University of Limerick
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The impact of typical school provision of physical education, physical activity and sports on adolescent mental health and wellbeing:  a systematic literature review

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-03, 09:06 authored by Padraic RocliffePadraic Rocliffe, Manolis Adamakis, Brendan O'KeeffeBrendan O'Keeffe, Liam Walsh, Aine Bannon, Luis Garcia‑Gonzalez, Fiona Chambers, Michalis Stylianou, IAN SHERWINIAN SHERWIN, PATRICIA MANNIX-MC NAMARAPATRICIA MANNIX-MC NAMARA, CIARAN MAC DONNCHACIARAN MAC DONNCHA

Typical school provision of physical education, physical activity and sports, which is refective of the school’s response to the national curriculum, available resources and school ethos, may impact adolescent mental health and wellbeing. Systematic literature reviews have not yet considered this impact. The Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, PsychINFO, ERIC and MEDLINE databases were searched for relevant literature (2000–2022) pertaining to adolescents aged 12–18 years in secondary schools. Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria, including thirteen interventions, fve cross-sectional and two longitudinal studies. Included studies contributed 108 reported efects, that examined depression, anxiety, self-esteem, self-efcacy, wellbeing, life satisfaction and positive mental health. Anxiety was the most frequently reported outcome, with 59% of the reported fndings found to be non-signifcant, 24% signifcantly positive, 12% signifcantly negative and 6% reporting a negative trend but with no test of signifcance. Evidence supported the impact of physical education on adolescent mental health and wellbeing. Signifcantly positive efects were linked to interventions with minor modifcations to typical provision such as the integration of teacher workshops and/or implementation of curriculum models. This suggests the importance of supplementing typical school provision of physical education to positively infuence future impact.



Adolescent Research Review



Other Funding information

Open Access funding provided by the IReL Consortium. Irish Research Council,GOIPG/2022/555, Padraic Roclife

Also affiliated with

  • Health Research Institute (HRI)

Sustainable development goals

  • (3) Good Health and Well-being
  • (4) Quality Education

Department or School

  • Physical Education and Sports Science
  • School of Engineering

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