How school-based dancing classes change affective and collaborative networks of adolescents

Lysann Zander, Madeleine Kreutzmann, Stephen West, Ellen Mettke, Bettina Hannover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: The present research investigated the effects of adolescents' co-participation in a federally funded dance intervention project on students' affective and collaborative networks. In the intervention, students instructed by professional dancers collaboratively developed a dance-choreography during regular class hours in student groups. We expected that the number of reciprocated affective and collaborative ties should increase in classrooms participating in the intervention, but that boys should particularly benefit from the intervention. Design: We used a quasi-experimental untreated control group design with dependent pretest and posttest samples. Participants were 421 youths (48% boys) in 23 classrooms of primary and secondary schools in Berlin, Germany. Of these, 226 (54%) participated in the intervention. Classrooms from the same grade and school were recruited as comparison groups. We assessed both networks using sociometric questionnaires. Method/Results: We found a significant Treatment×Gender interaction showing that reciprocated collaborative relations increased only for boys in the intervention group. Analyses probing potential mechanisms showed this was due to their choosing more collaboration partners, in particular more girls. Conclusion: Findings suggest that school-based dancing programs encouraging coordinated physical activity in student groups may be particularly beneficial for boys, encouraging them to consider girls as academic cooperation partners and to proactively develop their collaborative networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-428
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Boys
  • Collaboration
  • Dance intervention
  • Peer relationships
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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