Sport can reduce aggression in boys

Participating in sport can help to play a role in reducing aggression in young boys, new research has found. Recently presented at Tel Aviv University's (TAU) Renata Adler Memorial Research Centre for Child Welfare and Protection Conference, the study found such games are beneficial to the emotional, behavioural and cognitive wellbeing of a child.

The investigation was led by Keren Shahar, a PhD student at TAU's Bob Shapell School of Social Work - which first welcomed undergraduate students in 1969 - under the guidance of Professor Tammie Ronen and Professor Michael Rosenbaum.

It was demonstrated - through an analysis of 649 young people from low socioeconomic backgrounds - that sport participation can have a role in improved discipline and self-control, as well as lowered overall feelings of aggression.

Ms Shahar said: "We set out to determine whether sports training would have a positive impact on these children by lowering aggression," explaining this was found to be the case because the physical activity serves to quell negative emotions.

Dr Ioan Rees, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "Adolescent participation in disciplined, particularly 'contact' activities such as the martial arts and boxing can lead to a better channelling of physical energy and a greater control of natural aggression. 

"This suggests that it's less likely to observe a youngster who participates in regular, sporting activity such as the martial arts use similar levels of aggression that are required in the discipline outside of that context."