Advertisement

Child Maltreatment and Sports Activities

  • Angelo P. GiardinoEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Sport is …a social or cultural institution…and, thus, falls under the terms of institutional child abuse and protection … it is similar to other social institutions, such as religion (with its churches or mosques, for example) or education (with schools and colleges)… just as organised religion and education have had to implement child protection, sport has also had to come to terms with abuse and abusers in its ranks and with ways of preventing and responding to such problems. (Brackenridge and Rhind, Soc Sci 3:326–340, 2014)

As the quote above indicates, there is a risk for child maltreatment and victimization to occur in sports and athletic activities. Increasingly, professionals and the public are recognizing the very real risk for child maltreatment and other forms of victimization such as peer abuse (i.e., bullying) to occur in a range of youth-serving agencies which include sports teams, churches, and schools (LaBotz et al, Athletic environments can create opportunities for abuse. AAP News. February 23. http://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/02/23/coaches022318, 2018; Shattuck et al, JAMA Pediatr 170:e154493, 2016). As testament to this increased awareness, especially as it relates to sexual victimization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2007 issued an authoritative guide titled “Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-Serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures” (Saul and Audage, Preventing child sexual abuse within youth-serving organizations: getting started on policies and procedures. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta, 2007). The release of this CDC report provided guidance to professionals working on how best to implement systematic practices directed at preventing one type of maltreatment: sexual abuse. However, many of the policies and procedures are applicable to other forms of maltreatment and victimization as well:

Youth-serving organizations strive to create a safe environment for youth, employees, and volunteers so that youth can grow, learn, and have fun. Part of creating a safe environment is making sure that youth are not harmed in any way while participating in organization-sponsored activities. (p. 1)

Keywords

Sports Activities Athletes Misconduct 

References

  1. Alexander, K., Stafford, A., & Lewis, R. (2011). The experiences of children participating in organised sport in the UK. The University of Edinburgh/NSPCC Child Protection Research Center. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/research-reports/experiences-children-participating-organised-sport-uk-main-report.pdf
  2. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2013). Sports and Children No. 61, Updated February. https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Children-And-Sports-061.aspx
  3. Brackenridge, C. H. (2001). Spoilsports: Understanding and preventing sexual exploitation in sport. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brackenridge, C. (2010). Keynote address: “How safe is your sport?” Excel Sports Centre, Coventry, on February 25th 2010, hosted by the Coventry Sports Foundation and the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit.Google Scholar
  5. Brackenridge, C. H., & Rhind, D. (2014). Child protection in sport: Reflections on thirty years of science and activism. Social Sciences, 3, 326–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brackenridge, C. H., Bishopp, D., Moussali, S., & Tapp, J. (2011). The characteristics of sexual abuse in sport: A multidimensional scaling analysis of events described in media reports. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6, 385–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Daniels, D. J., with assistance from Praesidium. (2017). Report to USA gymnastics on proposed policy and procedural changes for the protection of young athletes. https://usagym.org/PDFs/About%20USA%20Gymnastics/ddreport_062617.pdf
  8. David, P. (2005). Human rights in youth sport: A critical review of children’s rights in competitive sport. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. ESPN. (2013). Hey, data data – Swing! Youth sports is so big that no one knows quite how big it is. http://www.espn.com/espn/print?id=9469252&type=Story&imagesPrint=off
  10. Feinstein, D. (2018). Senate passes Feinstein bill to protect young athletes from abuse. https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=C73EB329-2915-4086-B337-A1B00EC217D3
  11. Kuster, A. M. (2018, May 23). Reps. Poe and Kuster legislation to protect youth athletes included in government funding bill. U.S. House of Representatives press release. https://kuster.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/reps-poe-and-kuster-legislation-to-protect-youth-athletes-included-in
  12. LaBotz, M., Diamond, A. B., & Giardino, A. P. (2018, February 23). Athletic environments can create opportunities for abuse. AAP News. http://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/02/23/coaches022318
  13. Lee, A. (2015). 7 charts that show the state of youth sports in the US and why it matters. The Aspen Institute. https://www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-posts/7-charts-that-show-the-state-of-youth-sports-in-the-us-and-why-it-matters/
  14. Mountjoy, M., Brackenridge, C., Arrington, M., Blauwet, C., Carska-Sheppard, A., Fasting, K., Kirby, S., Leahy, T., Marks, S., Martin, K., Starr, K., Tiivas, A., & Budgett, R. (2016). International Olympic Committee consensus statement: Harassment and abuse (non-accidental violence) in sport. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50, 1019–1029.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Poe, T. (2018). Reps. Poe and Kuster introduce legislation to protect young athletes. U. S. House of Representatives press release. https://poe.house.gov/2018/3/reps-poe-and-kuster-introduce-legislation-to-protect-young-athletes
  16. Saul, J., & Audage, N. C. (2007). Preventing child sexual abuse within youth-serving organizations: Getting started on policies and procedures. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.Google Scholar
  17. Shattuck, A., Finkelhor, D., Turner, H., & Hamby, S. (2016). Children exposed to abuse in youth-serving organizations: Results from national sample surveys. JAMA Pediatrics, 170(2), e154493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Stafford, A., Alexander, K., & Fry, D. (2015). ‘There was something that wasn’t right because that was the only place I ever got treated like that’: Children and young people’s experiences of emotional harm in sport. Childhood, 22, 121–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Team USA. (2018). U.S. Center for SafeSport. https://www.teamusa.org/about-the-usoc/safe-sport
  20. The Aspen Institute Project Play. (2017). State of play 2017: Trends and developments. https://assets.aspeninstitute.org/content/uploads/2017/12/FINAL-SOP2017-report.pdf
  21. The Boston Globe. (2004). Spotlight investigation: Abuse in the Catholic Church. http://archive.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/extras/laws_responses.htm
  22. U.S. Center for SafeSport. (2017a). Press releases of March 23, 2017. https://safesport.org/files/index/category/press-releases
  23. U.S. Center for SafeSport. (2017b). Resources: SafeSport code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movement. https://safesport.org/files/index/tag/policies-procedures
  24. U.S. Congress. (2018). S.534 – Protecting young victims from sexual abuse and safe sport authorization act of 2017. 115th Congress (2017–2018). https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/534/text?format=txt
  25. United Nations. Office on Sport for Development and Peace. (2011). Child protection in sport. Policy: Sport and Child & Youth Development Thematic Working Group.Google Scholar
  26. Vieth, V., Russell, A., Smith, S., Feigh, A. & Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center. (2014). When the athlete is a child: An assessment of USA Swimming’s Safe Sport program. https://www.gundersenhealth.org/app/files/public/3215/NCPTC-USA-Swimming-Full-Report.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Utah and Intermountain Primary Children’s HospitalSalt Lake CityUSA

Personalised recommendations