Investigating youth’s psychosocial outcomes from participation in trauma-informed sport programming: A two-year pilot study

Title: Investigating youth’s psychosocial outcomes from participation in trauma-informed sport programming: A two-year pilot study
Authors: Shaikh, Majidullah
Forneris, Tanya
Date: 2020
Abstract: Trauma-informed treatment has demonstrated strong effectiveness in reducing trauma-related symptomology in youth (e.g., cognitive and emotional dysregulation, impairments in social relatedness). However, little research has explored the effectiveness of this treatment in non-healthcare contexts like youth sport. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of trauma-informed sport programming on psychosocial processes and outcomes (i.e. basic needs support, basic needs satisfaction, and well-being) for youth participants. Three sites hosted weekly 1-2 hour trauma-informed sport sessions over the course of six seasons (each season = 6-10 weeks, 10-25 youth per season). A mixed-methods approach was used, in which self-report data were collected from youth participants aged 8-12 (N = 218, 61% male; Mage = 9.12 SD = 1.26), and individual interviews with youth were conducted to understand their program experiences, perceptions of their interactions and relationships with staff, and their experiences of psychosocial development and skills. Descriptive and multivariate statistics were conducted to examine the magnitude of youth’s ratings on each measure and pre-post changes. Qualitative data were analyzed using deductive-inductive thematic analysis (Braun, Clarke, & Weate, 2016). The quantitative results indicated that, on average, self-reported ratings of well-being trended upward from the pre- to post- assessment each season. As well, self-reported ratings of basic needs support and satisfaction were generally positive, however perceptions of autonomy support and satisfaction were scored relatively lower than perceptions of competence and relatedness. Four themes were generated from the qualitative results to represent the psychosocial experiences and outcomes that youth constructed from their participation: (a) I feel accepted, (b) I made friends, (c) I learned sport skills, and (d) I learned life skills. Implications are shared on how trauma-informed sport can help reach a broader population of trauma-exposed youth in the contexts they engage in.
CollectionSciences de l’activité physique - Publications // Human Kinetics - Publications