Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Kid sport dropouts at higher risk of mental health problems:

Research from the University of Wollongong shows that children have a greater risk of mental health problems if they drop out of sport.
By Motherpedia
Date: October 14 2014
Editor Rating:

Primary school kids who drop out of organised sport have up to a 20% greater risk of developing mental health problems within three years than those who keep participating according to new research.

The research, to be presented at Sports Medicine Australia’s be active 2014 conference starting today found that children who dropped out of organised sport between the ages of 8 and 10 had greater psychological difficulties at age 10 than those children still participating in organised sports.

Lead author Dr Stewart Vella of the Early Start Research Institute at the University of Wollongong said those children who had dropped out of organised sports reported greater social and emotional problems, as did those who did not participate in organised sport at all.

“We know that sports participation has long been associated with better mental health such as through the development of better social and emotional skills and self-esteem,” Dr Vella said.

“We also know that half of all psychological disorders have their onset before the age of 14 years.

“While we were expecting our results to confirm the negative psychological consequences of dropping out of organised sport, we were surprised by the magnitude of the differences, with the total relative increase of risk in mental health problems within three years for kids who drop out between 10-20%. 

“What was also concerning was the projected rate of sport dropouts among Australian children.

“Based on the dropout rates per year recorded during our study – if this number was to remain consistent throughout childhood and adolescence – it would translate to approximately 250,000 young Australians dropping out of organised sports every year.”

Dr Vella said kids who drop out of organised sports should be monitored for psychological difficulties.

“Clubs, coaches, parents and health practitioners should also look out for kids experiencing psychological difficulties who drop out of sport, as a higher level of mental health issues may be experienced immediately prior and subsequent to dropping out.”

The research examined the mental health of more than 4,000 children from the Longitudinal Study of Australia Children, comparing those who participated in sport to those who dropped out of sports or did not participate.

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Related Articles
Time-poor families are missing out on being active & healthy…
Read more
More children would like to play sport but are put…
Read more
A report for the Smith Family confirms ABS data that…
Read more
A University of Madrid study demonstrates the significant impact of…
Read more
Cry babies

Dry your eyes!
The newest additions are on their way from the Babies who cry real tears!


Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!


Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.