University of Oulu

Shaping self through sport : the link between competitive sports and development of self-concept among young athletes

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Author: Saarinen, Peppi1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Pages: 34
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : P. Saarinen, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-05-19
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis


The popularity of competitive sports is evident as approximately half of children in the Western worlds participate in some type of competitive sports. Being physically active is one of the key elements in maintaining overall human well-being due to its effects on both physical and mental health. The benefits of regular sport participation are especially important for children as their physical and mental development are in their early stages.

In this thesis, I will be focusing on the development of self-concept among children who participate in competitive sports. Competitive environments provide children with different experiences that can affect the self-concept of an individual in either positive or negative way. The responsibility of the adults is also discussed as their role in organizing youth sports is substantial.

Being a youth athlete requires constant balancing between sports, school and social life, which can become overwhelming at times. These different stressors have great impact on individual’s mental development. By recognizing the effects that competitive sport participation has on children, we are able to understand and support their journey as a youth athlete.

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Copyright information: © Peppi Saarinen, 2022. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.