The social mechanism called social mobility involves many factors which become social sifting devices for selecting, promoting, or demoting individuals and distributing them in terms of social class.

Athletic sports and games, as common denominators, bring youth from various socioeconomic levels together on a common basis. The athlete in school tends to become more socially mobile than the non-athlete and, other things being equal, has greater opportunity to achieve upward social mobility.

Annarino found a critical ration of 9.0 favouring greater campus social mobility for Purdue athletes as reflected by their dating girls in socioeconomic levels superior to their own.

La Place studied personality traits in relation to success in professional baseball. Results indicated that major league players were better able than minor league players to apply their strong drive toward a definite objective, to adjust to occupations requiring social contact or the ability to get along with others, and to exercise initiative.


Popp had five administrators and teachers select ten boys “most nearly like sons they would like to have” and ten boys “least like sons they would like to have.” Of the boys who fell into the desirable category, 69 percent had high PFl’s; of the boys in the undesirable category, 75 percent had low PFI’s.

Cowell, in a study of 1400 boys and girls in grades 7 to 12, indicted that the purposes students try to satisfy in physical education change with the process of maturation but “mastery of game skills,” “to have fun,” and to “learn to control myself and be a good sport,” are strong in both sexes.

Muscular development is strong for boys at all levels but is a fairly strong purpose with girls only at ages 12 and 13. Social purposes related to submerging one’s ego for the good of the team, “to be with my friends,” and “to get along with and understand others” are well up in the upper half in the ranking of student purposes by both sexes.

Cowell, Daniels, and Kenney studied the purposes that 500 male first-year college students endeavoured to fulfill by means of physical education activities.


The students considered that purposes such as “to learn to control oneself and be a good sport,” “to make new friends,” “to feel that he/she belong to a group,” and “to get along and understand other people,” had the same index of strength as the purpose “to develop strong muscles.”