Camaraderie of sports teams may deter bullying, violence

May 5, 2013, American Academy of Pediatrics

As schools around the country look for ways to reduce violence and bullying, they may want to consider encouraging students to participate in team sports, according to a study to be presented Sunday, May 5, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC.

Researchers analyzed data from the 2011 North Carolina Youth Risk Behavior Survey to see if athletic participation was associated with violence-related behaviors, including fighting, carrying a weapon and being bullied. A of 1,820 in the state completed the survey, which also asked adolescents whether they played any school-sponsored team sports (e.g., football) or individual sports (e.g. track).

Results showed that half of the 14-18 years reported playing a school-sponsored sport: 25 percent were on a team, 9 percent participated in an individual sport, and 17 percent played both individual and team sports.

Girls who played individual or team sports were less likely to report having been in a physical fight in the past year than girls who didn't participate in sports (14 percent vs. 22 percent). also were less likely carry a weapon in the past 30 days than non-athletes (6 percent vs. 11 percent).

However, there was no difference in reported physical fighting in the past year or weapon carrying in the past 30 days between boys who played sports and those who did not. Approximately 32 percent of boys reported physical fighting, and 36 percent reported carrying weapons in the past 30 days.

"Athletic participation may prevent involvement in violence-related activities among girls but not among boys because aggression and violence generally might be more accepted in boys' high school sports," said senior author Tamera Coyne-Beasley, MD, MPH, FSAHM, FAAP, professor of pediatrics and at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Coaches, and parents should be aware that students who participate in sports might still be at risk for fighting and carrying weapons, added presenting author Robert W. Turner, PhD, research associate and Carolina postdoctoral fellow for faculty diversity at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Survey results also indicated that boys who played team sports were less likely to report being bullied than boys who played individual sports.

"Though we don't know if boys who play are less likely to be the perpetrators of bullying, we know that they are less likely to be bullied," Dr. Coyne-Beasley noted. "Perhaps creating team-like environments among students such that they may feel part of a group or community could lead to less bullying."

Explore further: Fractures take high toll on high school athletes

More information: To view the abstract, "2011 North Carolina YRBS: Athletic Participation, Violence, and Bullying" go to www.abstracts2view.com/pas/vie … p?nu=PAS13L1_2195.11

Related Stories

Fractures take high toll on high school athletes

December 4, 2012
(HealthDay)—Fractures account for about 10 percent of all injuries suffered by U.S. high school athletes, and can have a major physical, emotional and financial impact on the young competitors, according to a new study.

Lack of sleep tied to teen sports injuries

October 21, 2012
Adolescent athletes who slept eight or more hours each night were 68 percent less likely to be injured than athletes who regularly slept less, according to an abstract presented Sunday, Oct. 21, at the American Academy of ...

Recommended for you

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

NeuroNext biomarker study explores natural history of infantile-onset SMA

January 9, 2018
Research led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to define the natural history of infantile-onset spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been "critical" to accelerate the development of effective therapies and hasten ...

No link between childhood lead levels, later criminality

December 27, 2017
(HealthDay)— Exposure to higher levels of lead during early childhood can affect neurological development—but does that mean affected kids are doomed to delinquency?

Early puberty in girls may take mental health toll

December 26, 2017
(HealthDay)—A girl who gets her first menstrual period early in life—possibly as young as 7—has a greater risk for developing depression and antisocial behaviors that last at least into her 20s, a new study suggests.

Technology not taking over children's lives despite screen-time increase

December 21, 2017
With children spending increasing amounts of time on screen-based devices, there is a common perception that technology is taking over their lives, to the detriment and exclusion of other activities. However, new Oxford University ...

Higher blood sugar in early pregnancy raises baby's heart-defect risk

December 15, 2017
Higher blood sugar early in pregnancy raises the baby's risk of a congenital heart defect, even among mothers who do not have diabetes, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.