The Effects of Sports Participation on Young Adolescents' Emotional Well-Being

By Donaldson, Sarah J.; Ronan, Kevin R. | Adolescence, Summer 2006 | Go to article overview

The Effects of Sports Participation on Young Adolescents' Emotional Well-Being


Donaldson, Sarah J., Ronan, Kevin R., Adolescence


Exercise and sports participation has been established as an important factor in reducing the risk of many physical problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and obesity (Schiffman, 1994). Current research suggests that sustained exercise may also enhance psychological or emotional well-being as it is often called, and therefore can be used as an additional therapy in the treatment of some psychological disorders (Pelham, Campagna, Ritvo, & Birnie, 1993). The most consistent message derived from the adult literature is that, kept within healthful limits, there is often a positive relationship between exercise and emotional well-being, generally confirming the "feel good" effect often reported by regular exercisers (Kremer & Scully, 1994).

The literature in the area of sport, exercise, and emotional well-being has focused primarily on the relationship between exercise, sports participation and anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and more recently on psychosocial stress (Biddle, 1992). Since these are among the most common problems brought to the attention of mental health professionals, the idea that exercise and sports participation may alleviate some emotionally related problems and improve self-concept is appealing.

Exercise has been found to improve mood in adults including alleviating many forms of depression (Schiffman, 1994; Cox, 1994; North, McCullagh, & Tran, 1990; Weinberg & Gould, 1995). Generally, the literature also supports a relationship between increased exercise and reduced anxiety in adults (King et al., 1993; Petruzzello et al., 1991). While research and meta-analytic findings of a beneficial relationship between anxiety and exercise, the evidence is not as strong as those claiming the benefits of exercise and sport on depression. It appears that aerobic exercise is more beneficial if one is anxious but for depression both aerobic and anaerobic exercise seems similarly effective.

Psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress of course are not restricted to the domain of adults (Cantwell, 1982). While not as extensive, some research has examined the links between exercise and sports participation in children and adolescents and reduced emotional and behavioral problems. Research suggests that the sport environment can provide socialization opportunities and place adaptive demands that are similar to those of other important life settings (Smith & Smoll, 1991). Organized sport is believed to influence the development of important behaviors such as cooperation, unselfishness, positive attitudes toward achievement, stress management, perseverance, appropriate risk-taking, and the ability to tolerate frustration and delayed gratification (Smith & Smoll, 1991). Through playing with others, children and adolescents can build cooperative relationships and meet their need to belong (Estrada, Geltand, & Hartmann, 1988). Similarly, they learn key cooperation skills as they work together and perform specific team roles. This need to be accepted and successful in one's peer group can be very strong especially as children enter adolescence. One way a young adolescent can gain acceptance and status among peers is to be good at activities valued by other youth. Sport provides an opportunity outside the classroom to do this, since athletic ability is often considered by their peers to be a strong social asset (Brustad, 1992).

The idea that youth who participate in sport exhibit fewer behavior problems has been supported by empirical studies. For example, in a large American study, Jeziorski (1994) found that participants in sports earned better grades, behaved better in the classroom, had fewer behavior problems outside the classroom, dropped out less frequently, and attended school on a more regular basis with fewer unexcused absences as compared to nonparticipants. Furthermore, Jeziorski found what nonparticipants were more likely to drop out of school, more likely to use drugs, more likely to become teen parents, more likely to smoke cigarettes, and more likely to have been arrested than were sport participants. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Effects of Sports Participation on Young Adolescents' Emotional Well-Being
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.