Minority Status, Social Welfare Status and their Association with Child Participation in Sporting, Cultural and Community Activities

Bryan Coughlan, Edel Doherty, Ciaran O'Neill, Brian E. McGuire


Participation in sporting, cultural and community activities can have significant emotional, physical and social benefits for children. A small literature now exists exploring the factors that promote or inhibit children’s participation in these activities. This paper adds to the literature using a large child-based dataset collected in Ireland, the Growing Up in Ireland dataset. The paper investigates the role of minority status as a barrier to child participation in a range of activities. Minority status in this paper is characterised as being non-Irish born, non-Roman Catholic, or having a family member in receipt of some form of social welfare. The association between such characteristics and child participation in sporting, cultural and community activities is examined using multivariate analyses. The results highlight that these factors are associated with lower participation in structured activities though the impact varies according to activity and minority grouping. The implications of the findings for policy are discussed.


minorities; social welfare; children; cultural participation

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