A Dissertation Defense on the Impact of the Soccer Program at a Rural County High School on Females of Hispanic Descent on Social Development
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The social development of an adolescent is a complex process, and adolescent minorities face additional challenges. Female Hispanics take on many gender and cultural roles and face challenges of balancing school, home life, and community involvement. Extracurricular activities can help build traits that will impact a person for the rest of his or her life. It can connect a student to his or her community and teach life lessons. This qualitative case study focused on female Hispanic players that participated on the newly established soccer team at rural county high school for at least one season. Journal observations, interviews, and semi-structured open-ended questions were used to determine if the soccer program had any impact on the participants. Community members and teachers that worked with participants were also used as informants of the participants’ social interactions. Through the analysis of data, the researcher identified themes to match the four research questions. Themes of gender and racial equality, ability to engage in diverse situations, and school involvement all arose relating to the changed perception of social interactions since participating on the soccer program. Support groups, building relationships, and community integration were themes formed that related to the female Hispanic players’ relationships with others that were formed because of the interaction in the program. Leadership and pride and purpose were themes formed related to decision making characteristics that were taught in the program. Confidence, character building, soft skills, team concepts, and motivation to persevere were the final themes found related to lessons learned from the program.