Defining contribution through sport using a scoping review method


Contribution is the ultimate outcome of Lerner's (2005) 5Cs model of positive youth development (PYD). However, contribution has yet to be clearly defined. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify properties of contribution and establish a theoretical definition of contribution through sport. Using a systematic six-stage scoping review method (Levac et al., 2010), a total of 1138 manuscripts were identified, and 75 were selected for inclusion. Descriptions and definitions of contribution and other prosocial terms (e.g., civic engagement) were extracted and synthesized to create a definition. Contribution was defined as: acting on beliefs and the behaviors that an individual performs purposefully with the intent of positively influencing other individuals, groups, or broader society to bring about a positive outcome for the beneficiaries. These actions involve moving beyond an exclusive self-interest or focus on oneself in order to benefit others or the common good. Additionally, an individual making a contribution to others may benefit directly or indirectly themselves. The specific behaviors that constitute contribution vary across contexts and reflect the values and social norms of each context. Twenty researchers (M=38.1 years old, SD=9.87; 5-30 years researching PYD) rated the content-validity of definition and each property on a six-point scale. Mean ratings of the definition and properties ranged from 5.05 to 5.70 and Aiken's V was used to assess the validity of the definition and properties (V range: 0.81-0.94, p<0.01). This theoretical definition of contribution will facilitate future PYD research by moving beyond individual PYD outcomes to include communal outcomes.

Acknowledgments: This research was supported by a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship