Children who participate in team sports less likely to experience mental health issues

FULLERTON, Calif. -The study found that children who participate in games with teams, such as basketball and football, have a lower chance of developing mental health issues, per a new study.

Researchers also discovered that kids who participate in individual sports such as golf, tennis, or gymnastics are more likely to suffer from mental health problems than those who don’t participate in sports all the time. The research results come from an extensive study of over 11,200 American youngsters aged between 9 and 13.

Research has repeatedly suggested that participating in organized sports in an infant’s early years could protect against mental health issues. Some studies have linked youth sports involvement with poor mental health.

To answer this the doctor to answer this question, Dr. Matt Hoffmann of California State University and his coworkers examined data on the sporting practices as well as the mental health and well-being of 11235 children. Parents and guardians provided information on various aspects of children’s mental health by completing their child’s behavior checklist.

The team of researchers looked for any connections between the mental health information and the young athletes’ habits, as well as incorporating other factors that could affect mental health, like household income and overall physical exercise.

According to the research expectations, the study revealed that children playing group activities had a lower risk of depression, anxiety withdrawal, and social or attention issues.

The researchers also anticipated individuals to have the potential for lower mental health problems but to a lesser degree than group sports. The team found that kids who participated in one-on-one sports had more mental health issues than those who didn’t play the mark all the time.

Girls who play sports are less likely to break the rules.


The research findings, released in PLOS One, revealed that girls’ playing in team and individual sports led to less likely rule-breaking behavior than not participating in any sports.

“Overall, these results add to the increasing body of evidence that playing sports with a team is positively connected to mental well-being in kids and teens,” Dr. Hoffmann states, citing the statement of SWNS.

“Children and teens who played only team sports like soccer or basketball had lower mental health problems than those who didn’t participate in organized sports.”

“However, we were pleasantly surprised the youth who took part in just individual activities, like tennis or gymnastics, experienced greater mental health issues compared to those who did not participate in organized sporting events,” the researcher concludes.

Dr. Hoffman suggests that further research may help to clarify the connection between playing solo and a higher risk of mental health problems.

South West News Service writer Stephen Beech contributed to this report.

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