Sport in Physical Education for Bullying, Harassment and Violence Prevention

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Well-designed sport programs provide the environment for leadership development, personal development, and community development. Research suggests these well-designed programs can positively affect self-esteem and self-worth (Hillyer in Women's softball in Iran: an autoethnographic journey. PhD thesis, University of Tennessee, 2010). Participation in youth sports programs with a development focus beyond technical and tactical game skill development, such as programs provided by a youth development focus, can address various social and emotional needs of adolescents: including having a sense of belonging, a sense of mastery, a sense of ‘mattering’, and reframing self and adult perceptions from the deficit ‘being a problem’ to agents that can make a difference in their social worlds (Agnew and Pill in Sport J, 2016; LeMenestrel and Perkins, in Special Issue: Sports-Based Youth Development 115:13–25, 2007). Historically and ideologically, there would appear to be strong support for the role of team games in promoting socio-moral development (Theodoulides and Armour in Eur Phys Educ Rev 7:5–23, 2001). Youth development through sport is a mechanism through which to promote peace and harmony (Mandigo et al. in Positive youth development through sport, Routledge, pp 110–121, 2008). While youth sport programs as avenues for positive youth development have been well considered (see Fraser-Thomas et al. 2005), the deliberate use of sport in Physical Education for bullying, harassment, and violence prevention is an area where little theorizing or program trialing has occurred. This lack of research exists despite physical activity opportunities generally, and sport in physical education as an area of physical activity provision, long being identified as an effective medium for the development of social harmony, inclusion, and resilience (Bailey in Educ Rev 57:71–90, 2005; Martinek and Hellison in Quest 49:34–49, 1997). In this chapter, the main objective is to highlight a strengths-based perspective on the role sport can play in promoting young people’s wellbeing, particularly in terms of reducing bullying and promoting positive social relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Youth Development:
Subtitle of host publicationPolicies and Perspectives from India and Beyond
EditorsSibnath Deb, Shayana Deb
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-99-4969-4
ISBN (Print)978-981-99-4968-7
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Sport
  • Physical education
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Violence
  • Prevention


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