TitleSport-based youth development interventions in the United States: a systematic review.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsWhitley, MA, Massey, WV, Camiré, M, Boutet, M, Borbee, A
JournalBMC Public Health
Date Published01/2019

BACKGROUND: The growing number of sport-based youth development interventions provide a potential avenue for integrating sport meaningfully into the U.S. public health agenda. However, efficacy and quality must be reliably established prior to widespread implementation.

METHODS: A comprehensive search of databases, peer-reviewed journals, published reviews, and both published and unpublished documents yielded 10,077 distinct records. Title and abstract screening, followed by full-text screening using 6 criteria, resulted in 56 distinct studies (coalescing into 10 sport-based youth development intervention types) included in the synthesis. These studies were then independently assessed and critically appraised.

RESULTS: Limited efficacy data were identified, with the quality of methods and evidence largely classified as weak. Processes likely to contribute to the outcomes of sport-based youth development interventions were identified (e.g., predictors of ongoing engagement, alignment between target population and intervention, intervention design), although more rigorous research is needed on these and other processes. Physical health outcomes were only studied in 3 of the 10 intervention types.

CONCLUSIONS: The evidence base does not yet warrant wide-scale implementation of sport-based youth development interventions for public health goals within the U. S., although there is promising research that identifies areas for further exploration.

Alternate JournalBMC Public Health
PubMed ID30658607