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The social and psychological health outcomes of team sport participation in adults

an integrative review of research

literature review

Høstrup Andersen, M., Ottesen, L., & Thing, L.F. (2019). The social and psychological health outcomes of team sport participation in adults: an integrative review of research, literature review. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health (pp. 832-850)

Aim: The aim of this article was to review the international scientific research literature about the social and psychological health outcomes associated with participation in team sport and to synthesise the key issues about team sport as a health-promoting activity.

Results: A wide range of different positive social, psychological, and psychosocial health outcomes associated with team sport participation were identified in the studies, with emotional social support, sense of belonging, higher self-esteem, social network, and social interaction being the most frequently reported health benefits. In addition, three key issues influencing the psychological and social health outcomes of team sport participation as a health-promoting activity were identified: (1) team sport versus individual sport, (2) competitive versus non-competitive structure, and (3) commitment and continuation.

Conclusions: There is consistent evidence that participation in a team sport is associated with improved social and psychological health independent of the type of team sport, age, somatic, or mental health problems. The findings indicate that team sport could be more efficient in promoting health and ensuring exercise participation and continuation than individual sport. However, when utilising team sports for health purposes, precautions must be taken with regard to their inherent competitive nature.

Uitgever(s): SAGE,


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Marie Høstrup Andersen
Laila Ottesen
Lone Thing

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