Young boys who participate in sports had a lower risk of anxiety and depression, according to a study.

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Young boys who participate in sports had a lower risk of anxiety and depression, according to a study.

Are you attempting to squeeze soccer or Little League into your son’s hectic schedule? According to Canadian academics, there are several strong reasons to do so.

According to a University of Montreal study, young boys who participate in sports are less likely to be nervous or depressed later in childhood and are more likely to be active in their early teens.

“We aimed to explain the long-term and reciprocal association between engagement in sports and depressed and anxious symptoms in school-aged children,” said Marie-Jose Harbec of the University of Montreal’s School of Psychoeducation. Professor Linda Pagani oversaw her work as a PhD student.

Harbec, who also works with Pagani at CHU Sainte-Justine, a university-affiliated children’s hospital, said, “We also wanted to see if this association operated differently in boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 12.”

The researchers based their findings on data from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, with a focus on children born in 1997 and 1998.

Parents of 690 boys and 748 girls reported their children’s participation in sports when they were five years old, as well as their weekly level of physical activity when they were twelve years old. Their teachers informed them about the signs and symptoms of emotional distress that they had witnessed in children aged 6 to 10.

Other factors that could alter the results, such as the child’s temperament, parental education, or family wealth, were also ruled out by the investigators.

“We discovered that 5-year-old boys who had never engaged in sports were more likely to appear dissatisfied and exhausted between the ages of 6 and 10, to have problems having fun, to cry a lot, and to appear afraid or worried,” Pagani added.

“In addition, boys who had higher levels of depressive and anxious symptoms in middle childhood were less physically active by the age of 12,” Pagani said.

There were no substantial changes in girls, according to the study’s authors.

Harbec noted that the dangers and protective factors for depression and anxiety are different for girls. They are more likely to seek help from family, friends, and doctors if they are experiencing emotional discomfort.

“Also, because girls suffer emotional discomfort at a higher rate than boys, this gender-related risk may have led to early detection and intervention for girls,” Harbec speculated, sparing them from additional harm.

Preschool athletics may help boys develop life skills such as taking initiative, exhibiting self-control, and working as part of a team. Article Summary from Nokia News

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