Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19 on Female Youth Athletes.

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Publisher: United States Sports Academy
Document Type: Article
Length: 2,742 words
Lexile Measure: 1520L

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Abstract :

Purpose: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, national restrictions were implemented limiting social gatherings and disrupting many facets of everyday life including sports. To gain a better understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the social and emotional wellbeing of children and adolescents in sports, the present study examined parental perspectives of female youth competitive cheerleaders during the national pandemic. Methods: A sample of 97 parents of female youth competitive cheerleaders completed an online Qualtrics survey investigating their perspectives on the psychosocial wellbeing of their children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: Descriptive statistics were used for the quantitative analysis to determine general findings from the survey results. Results revealed that all age groups (5-18 years old) reported high levels of frustration ([greater than or equal to] 63.7%) and all age groups reported high levels of feelings of loneliness during the pandemic ([greater than or equal to] 67.1%). For all age groups, an increased interest in watching television or playing video games was reported as high ([greater than or equal to] 66.6%). Conclusions: Findings suggest that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, female youth competitive cheerleaders experienced high levels of frustration and loneliness and spent more time engaging in sedentary activities rather than participating in active sports-related functions and practices. Applications in Sports: This study found that the impacts of COVID-19 on the psychosocial wellbeing of youth athletes includes increased levels of frustration and loneliness, which can be attributed to decreased participation in sports. The findings of this study provides data to support the importance of addressing psychosocial needs with female youth athletes and addressing the benefits of sports for leisure occupation and social participation. Implications of this study can be applied to healthcare professions and athletic departments to guide future research and programs regarding sports and youth. Key Words: pediatric athletes, psychosocial wellbeing, mental health, youth sports

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A704950983