Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Sport and Exercise Psychology

Committee Chair

Damien Clement

Committee Co-Chair

Samuel Zizzi

Committee Member

Samuel Zizzi

Committee Member

Christiaan Abildso

Committee Member

Meredith Whitley


Adolescence is a formative developmental period where youth learn the life skills and values needed to become compassionate and civically-engaged young people and navigate increasingly challenging global environments. Youth in eSwatini face major context-specific challenges that impede their healthy development as well as limited engagement with government initiatives intended to support their development. This feasibility study aimed to employ youth sport as a creative and engaging context to facilitate life skills development in underprivileged youth in eSwatini. Specifically, this study explored the youth participation experiences, positive youth outcomes, and implementation successes and challenges of a sport program for underprivileged youth in a community in eSwatini. The sport program was designed using the teaching personal and social responsibility (TPSR) model, which is a well-established instructional model for life skills education through sport. Although this model had been widely applied in Western contexts, the current study explored how the model might operate differently in a non-Western context where youth face different developmental challenges. An intervention design was employed to implement a three-week sport program for youth in a small community in the Lobamba region of eSwatini. Local coaches were the primary implementers of the program and participants were youth (N=33), aged 11-15 years old, who attended the grade six and seven literacy development afternoon club at a community-based children’s organization. Findings from the current feasibility study provided further support for the value of using the TPSR framework in the design and implementation of sport-based life skills education programming in a novel youth context in eSwatini. The focus of the model on building caring coach-youth relationships, creating an enjoyable sport experience, fostering small successes, and providing intentional opportunities for youth to actively practice and engage in their own learning were the most meaningful elements of the model in the current youth context. The developmental outcomes and changes in life skills associated with participation in the current program may also be highly pertinent to helping youth navigate the most salient health and resource challenges in the community. Notably, the current study also identified culture and context-specific considerations that should be made when implementing TPSR-based youth programming in eSwatini. These included, but are not limited to, adaptations to the awareness talk and self-reflection time, the use of active learning strategies and behavioral management techniques, and the provision of fruit and food to meet basic survival needs. Continued future explorations of the program design elements and coaching strategies that most meaningfully contribute to a holistic youth development and a positive sport participation experience in eSwatini is warranted.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending