Fútbol con Corazón: The Cultural Roots and Health Promoting Value of Soccer for Latin Children in the U.S.


Abundant literature has shown the benefits of sports after-school programs in terms of children’s development of socioemotional skills, reduction of internalized and externalizing disrupting behaviors, positive peer socialization, and prosocial behaviors. Nevertheless, lack of participation remains a challenge for many programs. For example, various research conducted in more than 60 cities in the US showed that only between 35% to 50% of children in need of after-school programs were enrolled in at least one of them. Research has also demonstrated the positive influence of a program’s cultural responsiveness and parental engagement in child attendance and program efficiency. Thus, it is important to understand parental engagement and child participation in after-school and sport-for-development programs in the United States. We conducted ten (10) interviews with parents residing in a primarily Hispanic-populated city in South Florida who had at least one child enrolled in a soccer-for-development program (FCC). We based the qualitative inquiry on the Theory of Plan Behavior to understand motivations and barriers for parental engagement. We conducted a codebook thematic analysis, in which two researchers analyzed the transcripts independently, then discussed their disagreements and finally found a consensus. In conclusion, the cultural root that soccer resembles, their child’s perceived physical and mental health benefits, the predominantly positive experience with the staff, and the closeness to the park where the program takes place were the most relevant factors in improving parental engagement.


Eduardo De La Vega Taboada
Student, PhD Candidate in Psychology-Developmental Sciences, Florida International University, Florida, United States


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Sport and Health


Wellbeing, Soccer, Culture, Afterschool, Socioemotional

Digital Media

This presenter hasn’t added media.
Request media and follow this presentation.