SDP and sport psychology

Authored by: Andrew M. Guest

Routledge Handbook of Sport for Development and Peace

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138210486
eBook ISBN: 9781315455174
Adobe ISBN:


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Sports for Development Peace (SDP) programs often make psychological claims for their benefits, aspiring to facilitate psychological well-being for children, improve health-related knowledge and behaviors, reduce prejudicial attitudes, and more. As a general rule, however, psychologists themselves have only rarely been active participants in SDP endeavors. This relative absence is at least partially because much of sport psychology as a sub-discipline is focused on elite performance enhancement. This chapter thus attempts to highlight potential thematic connections between sport psychology and SDP work in three areas not focused primarily on sport performance: positive youth development, health education, and peacebuilding. While there are other SDP domains where psychology can apply, examples of existing research and practice from each of those three areas illustrates ways sport psychology could more actively contribute to SDP if undertaken with careful attention to cultural sensitivity, reflexive practice, empirical evidence, and collaboration.

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