Understanding the Power of Sport to Foster Youth Development
Three-quarters of Canadian youth participate in organized sports, usually in team settings. Given this high participation rate, sport teams are a promising setting for engaging youth and promoting their personal and social development.
Dr. Mark Bruner, Canada Research Chair in Youth Development through Sport and Physical Activity, studies how adolescents develop through their participation in sport teams and exercise groups, especially with regards to how socializing in these settings shapes their development. Bruner and his research team are also exploring how to apply this knowledge to promote youth development through involvement in sport and physical activity.
Bruner’s research has focused on how the social identities that youth form through their membership on sport teams shape how they treat teammates and influence their participation in sport.
His research will inform future strategies that coaches and instructors can use to foster youth development and encourage participation in sport. It will also provide valuable information for policy-makers and sport programmers about the ideal circumstances for youth development through sport.