International Journal of Adolescence and Youth (2020-12-01)

Integration of immigrant youth in Sweden: does sport participation really have an impact?

  • Erik Lundkvist,
  • Stefan Wagnsson,
  • Louise Davis,
  • Andreas Ivarsson

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 25, no. 1
pp. 891 – 906


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Sport participation for youth with immigrant background is often argued to play an important role for migrant youth integration into their new host society. Although few well sampled longitudinal studies has been conducted. The aim of this study was to study the impact that sport participation has on two integration-related outcomes (problem behaviours and native friends) by using the Swedish version of the longitudinal CILS4EU study. The multi-group latent growth curve models showed that although youth active or starting in sport independent of immigrant background did less problem behaviours and had more native friends than their peers with the same immigrant background that was not engaged in sport. However, the trajectories were very similar and often very close to zero, which makes it difficult to claim that sport participation has any significant impact on integration in the Swedish society.