Fewer psychological problems among young people who engage in sports


A new study has shown that athletes have fewer psychological problems than other youngsters.


Researchers from the Norwegian Environment and Biosciences University, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, looked at the connection between mental health and youth participation in sports.

‘The analysis showed that almost 15% of the youth who competed in sports had symptoms of mental problems.
Among young people who did sports, but did not compete, nearly 19% showed such symptoms. Among young people who did no sports, the percentage was 27%, wrote the Public Health Institute.

The study is based on a survey of 20,000 adolescents aged between 13 and 22
years old.

The researchers wonder whether there may be factors in the competitive aspect of sport that are particularly related to mental health.

‘We wonder why there are fewer psychological problems among those taking part in competitive sports compared to those participating in sports outside
of competitions.

Perhaps it is because competition teaches youth to set goals, and work to become good at something. But this has to be investigated further before one can draw conclusions’, said researcher, Jocelyne Clench-Aas, at the Institute of Public Health.


NTB Scanpix / Norway Today