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Background: Young males experience markedly poorer mental health outcomes. Organised sport settings provide novel prospects to improve the mental health of this subpopulation.

Aim: This systematic review aimed to evaluate interventions targeted at the promotion of mental health and wellbeing among young males in organised sporting contexts.

Methods: Six databases (SportDiscus, PsycInfo, Medline, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL) were searched from inception to June 2022 (and updated in September 2023). Eligible studies examined interventions targeting the mental health and wellbeing (e.g., depression, anxiety, resilience) or mental health literacy (e.g., stigmatising attitudes, help-seeking) of young males aged 10–24 years (or associated stakeholder samples; e.g., parents or coaches of male youth).

Results: A total of 15 studies were included in this review. Overall, the findings indicate promising effects of sport-based interventions on the mental health and mental health literacy outcomes of young males.

Conclusions: This review suggests that there is scope to improve the capacity of sports-based interventions to affect positive change in the mental health of male youth. The findings from this review also have important implications for the development and evaluation of sports-based interventions targeted at young males in future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102551
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Males
  • Mental health
  • Mental health literacy
  • Sport
  • Wellbeing
  • Young men


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