SYSTEMATIC REVIEW ON THE IMPACT OF SPORT ON THE POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT OF HIGH PERFORMANCE ATHLETS

REVISÃO SISTEMÁTICA SOBRE O IMPACTO DO ESPORTE NO DESENVOLVIMENTO POSITIVO DE JOVENS ATLETAS DE RENDIMENTO A

Patrícia Aparecida Gaion Rigoni Isabella Caroline Belem Lenamar Fiorese Vieira About the authors

ABSTRACT

This study aimed at carrying out a systematic review of the researches that have assessed the impact of sport on high performance young athletes by using the positive youth development approach as the theoretical support. The searches were conducted in 8 databases; 13 articles met the inclusion criteria. There is a predominance of articles recently published in English with young people of both sexes and from different sports. The variables related to the coach and the athletes seem to have a more impact than the team ones. More personal benefits than social ones were seen. It was concluded that high performance sport may promote personal and social benefits in young athletes. There is a need for further disclosure of the positive youth development approach in the context of high performance sport in different countries.

Keywords:
Sport psychology; Human development; Systematic review.

RESUMO

O objetivo do estudo foi realizar uma revisão sistemática sobre as pesquisas que analisaram o impacto do esporte em jovens atletas de rendimento, tendo como suporte teórico a abordagem do desenvolvimento positivo dos jovens. As buscas foram realizadas em 8 bases de dados e 13 artigos atenderam aos critérios de inclusão. Notou-se uma predominância de artigos publicados recentemente, em língua inglesa, com jovens de ambos os sexos e de diferentes esportes. As variáveis relacionadas ao treinador e ao atleta parecem ter impacto mais importante do que as da equipe. Foram observados mais benefícios pessoais do que sociais. Concluiu-se que o esporte de rendimento pode promover benefícios pessoais e sociais para jovens atletas. É necessária uma maior divulgação da abordagem do desenvolvimento positivo dos jovens no contexto do esporte de rendimento de diferentes países.

Palavras-chave:
Psicologia do esporte; Desenvolvimento humano; Revisão sistemática.

Introduction

Millions of young people are involved in sports worldwide, and this number provides a dimension of the importance this activity has on the lives of these adolescents¹. Therefore, the impact of sport activities on youth development is a subject that has attracted the interest of researchers over the years².

Studies have shown contradictory results on this subject. Some have reinforced the benefits that sport experiences may bring to young people in physical, cognitive, emotional and social aspects33. Carreres-Ponsoda F, Carbonell AE, Cortell-Tormo JM, Fuster-Lloret V, Andreu-Cabrera E. The relationship between out-of-school sport participation and positive youth development. J Hum Sport Exerc 2012;7(3):671-683. Doi:10.4100/jhse.2012.73.07.
https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2012.73.07...
),(44. Fraser-Thomas JL, Côté J, Deakin J. Youth sport programs: an avenue to foster positive youth development. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2005;10(1):19-40. Doi: 10.1080/1740898042000334890.
https://doi.org/10.1080/1740898042000334...
, whereas others have presented an indicative of negative experiences in the same development domain55. Fraser-Thomas JL, Côté J, Deakin J. Understanding dropout and prolonged engagement in adolescent competitive sport. Psychol Sport Exerc 2008;9(5):645-662. Doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2007.08.003.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.200...
),(66. Pires D, Santiago M, Samulski D, Costa VA. Síndrome de burnout no esporte brasileiro. Rev Educ Fís UEM 2012;23(1):131-139. Doi: 10.4025/reveducfis.v23i1.14566.
https://doi.org/10.4025/reveducfis.v23i1...
.

These differences occur due to the numerous variables used in the studies77. Busseri MA, Rose-Krasnor R. Breadth and intensity: salient, separable, and developmentally significant dimensions of structured youth activity involvement. Br J Dev Psychol 2009;27(4):907-933. Doi:10.1348/026151008X397017.
https://doi.org/10.1348/026151008X397017...
),(88. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. The role of the coach in facilitating positive youth development: moving from theory to practice. J Appl Sport Psychol 2011;23(1):33-48. Doi:10.1080/10413200.2010.511423.
https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2010.51...
, which seem to be influenced by the theoretical approach used99. Catalano RF, Hawkins JD, Berglund ML, Pollard JA, Arthur MW. Prevention science and positive youth development: competitive or cooperative frameworks? J Adolesc Health 2002;31(6 Suppl):230-239. Doi:10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00496-2.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00...
. Therefore, it is possible that the reviews which concentrate studies with the same theoretical support may facilitate the understanding of the different variables, in addition to contributing to the area state of the art. Specifically in relation to the psychological and social benefits that children and adolescents obtain from participating in sport, Eime et al.1010. Eime RM, Young JA, Harvey JT, Charity MJ, Payne WR. A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2013;10(98):1-21. Doi:10.1186/1479-5868-10-98.
https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-98...
emphasized the positive youth development approach (PYD) as the most employed one. Created by American psychologists in the 1990s,77. Busseri MA, Rose-Krasnor R. Breadth and intensity: salient, separable, and developmentally significant dimensions of structured youth activity involvement. Br J Dev Psychol 2009;27(4):907-933. Doi:10.1348/026151008X397017.
https://doi.org/10.1348/026151008X397017...
),(1111. Holt NL, Sehn ZL, Spence JC, Newton AS, Ball GDC. Physical education and sport programs at an inner city school: exploring possibilities for positive youth development. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2012;17:97-113. Doi:10.1080/17408989.2010.548062.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2010.54...
such an approach had the purpose of giving a more positive connotation for adolescence, traditionally seen as a period of conflicts and difficulties1212. Damon W. What is positive youth development? Ann Am Acad Pol Soc Sci 2004;59:13-24. Doi:10.1177/0002716203260092.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716203260092...
. However, considering that this period of life is positive, the environment in which young people are inserted must provide conditions to optimize their strengths1313. Larson RW. Toward a psychology of positive youth development. Am Psychol 2000;55(1):170-183. Doi:10.1037//0003-066X,55.1.170.
https://doi.org/10.1037//0003-066X,55.1....
.

Although the sport has been pointed out as a context with potential for PYD44. Fraser-Thomas JL, Côté J, Deakin J. Youth sport programs: an avenue to foster positive youth development. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2005;10(1):19-40. Doi: 10.1080/1740898042000334890.
https://doi.org/10.1080/1740898042000334...
, no systematic reviews on the subject were found. There are conceptual reviews that treat sport as a structured supervised activity outside the school hours that focus on educational and recreational programs1111. Holt NL, Sehn ZL, Spence JC, Newton AS, Ball GDC. Physical education and sport programs at an inner city school: exploring possibilities for positive youth development. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2012;17:97-113. Doi:10.1080/17408989.2010.548062.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2010.54...
),(1414. Esperança JM, Regueiras ML, Brustad RJ, Fonseca AM. Um olhar sobre o desenvolvimento positivo dos jovens através do desporto. Rev Psic Deporte 2013;22(2):481-487., but without specific information about high performance sport. Therefore, this study aimed at carrying out a systematic review on the researches that have assessed the impact of sport on high performance young athletes by using the PYD approach as the theoretical support.

Methods

The search and selection of the articles were carried out by two researchers, independently, from February to March, 2014 in the following databases: Cochrane Library, LILACS, Medline Fulltext, PsycINFO, Pubmed, SPORTDiscus Fulltext, SciELO and Science Direct. The search terms included: ‘positive youth development’ and sport combined with the ‘AND’ operator. The inclusion criteria were these: (a) using the PYD approach as a theoretical reference; (b) having high performance athletes as subjects; (c) embracing the age group from 10 to 20 years old; (d) having been published between January, 1990 and December, 2013; and (e) being original, published in peer-reviewed scientific journal, either in English or Portuguese. The exclusion criteria included: (a) mentioning the PYD approach in only one part of the article, without using it as the theoretical reference in the introduction/discussion and methodology; (b) analyzing the physical activity, physical exercise, physical education or extracurricular or community activity programs with educational or recreational and non-competitive purposes; (c) being performed with the parents, coaches or sport administrators, without the involvement of the athletes; (d) being theses, dissertations, conferences, books, book chapters, abstracts, unpublished articles, review articles and those with validation of scales.

A hundred and fifty one (151) articles with the search terms combined were found. Out of this number, 81 were excluded because they were repeated or revised. An analysis of the title, abstract and keywords was carried out in 70 articles, from which 46 were excluded because they had involved the validation of psychometric scales, in addition to being carried out with students that had participated in educational or recreational sport programs, coaches, parents or sport organizers, without the presence of the athletes. Considering the 24 articles maintained, a review of the full texts was carried out, and 11 articles were excluded because they either had not used the PYD approach as theoretical support or they had not involved high performance athletes. Thus, 13 original articles were part of the systematic review.

The STROBE Statement (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) translated by Malta et al.1515. Malta M, Cardoso LO, Bastos FI, Magnanini MMF, Silva CMFP. Iniciativa STROBE: subsídios para a comunicação de estudos observacionais. Rev Saude Pública 2010;44(3):559-565. Doi:10.1590/S0034-89102010000300021.
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910201000...
was used for data analysis. It consists of 22 items on information that should be shown in the title, abstract, introduction, methodology, results and discussion of observational studies.

Results

General characterization of the studies

All the articles (n = 13) were published between 2009 and 2013, with the majority being cross-sectional (n = 12, 92%) and with quantitative analyzes (n = 11, 85%). The Youth Experiences Survey 2.0 (YES) was the main instrument used to measure sport experiences (n = 5; 39%) and its version for the sport (Youth Experience Survey for Sport - YES-S; n = 4; 31%). The samples ranged from 19 to 510 athletes, from 9 to 22 years of age, of both sexes (n = 8; 61%), from different countries, with emphasis on Canada (n = 4, 31%). A little more than half of the articles (n = 7; 54%) were developed with more than one sport, with soccer being the most analyzed one (n = 7; 54%) (Table 1).

Table 1
Articles that used the positive youth development of high performance athletes.

Main Variables Assessed and Benefits Found

The variables assessed (Table 2) were related to three elements of the sport context: coach (n = 7 variables), athlete (n = 6 variables) and sport team/type (n = 7 variables). The studies that examined the coach role according to PYD investigated their leadership behavior and how they relate to and provide support to athletes. The researches that used the variables regarding the athlete analyzed both, how these variables may promote the PYD and how they can be affected by sport. The variables related to the sport team/type, although having provided positive results for the youth development, when used with the variables related to the athletes and coaches in some studies, they showed an insignificant or less important impact.

Table 2
Variables related to the attributes of positive high performance youth development.

Figure 1 shows the main benefits for the PYD promoted by sport through the variables related to the coach, the athlete and the team/type of sport. In general, more personal than social benefits were found.

Figure 1
Personal and social benefits promoted by the variables related to the coach, athlete and team/sport.

Analysis of the Information Shown in the Articles

It was seen that (Table 3), in general, the articles had complete information about the context/justification of the study (introduction); the theoretical reference and reasons for carrying out the research were detailed; the main results (results and discussion) were shown, as well as the limitations and cautious interpretation of the results (discussion). The study size was the least informed item in the articles, that is, how the sample size was determined (n = 13; 100%). There were also few information on the type of study in the methodology (n = 9, 69.2%), in addition to confounding variables used in the analyzes (n = 9, 69.2%) and descriptive data of the participants in the results (n = 9, 69.2%).

Table 3
Analysis of the information shown in the articles according to STROBE Statement.

Discussion

The concentration of the publications in recent years (Table 1) shows that although the PYD approach had emerged in the mid-1990s77. Busseri MA, Rose-Krasnor R. Breadth and intensity: salient, separable, and developmentally significant dimensions of structured youth activity involvement. Br J Dev Psychol 2009;27(4):907-933. Doi:10.1348/026151008X397017.
https://doi.org/10.1348/026151008X397017...
, it has only recently been used as a theoretical support for studies involving high performance athletes; a possible consequence of the fact that this terminology have been only recently applied in the field of sport psychology1111. Holt NL, Sehn ZL, Spence JC, Newton AS, Ball GDC. Physical education and sport programs at an inner city school: exploring possibilities for positive youth development. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2012;17:97-113. Doi:10.1080/17408989.2010.548062.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2010.54...
.

A geographical delimitation of studies using the PYD approach in English-speaking countries was seen (Table 1), which may be due to the influence of its inception by the American psychologists. Popularizing this approach in other countries, such as Brazil, may contribute to a greater knowledge and use of PYD by researchers from different languages1414. Esperança JM, Regueiras ML, Brustad RJ, Fonseca AM. Um olhar sobre o desenvolvimento positivo dos jovens através do desporto. Rev Psic Deporte 2013;22(2):481-487..

Few measures for the analysis of the PYD in the sport context were seen; general scales such as YES were used1616. Hansen DM, Larson R. The youth experience survey 2.0: instrument revisions and validity testing. Unpublished manuscript, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2005. Retrieved from http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/youthdev/
http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/youthdev/...
. This lack is a common limitation of a new area that has been elaborated, thus, the validation of standardized instruments has been encouraged99. Catalano RF, Hawkins JD, Berglund ML, Pollard JA, Arthur MW. Prevention science and positive youth development: competitive or cooperative frameworks? J Adolesc Health 2002;31(6 Suppl):230-239. Doi:10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00496-2.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00...
),(1717. Lerner RM, Lerner JV, Almerigi JB, Theokas C, Phelps E, Gestsdottir S, et al. Positive youth development, participation in community youth development programs, and community contributions of fifth-grade adolescents: findings from the first wave of the 4-H Study of positive youth development. J Early Adolesc 2005;25(5):17-71. Doi: 10.1177/0272431604272461.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431604272461...
. Considering the sport context, a good alternative is the YES-S1818. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Eys M, Deakin J. Psychometric properties of the youth experience survey with young athletes. Psychol Sport Exerc 2012;13(3):332-340. Doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.09.001.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.201...
, the only instrument found specifically for sport (Table 1) and which has shown good reliability indices1919. Sullivan PJ, LaForge-MacKenzie K, Marini M. Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Youth Experiences Survey for Sport (YES-S). Open J Stat 2015;5,421-429. Doi: 10.4236/0js.2015.55044.
https://doi.org/10.4236/0js.2015.55044...
),(2020. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. A pilot test of transformational leadership training for sports coaches: impact on the developmental experiences of adolescent athletes. Int J Sports Sci Coach 2013;8(3):513-530. Doi:10.1260/1747-9541.8.3.513.
https://doi.org/10.1260/1747-9541.8.3.51...
),(2121. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. The relationship between coach leadership, the coach-leadership, the coach-athlete relationship, team success, and the positive developmental experiences of adolescent soccer players. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2013;18(5):549-561. Doi:10.1080/17408989.2012.726976.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2012.72...
.

The predominance of the cross-sectional design, coupled with the differences in the number and characteristics of the subjects, made it difficult to compare the results (Table 1). However, three major categories emerged from the analyses, that is, the variables related to the coach, the athlete and the team/sport type (Table 2).

It was seen that the athletes had positively perceived the coach's behavior to develop sport specific aspects, such as improvement of sports abilities, teaching of competitive strategies and ways of improving the goal setting and intellectual stimulation2020. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. A pilot test of transformational leadership training for sports coaches: impact on the developmental experiences of adolescent athletes. Int J Sports Sci Coach 2013;8(3):513-530. Doi:10.1260/1747-9541.8.3.513.
https://doi.org/10.1260/1747-9541.8.3.51...
),(2121. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. The relationship between coach leadership, the coach-leadership, the coach-athlete relationship, team success, and the positive developmental experiences of adolescent soccer players. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2013;18(5):549-561. Doi:10.1080/17408989.2012.726976.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2012.72...
),(2222. Gould D, Carson S. The relationship between perceived coaching behaviors and developmental benefits of high school sports participation. Hellenic Journal of Psychology 2010;7(1):298-314.),(2323. Harrist CJ, Witt PA. Seeing the court: a qualitative inquiry into youth basketball as a positive developmental context. J Sport Behav 2012;35(2):125-153., which shows that even when the main focus of the sport is not directly the development of PYD variables, these can also be promoted if the coach adopts positive teaching behavior and improvement of the technical aspects of the sport.

The promotion of positive relationships with the athletes, evidenced by feelings of caring, respect and individual consideration coupled with the coach's support, were positively related to the development of the athletes2121. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. The relationship between coach leadership, the coach-leadership, the coach-athlete relationship, team success, and the positive developmental experiences of adolescent soccer players. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2013;18(5):549-561. Doi:10.1080/17408989.2012.726976.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2012.72...
),(2222. Gould D, Carson S. The relationship between perceived coaching behaviors and developmental benefits of high school sports participation. Hellenic Journal of Psychology 2010;7(1):298-314.),(2323. Harrist CJ, Witt PA. Seeing the court: a qualitative inquiry into youth basketball as a positive developmental context. J Sport Behav 2012;35(2):125-153.. On the other hand, the negative support shown, for example, when the coach expresses a preference for some players over others, was associated with negative experiences, such as stress, social exclusion and negative team dynamics2222. Gould D, Carson S. The relationship between perceived coaching behaviors and developmental benefits of high school sports participation. Hellenic Journal of Psychology 2010;7(1):298-314..

The athletes perceived more positive experiences when their coaches helped them reflect on how the lessons learned in sport can be transferred to life2222. Gould D, Carson S. The relationship between perceived coaching behaviors and developmental benefits of high school sports participation. Hellenic Journal of Psychology 2010;7(1):298-314.),(2323. Harrist CJ, Witt PA. Seeing the court: a qualitative inquiry into youth basketball as a positive developmental context. J Sport Behav 2012;35(2):125-153.. These findings reinforce that PYD through sport is not automatic, but depends on a series of factors that must be carefully planned44. Fraser-Thomas JL, Côté J, Deakin J. Youth sport programs: an avenue to foster positive youth development. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2005;10(1):19-40. Doi: 10.1080/1740898042000334890.
https://doi.org/10.1080/1740898042000334...
.

Considering the coach as a positive model of behavior, the fact of maintaining appropriate and consistent behavior during training and competitions2121. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. The relationship between coach leadership, the coach-leadership, the coach-athlete relationship, team success, and the positive developmental experiences of adolescent soccer players. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2013;18(5):549-561. Doi:10.1080/17408989.2012.726976.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2012.72...
),(2323. Harrist CJ, Witt PA. Seeing the court: a qualitative inquiry into youth basketball as a positive developmental context. J Sport Behav 2012;35(2):125-153. was also important for the young individuals, which is in accordance with Camiré et al.2424. Camiré M, Forneris T, Trudel P, Bernard D. Strategies for helping coaches facilitate positive youth development through sport. J Sport Psychol Action 2011;2(2):92-99. Doi:10.1080/21520704.2011.584246.
https://doi.org/10.1080/21520704.2011.58...
who stated that the coach is the adult that more time passes with the athletes in the sport context and, thus, his/her behavior is a model to be followed. The coaches often see themselves as responsible for facilitating PYD, however, they do not always know how to do it88. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. The role of the coach in facilitating positive youth development: moving from theory to practice. J Appl Sport Psychol 2011;23(1):33-48. Doi:10.1080/10413200.2010.511423.
https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2010.51...
. In this sense, training programs are effective2020. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. A pilot test of transformational leadership training for sports coaches: impact on the developmental experiences of adolescent athletes. Int J Sports Sci Coach 2013;8(3):513-530. Doi:10.1260/1747-9541.8.3.513.
https://doi.org/10.1260/1747-9541.8.3.51...
),(2525. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Deakin J. The impact of informal coach training on the personal development of youth sport athletes. Int J Sports Sci Coach 2010;5(3):363-372. Doi: 10.1260/1747-9541.5.3.363.
https://doi.org/10.1260/1747-9541.5.3.36...
and their lack is related to decreases in positive experiences2020. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. A pilot test of transformational leadership training for sports coaches: impact on the developmental experiences of adolescent athletes. Int J Sports Sci Coach 2013;8(3):513-530. Doi:10.1260/1747-9541.8.3.513.
https://doi.org/10.1260/1747-9541.8.3.51...
.

Considering the studies that used the variables related to the athletes, some evaluated the impact of the sport experiences on the personal variables, whereas others assessed the impact of personal variables in the sport experiences (Table 2). Two studies2626. Gucciardi DF. The relationship between developmental experiences and mental toughness in adolescent cricketers. J Sport Exerc Psychol 2011;33(3):370-93.),(2727. Jones MI, Parker JK. What is the size of the relationship between global mental toughness and youth experiences? Pers Ind Diff 2013;54(4):519-523. Doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.10.024.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.10.0...
analyzed the impact of sport experiences on mental toughness and verified that the initiative was the variable that contributed the most. Larson1313. Larson RW. Toward a psychology of positive youth development. Am Psychol 2000;55(1):170-183. Doi:10.1037//0003-066X,55.1.170.
https://doi.org/10.1037//0003-066X,55.1....
reinforces that the initiative is related to the ability of acting autonomously; being intrinsically motivated and directing attention and effort towards a challenging goal. Such characteristics may justify this relationship, since mental resistance involves indicators such as affective intelligence, desire for achievement and attention control2626. Gucciardi DF. The relationship between developmental experiences and mental toughness in adolescent cricketers. J Sport Exerc Psychol 2011;33(3):370-93.),(2727. Jones MI, Parker JK. What is the size of the relationship between global mental toughness and youth experiences? Pers Ind Diff 2013;54(4):519-523. Doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.10.024.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.10.0...
.

In addition to the initiative, other characteristics promoted by sport had a positive impact on the personal variables of the athletes. The feeling of empowerment through sport (valued and useful feeling) contributed positively to increase the feeling of enjoyment/fun for sport, as well as for the development of the athlete's identity, whereas this helped to reduce burnout2828. Strachan L, Côté J, Deakin J. An evaluation of personal and contextual factors in competitive youth sport. J Appl Sport Psychol 2009; 21:340-355. Doi: 10.1080/10413200903018667.
https://doi.org/10.1080/1041320090301866...
.

Regarding the personal variables that had an impact on the sport experiences, the importance of satisfying the psychological needs, that is, competence, autonomy and bonds was seen, as well as, feeling enjoymente/fun for sport through self-referenced competence (the comparison with oneself), effort and affiliation with teammates2929. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Eys M, Deakin J. The role of enjoyment and motivational climate in relation to the personal development of team sport athletes. Sport Psychol 2011;25(1):32-46.),(3030. Taylor IM, Bruner MW. The social environment and developmental experiences in elite youth soccer. Psychol Sport Exerc 2012;13(4):390-396. Doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2012.01.008.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.201...
. On the other hand, feeling enjoyment/fun for sport through competence referenced by others (being better than others) related to negative experiences2929. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Eys M, Deakin J. The role of enjoyment and motivational climate in relation to the personal development of team sport athletes. Sport Psychol 2011;25(1):32-46..

In relation to the youth moral aspects, feeling more skillful and having a motivational orientation more focused on the task than the ego was positively related to the athletes caring and character; the high ego orientation was only negative when coupled with low task orientation3131. Greewood PB, Kanters MA. Talented male athletes: exemplary character or questionable characters? J Sport Behav , 2009;32(3):298-324..

Therefore, it was seen that having a self-directed orientation and overcoming obstacles not only facilitates sport experiences2929. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Eys M, Deakin J. The role of enjoyment and motivational climate in relation to the personal development of team sport athletes. Sport Psychol 2011;25(1):32-46., but also has a positive impact on moral aspects3131. Greewood PB, Kanters MA. Talented male athletes: exemplary character or questionable characters? J Sport Behav , 2009;32(3):298-324.. On the other hand, only feeling competent when he or she can overcome others, without motivation and enjoyment given by the task challenge, can promote negative experiences2929. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Eys M, Deakin J. The role of enjoyment and motivational climate in relation to the personal development of team sport athletes. Sport Psychol 2011;25(1):32-46.),(3131. Greewood PB, Kanters MA. Talented male athletes: exemplary character or questionable characters? J Sport Behav , 2009;32(3):298-324..

Considering the team/type sport variables, it was seen that two variables had negative effect on the youth development: the negative influence of the peers, which had an inverse relation with mental toughness2626. Gucciardi DF. The relationship between developmental experiences and mental toughness in adolescent cricketers. J Sport Exerc Psychol 2011;33(3):370-93.; and the ego-oriented atmosphere, which has been associated with negative experiences2929. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Eys M, Deakin J. The role of enjoyment and motivational climate in relation to the personal development of team sport athletes. Sport Psychol 2011;25(1):32-46.. On the other hand, the task-oriented atmosphere has provided more positive experiences2929. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Eys M, Deakin J. The role of enjoyment and motivational climate in relation to the personal development of team sport athletes. Sport Psychol 2011;25(1):32-46., which indicates that not only in personal terms2828. Strachan L, Côté J, Deakin J. An evaluation of personal and contextual factors in competitive youth sport. J Appl Sport Psychol 2009; 21:340-355. Doi: 10.1080/10413200903018667.
https://doi.org/10.1080/1041320090301866...
, but also in relation to the team, having a motivational orientation aimed at overcoming challenges than just overcoming opponents is more beneficial. The study by Bruner et al.3232. Bruner MW, Hall J, Côté J. Influence of sport type and interdependence on the developmental experiences of youth male athletes. Eur J Sport Sci 2011;11(2):131-142. Doi:10.1080/17461391.2010.499969.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2010.49...
goes further and points out that sport experiences may be more positive if athletes manage not only to have task interdependence (dependent on the sport type), but mainly, to have high levels of the result interdependence.

Therefore, it is seen that a motivational team atmosphere, in which there is great competition among the members or with the opponents, is considered negative2929. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Eys M, Deakin J. The role of enjoyment and motivational climate in relation to the personal development of team sport athletes. Sport Psychol 2011;25(1):32-46.; an atmosphere according to which the athletes get together in order to achieve goals is perceived as positive2929. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Eys M, Deakin J. The role of enjoyment and motivational climate in relation to the personal development of team sport athletes. Sport Psychol 2011;25(1):32-46.),(3232. Bruner MW, Hall J, Côté J. Influence of sport type and interdependence on the developmental experiences of youth male athletes. Eur J Sport Sci 2011;11(2):131-142. Doi:10.1080/17461391.2010.499969.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2010.49...
; but the construction of a collective feeling of each individual is affected or affects either the success or failure of everybody, which is even more effective for positive experiences.

Task cohesion was a positive factor in youth sport experiences, but its impact was lower than the support perception of the coach on the athletes3030. Taylor IM, Bruner MW. The social environment and developmental experiences in elite youth soccer. Psychol Sport Exerc 2012;13(4):390-396. Doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2012.01.008.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.201...
. Two other variables related to the coach (leadership and positive relationship between coach and athlete) were also considered more important than a team variable (success)2121. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. The relationship between coach leadership, the coach-leadership, the coach-athlete relationship, team success, and the positive developmental experiences of adolescent soccer players. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2013;18(5):549-561. Doi:10.1080/17408989.2012.726976.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2012.72...
, which reinforces the great influence that the coach plays in PYD.

It is also worth noting that feeling competent 2929. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Eys M, Deakin J. The role of enjoyment and motivational climate in relation to the personal development of team sport athletes. Sport Psychol 2011;25(1):32-46.),(3030. Taylor IM, Bruner MW. The social environment and developmental experiences in elite youth soccer. Psychol Sport Exerc 2012;13(4):390-396. Doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2012.01.008.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.201...
and skillful3131. Greewood PB, Kanters MA. Talented male athletes: exemplary character or questionable characters? J Sport Behav , 2009;32(3):298-324. brought more benefits than the number of points that the team had scored in the competition2121. Vella S, Oades L, Crowe T. The relationship between coach leadership, the coach-leadership, the coach-athlete relationship, team success, and the positive developmental experiences of adolescent soccer players. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2013;18(5):549-561. Doi:10.1080/17408989.2012.726976.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2012.72...
, a variable that seems to be related to a competence referenced by the others and also not related to positive experiences2929. MacDonald DJ, Côté J, Eys M, Deakin J. The role of enjoyment and motivational climate in relation to the personal development of team sport athletes. Sport Psychol 2011;25(1):32-46..

The study by Jones and Lavalee3333. Jones MI, Lavallee D. Exploring the life skills needs of British adolescent athletes. Psychol Sport Exerc 2009;10:159-167. Doi: 10.1016/psychsport.2008.06.005.
https://doi.org/10.1016/psychsport.2008....
also verified a variable related to the sport/team, analyzed as the practice of the sport itself (without differentiation by the sport type). It was seen that the athletes perceive that sport practice, in general, can promote personal and social abilities; however, it is emphasized the importance of the coach to teach them how to transfer these abilities from the sport context to life, a fact also found in other studies2222. Gould D, Carson S. The relationship between perceived coaching behaviors and developmental benefits of high school sports participation. Hellenic Journal of Psychology 2010;7(1):298-314.),(2323. Harrist CJ, Witt PA. Seeing the court: a qualitative inquiry into youth basketball as a positive developmental context. J Sport Behav 2012;35(2):125-153..

The studies reported positive results related to personal rather than social variables (Table 1), which seems to be a characteristic of the PYD approach that uses more personal variables in its instruments1616. Hansen DM, Larson R. The youth experience survey 2.0: instrument revisions and validity testing. Unpublished manuscript, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2005. Retrieved from http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/youthdev/
http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/youthdev/...
),(1717. Lerner RM, Lerner JV, Almerigi JB, Theokas C, Phelps E, Gestsdottir S, et al. Positive youth development, participation in community youth development programs, and community contributions of fifth-grade adolescents: findings from the first wave of the 4-H Study of positive youth development. J Early Adolesc 2005;25(5):17-71. Doi: 10.1177/0272431604272461.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431604272461...
. This is a criticism that the approach has received; suggestions have been made in the sense of also evaluating how the athlete can contribute to society3434. Coakley J. Youth sports: what counts as “positive development”? J Sport Soc Issues 2011;35(3):306-324. Doi:10.1177/0193723511417311.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723511417311...
. Some researchers1717. Lerner RM, Lerner JV, Almerigi JB, Theokas C, Phelps E, Gestsdottir S, et al. Positive youth development, participation in community youth development programs, and community contributions of fifth-grade adolescents: findings from the first wave of the 4-H Study of positive youth development. J Early Adolesc 2005;25(5):17-71. Doi: 10.1177/0272431604272461.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431604272461...
),(3535. Lerner RM, Dowling EM, Anderson PM. Positive youth development: thriving as a basis of personhood and civil society. Appl Dev Sci 2003;7(3):172-180. Doi: 10.1207/S1532480XADS07038.
https://doi.org/10.1207/S1532480XADS0703...
have been testing the 5C's model (competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring/compassion), which points out that only when young people develop some of these personal attributes they can positively contribute to themselves, the family, the community and, ultimately, the civil society. However, considering the sportspeople, this model was not confirmed, which indicates the need for further studies3636. Jones MI, Dunn JGH, Holt NL, Sullivan PJ, Bloom GA. Exploring the ‘5Cs’ of positive youth development in sport. J Sport Behav 2011;34(3):250-267..

When comparing the personal and social benefits promoted by sport experiences with PYD constructs proposed by Shek et al.3737. Shek DTL, Sun RCF, Merrick K. Positive youth development - theory, research and application. New York: Nova Science Publishers; 2013., according to the classic study by Catalano et al.3838. Catalano RF, Berglund ML, Ryan JAM, Lonczak HS, Hawkins JD. Positive youth development in the United States: research findings on evaluations of positive youth development programs. Prevention & Treatment 2002;5:1-111. Doi:10.1177/0002716203260102.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716203260102...
, there are many similarities, such as: cognitive competence, emotional competence, self-determination, positive identity, pro-social norms, resilience, among others. However, more current topics, such as spirituality, have not been explored3939. Shek DTL. Spirituality as a positive youth development construct: a conceptual review. In: Shek DTL, Sun RCF, Merrick K, editors. Positive Youth Development - theory, research and application. New York: Nova Science Publishers ; 2013, p.1-12..

Although the articles have shown in full the theoretical foundations of the study in the introduction (Table 3), the PYD approach was directly pointed out as a theoretical reference in only one study. It is possible that this difficulty in making clear the approach is due to the concept inconsistencies of the area itself, which sometimes calls it an approach1212. Damon W. What is positive youth development? Ann Am Acad Pol Soc Sci 2004;59:13-24. Doi:10.1177/0002716203260092.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716203260092...
, sometimes as a theory1010. Eime RM, Young JA, Harvey JT, Charity MJ, Payne WR. A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2013;10(98):1-21. Doi:10.1186/1479-5868-10-98.
https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-98...
, limitations which are typical of a developing area99. Catalano RF, Hawkins JD, Berglund ML, Pollard JA, Arthur MW. Prevention science and positive youth development: competitive or cooperative frameworks? J Adolesc Health 2002;31(6 Suppl):230-239. Doi:10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00496-2.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00...
),(1111. Holt NL, Sehn ZL, Spence JC, Newton AS, Ball GDC. Physical education and sport programs at an inner city school: exploring possibilities for positive youth development. Phys Educ Sport Pedagogy 2012;17:97-113. Doi:10.1080/17408989.2010.548062.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2010.54...
.

Another limitation that hinders the generalization of the results is the information about the study size (Table 3). Most articles explain the choice of the subjects; however, no research shows if a sample calculation and random selection of the individuals were performed. Thus, some research findings are linked to the typical limitations of the convenience samples4040. Richardson RJ, Peres JAS, Wanderley JCV, Correia LM, Peres MHM. Pesquisa social: métodos e técnicas. 3ª Ed. São Paulo: Atlas; 2012..

Conclusions

This systematic review allowed some notes. Initially, limitations were seen in a recent and growing area such as: the research concentration in a single language in recent years, with few measures used and without a direct identification of the approach as the theoretical support of the investigations.

The variety of sports and the age group, coupled with the predominance of cross-sectional studies, with relational analyses and with convenience samples are aspects to be taken into account in the conclusions of the study, which showed more personal than social benefits.

The coaches who teach strategies and develop sport abilities, in addition to being conduct models, they create positive relationships and support the athletes by teaching them to transfer sports abilities to life. Such coaches have a positive impact on youth sport experiences.

The athlete’s variables reinforced the importance of an orientation towards the subject, promoting a sense of competence and initiative, whereas the team/sport variables pointed to the need of creating a unity atmosphere, in which everyone is affected by the success or failure of each other.

Although this has been the first known systematic review of the studies to use the PYD approach with high performance athletes, it is worth noting that the research that did not made evident the approach as the study theoretical reference was not included in the analyses, and this seems to be one of the limitations of the study. Delimiting which study uses the PYD approach is not an easy task for researchers, since many do not make their application clear. In addition, there is a lack of information on both, the technical level of the athletes and the sport purpose. Extending this information may contribute to further studies.

It is also suggested that researches seek to expand the analyzed constructs by investigating more social factors, as well as emerging personal themes, such as, for example, the athletes’ spirituality. The specific PYD instrument validation in sport context, such as the YES-S in different languages, may contribute with the expansion of the research in the area.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    2017

History

  • Received
    11 Oct 2016
  • Reviewed
    18 Mar 2017
  • Accepted
    21 Mar 2017
Universidade Estadual de Maringá Avenida Colombo, 5790 - cep: 87020-900 - tel: 44 3011 4315 - Maringá - PR - Brazil
E-mail: revdef@uem.br