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Identifying the value of martial arts on at risk youth

potential effects of kickboxing for youths in Arnhem Klarendal

Suntenmaartensdijk, S. van (2017). Identifying the value of martial arts on at risk youth: potential effects of kickboxing for youths in Arnhem Klarendal. Wageningen: Wageningen Universiteit.

The objective of this thesis is to identify the value of practicing martial arts on at risk youth. This study takes a single case study approach and carried out observations and semi-structured interviews at Kickboxing Arnhem. In total 23 stakeholders were interviewed about their perceptions towards kickboxing. This thesis reveals and explains the context of Kickboxing Arnhem and the value of kickboxing for at-risk youth. Results show that kickboxing has positive effects towards mental and somatic health and a number of health behaviors. According to interviews with kickboxers, parents and trainers and observations, kickboxing leads to improved self-confidence, improved self-regulation and increased respect. Besides, it was mentioned that kickboxing improved the shape and strength of youth, which plays an important part in building their mental and somatic health. Additionally, kickboxers and parents appreciate the tips of trainers about healthy nutritional behavior and seem to actively process this information. Furthermore, kickboxers from the competitive group pay attention towards smoking, alcohol and drug use. No effects have been found on the social and physical environment, since none of the interviewed stakeholders live in Arnhem Klarendal and their home environment is very stable. Kickboxers identify themselves as martial art participants. Identification to a group leads to improved self-esteem for youth. Besides, Kickboxing Arnhem seems to be a place where different classes, religions and races become one network. The trainers provide social support to youth, which can lead to improved self-confidence and can give constructive feedback on several health behavior. This could be crucial for the outcomes since they have a lot of influence on youth. This study is part of a growing body of research on the value of martial arts for youth and will contribute to a possible intervention for at-risk youth.

Uitgever(s): Wageningen Universiteit,


Identifying the value of martial arts on at risk youth

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Stijn van Suntenmaartensdijk

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kwetsbare jongeren