDINGS
2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four Legacy Project Brings to Light New Findings for Girls Who Participate in Sports from Groundbreaking Survey of 10,000+ U.S. Girls
COLUMBUS (April 1, 2018) - Ruling Our eXperiences, Inc. (ROX) announced new findings related to participation in sports from the largest study of its kind, The Girls' Index™: New Insights into the Complex World of Today's Girls, which surveyed 10,678 girls across the nation. Seeking to understand how findings vary for girls who participate in sports, ROX executed additional analysis into the robust data set to examine the relationship between sports participation and key personal, social, academic and relationship outcomes.
The Girls and Sports Impact Report was made possible by the Columbus Local Organizing Committee, as part of the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four Legacy Project. Complete report findings were released today by report author and ROX Founder/Executive Director Dr. Lisa Hinkelman at a special NCAA Women’s Final Four Beyond the Baseline event at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
The Girls and Sports Impact Report provides a deep examination of the insights from fifth- through 12tth-grade girls shared in The Girls' Index™ to unveil the differences between girls who report being involved in sports and their non-sports-playing peers. Research findings include:
- Girls who play sports report higher levels of confidence at all ages. Initial findings from The Girls’ Index found that girls experience a significant drop in confidence throughout middle school, however girls who play sports report confidence at consistently higher rates from 5th-12th grade. Specifically, in the 12h grade, female athletes experience a substantial increase (72 percent report being a confident person) not observed in their peer group (57 percent report being a confident person).
- Girls who play sports have higher GPAs and have higher opinions of their abilities and competencies. Sixty-one percent of high school girls who have a grade point average above 4.0 play on a sports team. Additionally, girls who are involved in sports are 14 percent more likely to believe they are smart enough for their dream career and 13 percent more likely to be considering a career in math and/or science.
- The Girls' Index™ found that girls who spend the most time using technology (8+ hours/day) are five times more likely to be sad or depressed nearly every day compared to the girls who spend four or fewer hours. Overall, female athletes use social media at lower rates than their peers and also experience less sadness and depression.
“Girls experience tremendous challenges with confidence, relationships and aspirations during their adolescent years. However, girls who participate on a sports team are more likely to have learned healthy ways to handle stressful situations, have more effective and supportive friendships with other girls and have increased career and leadership aspirations,” said Dr. Hinkelman. “Participating in athletics can be an important tool to help girls navigate adolescence.”
“We have always known that hosting the Women’s Final Four would create wonderful opportunities for Columbus to shine in the national spotlight, said Greater Columbus Sports Commission Executive Director Linda Logan. “But, this marquee event has also provided us the inspiration to learn more about how participation in sports positively affects the well-being of girls. Through the meaningful work of ROX and the Girls index we have learned just how impactful this relationship can be.”
Forthcoming Impact Reports
ROX will continue to take the lead in disseminating additional findings from The Girls’ Index™ survey. This Girls’ Index™ Research Brief provides the first look into the complex world of girls and helps illuminate many of the strengths and challenges facing girls today. Through this research with a large and representative sample of girls, we have developed high-level insights into girls’ lives and have established strong national statistics surrounding key areas impacting girls.
Through additional analyses and reporting, we will continue to contribute to the understanding of the world of girls through the release of additional Girls’ Index™ Impact Reports. These deep examinations into the complex relationships between and among key variables of girls’ lives will focus on speciality topic areas, such as: girls and sport participation; single-gender school vs. co-education outcomes; variances among geographic regions, school type and socio-economic status; and technology/social media. Subject-specific reports will provide deeper knowledge about the issues impacting girls and serve as a catalyst for the needed support, resources, policy changes, motivation and encouragement that girls need to be successful.