January 25, 2022

European study finds that three quarters of children who play sports have suffered psychological or physical abuse

This study covers more than 10,000 people in six European countries.

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Three quarters of children who have participated in sport have been victims of psychological or physical abuse and boys are more likely to be affected than girls. This is the result of a study involving more than 10,000 people in six European countries, published on Saturday 27 November.

The most common form of abuse is psychological, ranging from lack of appreciation on the part of coaches to outright humiliation, according to this European Union-funded study. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed said they had suffered psychological violence, while 44% had been victims of physical violence.

For the lead author of the report, Professor of Sports Sociology Mike Hartill, Edge Hill University (in English), in the north-west of England, the results show that the various European sports leaders made “too few” to protect children and must concretely do “much more than producing a policy” displayed. “Our findings are obviously very concerning. We have seen a number of high profile cases of child abuse in sport lately, but this study helps us to understand more clearly the extent of the problem.”said Mike Hartill.

The study, conducted in collaboration with the University of Wuppertal in Germany, interviewed people between the ages of 18 and 30 who had played sports as minors. The highest incidence of abuse was seen among children who had participated in international competitions and the study showed that the abuse took place within the structure of clubs and sports organizations.

A total of 10,302 people were interviewed in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Romania, Spain and Great Britain with the help of the Ipsos Mori polling institute.