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Jasna Lulic Drenjak1,2, Mateo Blazevic2, Nataša Zenić2

1University of Rijeka, Faculty of Health Studies, Rijeka, Croatia
2University of Split, Faculty of Kinesiology, Split, Croatia

Analysis of the Relationships between Sport Participation, Physical Activity, and Concurrent Substance Misuse in College Students: A Gender-Stratified Analysis in the Post-Pandemic Period

Sport Mont 2024, 22(1), 99-107 | DOI: 10.26773/smj.240214


The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in increased substance use and misuse (SUM). The period in which one undergoes college education is known to be associated with a greater risk of SUM, and there is a need for greater awareness of the risks associated with concurrent SUM in the post-pandemic years. The aim of this study was to evaluate the gender-specific relationships between physical activity levels (PAL), sport participation, and concurrent SUM among college students in the first post-pandemic year. The participants were college students from Croatia and from Bosnia and Herzegovina (n=398) who were tested on sport factors (involvement in individual and team sports, time of involvement, frequency of training, sport achievement), physical activity levels (PALs), and concurrent SUM (simultaneous consumption of cigarettes and alcohol) by using structured anonymous previously validated questionnaires immediately after the pandemic period. Sport factors and PALs were not significantly associated with concurrent SUM in the total sample or in male students. In female students, higher competitive achievement in sports was shown to be associated with the risk of concurrent SUM (OR=1.45, 95%CI:1.11-1.98). The results evidenced an increased risk of concurrent SUM in female students who achieved greater success in sports. Therefore, it seems that public health authorities should develop specific educational and preventive programs in female athletes. The timing of this study was in the first post-pandemic year which could have at least partially influenced our findings.


substance use, sport participation, physical activity, healthy lifestyle, pandemic

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