Canadian researchers have offered compelling reasons to fit soccer or Little League into your child’s busy schedule.
According to a study conducted at the University of Montreal, young boys who are involved in sports are less likely to be anxious or depressed during the later years of childhood and are more likely to be far more active during their early teenage years.
Sports May Be The Key To Mental Health For Boys
Marie Josee Harbec, from the School of Psychoeducation at the University of Montreal, in Canada, said that they want to clarify the long-term and reciprocal relationship in children who are of the school-going age between depressive and anxiety symptoms and participating in sports.
She was supervised by Professor Linda Pagani and did the doctoral work as a student.
Harbec added that they also wanted to examine how the relationship varied in different boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 12.
She also practices with Pagani at the CHU Sainte-Justine, a children’s hospital that is affiliated with the university.
The parents of 55% of children are of the opinion that their children will be benefited from sports both academically and with their future careers.
The parents of 80% of children believe that their children learned about discipline and dedication through sports. In addition to this, they also believed that they learned how to get along with others.
73% of adults who play sports now, also played when they were younger.
The implication of this is that they are reaping the benefits in adulthood.
Participating in sports is associated with improved teamwork, social skills, and social responsibility, improve life skills, time management, work ethic, empathy personal responsibility, increased empowerment, frit, resilience, critical thinking, higher levels of academic achievements, greater levels of academic achievement along with greater leadership qualities.
It has also been found that athletes from high school are more likely to attend and graduate from college.
Data from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development was used by researchers for the study. Kids born between 1997 and 1998 were zeroed in on.
At age 5, a reported 690 boys’ and 748 girls’ parents said that their children participated in sports. Their weekly level of physical activity was also reported at the age of 12.
In the kids, between the ages of 6 and 10, information on symptoms of emotional distress was provided by the teachers.
Other factors such as the temperament of the child, parental education, and family income were also ruled out by the investigators. These factors may have affected the results.
Pagani said that they found that boys who were 5 years old who had never participated in sports were more likely to be unhappy between the ages of 6 and 10. She added that they also had difficulty having fun, cried a lot, and appeared to be fearful or worried.
She said that boys who were less physically active at the age of 12 were also exhibiting depressive and anxious symptoms during middle childhood.
In girls, the authors of the study could not find significant changes.
Harbec explained that for girls, depression and anxiety risks and protective factors work differently. They are more likely to seek help and seek the comfort of family and friends.
Harbec suggested that girls are protected from further damage due to early identification and intervention because they experience more emotional distress than boys.
When boys play sports in preschool, they may build life skills such as taking initiative, practicing self-control, and working as a part of a team.
The researchers said that they build supportive relationships with their peers. The findings of the study were published on Sept 27.