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Scientific Review (Research Paper Sample)


It is permissible to write a scientific review on youth athlete mental health. This must include information specific to prevalence, etiology, prevention, and/or treatment. This paper may significantly improve your final grade. The paper must be 5 pages of text plus references (minimum of 15) in APA format, 1-inch margins, no more than 12-point font, and double-spaced


Youth Athlete’s Mental Health
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Course Name and Number
Instructor’s Name
Assignment Due Date
Youth Athlete’s Mental Health
Sporting is mainly associated with a wide range of benefits for athletes. Apart from the physical, social, and mental health benefits that sports offers, it also provides other advantages such as confidence and competence feelings; character development and sense of self; sportsmanship and conflict resolution abilities; a sense of teamwork, connectedness, cooperation, and belonging; positive interactions, functioning, and social skills; psychological and physical resilience; positive self-esteem and social concept; and emotional control and regulation (Xanthopoulos et al., 2020). However, sports activities have also been related to increased emotional stress, depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts, and hopelessness. Mental health challenges that mainly involve substance misuse, depression, anxiety, and distress are highly reported in populations involving young adults (Gouttebarge et al., 2019). According to Åkesdotter et al. (2019), different sports influences athletes in different ways. However, most lead to mental health challenges due to injury, bullying, and overtraining (Åkesdotter et al., 2019). This paper discusses the mental health challenges in youth athletes, the prevalence, etiology, and prevention measures.
Mental health challenges are highly predominant among adolescents. According to (n.d.), most youths are healthy, emotionally and physically, yet in the general population, one in every five to six youths have lifetime mental disorders linked to severe distress and impairment. Averagely, more than 18% of young people experience behavioral, mental, and emotional disorders (, n.d.). According to Hansen (n.d.), between 10-15% of youth athletes experience mental health challenges than non-athletic youths. The mental health challenges expose female athletes to eating disorders, with more than 8% experiencing bulimia while 1.5% experienced anorexia (Hansen, n.d.). World Health Organization (2020) illustrates that an estimation of 10-20% of youths around the world experience mental health challenges, yet more of these cases remain undiagnosed and untreated.
The increased rate by which youths engage in sporting activities has highly increased issues concerning burnout and overtraining. To attain the required results, most youth athletes have started overtraining. However, this has significantly increased their physical and mental health challenges (Chang et al., 2019). Overtraining mainly refers to improved exhaustion with exercise joined with reduced performance, notwithstanding sufficient reclamation time. It also presents an amalgamation of psychological and physiological aspects (Chang et al., 2019). According to Xanthopoulos et al. (2020), burnout refers to the situation whereby chronic anxiety causes a youth athlete to cease participating in sports that formerly were pleasurable. It is estimated that most youth athletes overtrain at a certain point in their lives. Apart from the volume of sports activity and the load of training, other extrinsic and intrinsic factors contribute to overtraining syndrome. The intrinsic factors include fear of failure, increased anxiety and stress levels, perfectionism, and unidimensional sports identity, which may facilitate burnout and overtraining. Extrinsic factors that facilitate burnout and overtraining include related feelings of disempowerment of impractical expectations in combination with increased training loads.
Inadequate Sleep
Disturbances while sleeping are mainly observed when individuals experience mental health challenges, including eating disorders, anxiety, and depression, most especially experienced after overtraining or responding to concussions (Pluhar et al., 2019). Inadequate sleep and sleep disturbances facilitate the eruption of mental health challenges or may be as a result. The association between mental health functioning and sleep is recognized, as is the association among performance, physical health, and deprivation (Schinke et al., 2017). The issue of inadequate sleep has significantly been reported in adolescents and young adults that engage in sports. Sleeping challenges that are an outcome of poor sleep quality or inadequate sleep are usually linked to emotional and mood dysregulation variations. Additional cognitive functioning like fine motor movement, decision-making, and reaction time usually gets impaired from sleep challenges.
Injuries tend to limit athletes from playing or actively participating in sports. Injuries are pretty common in sports, and they possess a significant effect on athletes (Swann et al., 2018). Therefore, while nursing injuries are associated with athletics, an individual may start developing negative attitudes. Other instances may see them disregarding their abilities since they cannot engage in their athletic activities. Thus, most develop emotional disorders due to worries and anxieties associated with their injuries. Most fear that the injury may prevent them from resuming their usual physical well-being or may limit their abilities while playing (Schinke et al., 2017). Additionally, injuries promote time loss from sports. Young athletes experience depression and a worsening of pre-existing challenges. Restrictions associated with sporting injuries usually are linked to improved depressive symptoms between 1 week (acute) and 3 months (chronic) time points. Between these time points, a young athlete is likely to experience increased mental health symptoms due to the limitations associated with the injuries.
Bullying is a significant issue that reportedly affects students and young adults. According to Reardon et al. (2019), peer victimization and bullying are linked to a wide series of short and long-term impacts through academic, social, emotional, and physical aspects that young athletes are not immune to. An instance is whereby young adults that have experienced peer victimization and bullying report increased psychosomatic grievances, challenges in psychosocial adjustments, poor academic achievements, low school attendance, increased rates of externalizing and internalizing psychopathology like substance use, aggression towards others, suicidal attempts and ideation, anxiety and depression (Reardon et al., 2019). Athletics participation makes one susceptible to hazing and bullying. For instance, when a team gets defeated by another team, the defeated players may get intimidated and bullied by their fans and supporters. Additionally, a player may be stigmatized and bullied based on race and ethnicity. An instance is if a young athlete is an underrepresented minority in comparison to the team’s members, they may experience additional pressures to perform or even feelings of isolation (Swann et al., 2018). One may also go through ethnic discernment; conventional biases relating to athletics; social, and academic achievements; segregation; and alienation.
Prevention and Treatment
According to Purcell et al. (2019), there are no established guidelines to endorse mental health challenges in young athletes. Recent research has emphasized the importance of building cognizance of mental health challenges and increasing assist-pursuing behaviors (Purcell et al., 2019). Unquestionably, such initiatives are necessary; nevertheless, help-seeking behaviors and improving awareness are unsurpassed meaningless and at worst risky if care systems in responding to the needs of athletes are not presented. A whole-system approach must be established concurrently as it will be significant in solving such needs.
Mental health promotion aims to enhance individuals’ resources, capacity, and strength to assist them in developing increased control of their mental health and determining factors (Colizzi et al., 2020). On the other hand, prevention focuses on reducing the occurrence, prevalence, and severity of the mental health challenge that is being targeted. Therefore, to seal the treatment gap for substance use, neurological, and mental disorders around the world, the evidence-based recommendations established by WHO endorses that population levels health mediations have a general advancement emphasis.
Preventative Measures
Mental health literacy curriculums need to be made available to coaches, athletes, and support staff to assist in formulating a culture that values the well-being and mental health of all participants (Purcell et al., 2019). Additionally, the youth athlete’s family members and friends should be provided with programs to help them identify and improve their ability to recognize the associated symptoms and seek help (Moesch et al., 2018). Involving a wide range of persons in these programs will broaden awareness of the athlete’s mental health. The programs should include the precise and universal risk factors that intensify an athlete’s vulnerability to mental health challenges, the significant signs and symptoms of compromised mental health, where to seek help in impairment, and the techniques applied to curb the situation.
Individually Focused Development Programs
These programs will help the athletes recognize personal goals and ways to achieve them (Shannon et al., 2019). The acquisition of the skills will be essential to aid a corresponding non-athletic individuality and the expertise to balance sports and life (Shannon et al., 2019). The program will help the athlete be aware of the changes in their bodies, which may be ...

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