Sports That Lift The Mood Of Children


Is sport good for children after all? And which sports are emerging as strong allies for their mental health? New research brings some interesting findings to light.

The contribution of children to team sports seems to be important to their mental health, according to a large-scale study of children and adolescents in the United States.

To the surprise of many, the same study found that children who participated in individual sports were more likely to have mental health problems, even more than children who did not play sports at all.

The new findings reinforce the findings of previous research, which shows that youth participation in team sports acts significantly as a shield against potential mental health problems they may face.

However, there have been studies that have shown that many young people who participate in sports show worse mental health. It was therefore necessary to conduct further research to determine which aspects of sport are beneficial and which can be negative.

The research team analyzed data on the sports habits and mental health of 11,235 children aged 9 to 13 years. The children’s guardians participated in this analysis, who reported various aspects of the children’s mental health by filling out a form.

The researchers looked for correlations between children’s mental health data and children’s sports habits. They also looked at other factors that could affect their mental health, such as household income and overall physical activity.

Sports That Lift The Mood

The results confirmed analysts’ initial estimates, as children involved in team sports were less likely to show signs of anxiety, depression, defeatism, social problems and attention disorders.

The researchers also expected that even participation in individual sports would protect children from any mental health problems, albeit to a lesser extent. This, however, was not confirmed. On the contrary, the research showed that children who participated exclusively in individual sports tended to experience greater mental disorders than those who did not play sports at all.

Nevertheless, in the case of women, it was found that engaging in sports, regardless of the type of sport, was associated with a lower likelihood of delinquent behavior compared to non-participation.

Sports that lift the mood

Overall, the new research findings add to a growing body of evidence that team sports have a positive effect on the mental health of children and adolescents.

According to the researchers, further research would be needed to clarify more precisely the negative relationship between individual sports and the mental health of young people, while timeless observations are needed to investigate in general any causal relationship between participation in sports and mental health.

The research team concludes: “Children and adolescents who participated exclusively in team sports, such as basketball or football, experienced fewer mental disorders compared to those who did not participate in any team sports. However, to our surprise, young people who participated only in individual sports, e.g. in tennis, they recorded more disturbed mental health compared to those who did not participate in team sports “.

So, there are indeed sports that lift the mood. All you need is to find yours.

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