Ibero-American Journal of Exercise and Sports Psychology

RUGBY, SELF-PERCEPTION AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR: EVIDENCE FROM THE ITALIAN “RUGBY PROJECT FOR SCHOOLS”

Abstract

Miriam Parise, Ariela F. Pagani, Veronica Cremascoli, & Raffaella Iafrate

It is widely acknowledged that sport promotes positive youth development. Among team sports, rugby is believed to convey high educational values and to foster individual and social abilities. However, no scientific attention has been devoted to the investigation of the benefits of playing rugby on developmental outcomes. This study examined the effectiveness of a school-based rugby introductory training course (“Rugby Project For Schools”) in a sample of one hundred and three Italian adolescents, sixty-three attending the program (rugby group), and forty not taking part in the project (control group). Results of a series of one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) showed that, controlling for initial scores, adolescents in the rugby group had higher post-intervention scores of positive self-perception in terms of perceived self-efficacy in dealing with negative emotions, self-efficacy in expressing positive emotions, social self-efficacy, and empathic self-efficacy, and higher scores of pro-social behaviour than adolescents in the control group. This study encourages the spread of rugby programs in schools as a means of enhancing self-efficacy and pro-sociality dimensions.

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