Athletic Participation and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization: Investigating Sport Involvement, Self-Esteem, and Abuse Patterns for Women and Men

Academic Article


  • This study used representative, quantitative data from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and explored the relationship between young adults’ sport participation and experiences of intimate partner violence victimization (IPVV) for both women and men. Past research has suggested that sports participation, especially among women, results in increased self-esteem, a prominent protective factor against experiencing IPVV. We found that sports participation was associated with a lower prevalence of experiencing IPVV, but only for women. In addition, this pattern held after controls for race, mother’s education, age, number of relationships, and the hypothesized pathways of self-esteem and alcohol consumption. However, controls for the young adult’s own education completely mediated the association between sports participation and IPVV. Additional analyses indicated that higher education reduced the risk of experiencing IPVV and increased the likelihood of sports participation. Nonetheless, even among women with the highest educational attainment, sports participation was associated with lower prevalence of experiencing IPVV.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Milner AN; Baker EH
  • Start Page

  • 268
  • End Page

  • 289
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 2