Introduction: Physical activity and exercise play an important role in the health of individuals within a society, including children and adolescents. Thus, the aim of this study was the exploration of the role of the background factors of family, peers, school, and media in the internalization of sports culture in children and adolescents.
Method: This qualitative study was conducted using content analysis method. The study population included experts in the field of child and adolescent sports (12 university professors of physical education, 4 heads of physical education of Iranian schools, 3 professors of education sciences who had a sport-related field of study, 4 professors of sport sociology, and 2 professors in the field of culture and sport). The subjects were selected using purposive sampling method. Data were collected through interviews. Data from the 25 semi-structured interviews were analyzed through Graneheim and Lundman approach to content analysis.
Results: Data from the 3 main categories of family and peers, school, and media were classified into 10 subcategories. The main category of family and peers consisted of the subcategories of emotional support by parents and peers, cognitive support by parents and peers, parents’ economic support, cooperation and participation of parents and friends, and competition with peers. The main category of school contained the subcategories of activities supported by facilities within the school, and out of school activities. The main category of media was classified into the subcategories of techniques used to attract, exercise training, and support models.
Conclusion: In the present study, it was found that family and peers, school, and the media have an important role in the internalization of sports culture in children and adolescents. Therefore, it is recommended that these groups attempt to develop this culture through relying on supportive, facility, and educational roles.