Washington D.C.: A team of British researchers has found that female student-athletes, who volunteer for community service and civic engagements, are less likely to engage in boozing or pot smoking .
Researchers from University of Missouri-Columbia in the US analysed more than 1,80,000 student-athletes from 450 colleges and universities compete in Division III sports, the largest NCAA division; nearly 44 percent were female.
“Past research has demonstrated that prosocial behaviours such as comforting or assisting others has long-term benefits for young people,” said study author Gustavo Carlo.
“For this study, we were interested in understanding how female student-athletes might be impacted by community service because they make up a growing number of the college population,” Carlo added.
In a five-year period, the participants in the study, self-reported their behaviours- such as willingness to volunteer and their individual alcohol and marijuana use.
“Female student-athletes experience increased demands while in college from coaches and professors to family and friends,” said another author Alexandra Davis.
“For student-athletes, helping others is a win-win situation,” Davis said.
“Community service not only reduces the risk of substance abuse, but also creates positive change in the community.”
“Bidirectional relations between different forms of prosocial behaviours and substance use among female college student athletes,” the authors concluded.
Research appeared in the Journal of Social Psychology.