Social Skill Transfer from a Sport-Based Positive Youth Development Program to the School Setting

Transferring Self Control to School


  • Scott Pierce Illinois State University
  • Travis Scheadler The Ohio State University
  • Dawn Anderson-Butcher The Ohio State University
  • Anthony Amorose Illinois State University
  • Rebecca Wade-Mdivanian The Ohio State University



sport-based positive youth development, life skill transfer, self-control, school settings, social skills


The present study explored the degree to which participants of one sport-based positive youth development (PYD) camp learned self-control skills and transferred self-control skills to school during the year after participation. The influence of contextual and personal factors on transfer also were examined. The sample included 176 who participated in the 2017 LiFEsports camp and then returned in 2018. Significant (p<.05) increases in self-control from the beginning (M=3.56) to the end of the 2017 camp (M=3.77) were found. Survey responses in 2018 found that 91% reported using self-control at school during the academic year post-camp participation. Open-ended responses revealed youths’ application of self-control at school to avoid problematic confrontations (e.g., walking away from a fight) and approach academics (e.g., working quietly by oneself). The frequency of self-control transfer to school was significantly predicted by a set of contextual and personal factors, (R2 = .48) including reflection on learning, personal importance, perceived autonomy, confidence in transferring self-control, and peers value of their use of self-control at school. Results suggest youth participating in sport-based PYD programs report transfer of self-control to school and point to important contextual and personal processes affecting life skills transfer.


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Author Biographies

Scott Pierce, Illinois State University

Associate Professor

Certified Mental Performance Consultant® (CMPC)

Graduate Program Director

School of Kinesiology & Recreation

Illinois State University

Campus Box 5120

265E McCormick Hall

Normal, IL 61790-5120

Phone: (309)438-2655

Travis Scheadler , The Ohio State University

MS in Exercise and Sport PSychology at University of KY

Current MSW/PHD student at The Ohio State University 

Anthony Amorose , Illinois State University

Full Professor 

Kinesiology and Recreation 

Illinois State University 


Rebecca Wade-Mdivanian , The Ohio State University


Director of Operations of the LiFEsports Initiative 






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