Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Friday night lights (Television program), Adloescent psychology, Teenage athletes-Psychology, Team sports-Psychological aspects, Team sports-Social aspects, Winnicott, D. W. (Donald Woods), 1896-1971, Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984, Adolescents, Athletics


This theoretical study examined the impact of organized team sports participation on adolescent psychosocial functioning and development. Theoretical concepts were illustrated with examples present in the high school football themed television series, Friday Night Lights. Winnicottian theories were used to explain how athletics could facilitate adolescent development and be psychologically reparative for adolescents who experienced early childhood caregiver failures. In contrast, Foucauldian concepts were applied to demonstrate how disciplinary mechanisms in sports may augment the effects of internalized oppression for adolescents of color and economically marginalized adolescents. The study explored the possible impact of sports-based interventions for youth, cautioning social workers to consider the holding and disciplinary mechanisms that may occur in sports contexts when working with adolescent athletes or making referrals to sports programs, especially when in practice with adolescents from oppressed populations.




iii, 106 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 92-106)