Understanding how organized youth sport may be harming players within the family unit: A literature review


Within Canada 76.4% of youth between the ages of 6 and 18 participate in some form of organized sports [Guèvremont, Findlay, Kohen, 2008). While recent reviews have shown the positive effects of youth sport participation on youth health (Janssen & LeBlanc, 2010; Lonsdale, Hodge, & Rose, 2009), there are also several negative factors surrounding the youth sport environment. To date, a comprehensive review of the negative physical and psychological effects of organized sport on youth has not been carried out and little to date has documented the effect organized sport has on other players within a family, particularly parents and siblings. Therefore the purpose of this study was to conduct a review on the negative effects of organized sport on the youth athlete and their parents and siblings. Articles were found by searching multiple databases (Physical Education Index & Sociology, Psychology databases (Proquest), SPORTDiscus & Health, History, Management databases (EBSCOhost), Science, Social Science, Arts & Humanities on Web of Science (ISI), SCOPUS and Scirus (Elsevier). Results illustrated the darker side of organized sport for actors within the family unit. Ideas for future research are drawn and practical and academic recommendations are made to optimize the youth sport experience and family health.