<p>The Fun Integration Theory: Towards Sustaining Children and
Adolescents Sport Participation
Amanda J. Visek1, Sara M. Achrati2, Heather Manning1, Karen McDonnell3, Brandonn S.
Harris4, and Loretta DiPietro1
Amanda J. Visek: firstname.lastname@example.org; Sara M. Achrati: email@example.com; Heather Manning: firstname.lastname@example.org; Karen
McDonnell: email@example.com; Brandonn S. Harris: firstname.lastname@example.org; Loretta DiPietro: email@example.com
1Department of Exercise Science, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
2School of Medicine, Boston University, Boston, MA
3Prevention and Community Health, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
4Department of Health & Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
BACKGROUND—Children cite ‘fun’ as the primary reason for participation in organized sport
and its absence as the number one reason for youth sport attrition. Therefore, the purpose of this
study was to develop a theoretical framework of fun using a novel mixed-method assessment of
participants in sport (FUN MAPS) via concept mapping.
METHODS—Youth soccer players (n = 142), coaches (n = 37), and parents (n = 57) were
stratified by age, sex, and competition level and contributed their “fun” ideas through: (a)
qualitative brainstorming, identifying all of the things that make playing sports fun for players; (b)
sorting of ideas; and (c) rating each idea on its importance, frequency, and feasibility.
RESULTS—The FUN MAPS identify the four fundamental tenets of fun in youth sport within 11
fun-dimensions composed of 81 specific fun-determinants, while also establishing the youth sport
CONCLUSION—The FUN MAPS provide pictorial evidence-based blueprints for the fun
integration theory (FIT), which is a multi-theoretical, multidimensional, and stakeholder derived
framework that can be used to maximize fun for children and adolescents in order to promote and
sustain an active and healthy lifestyle through sport.
Concept mapping; mixed-method; physical activity; youth sport
Sports are i