Sports Promote Social & Emotional Learning, Especially Among Young Men of Color

Laureus USA today released the results of a comprehensive study showing sports-based youth development (SBYD) programs play a significant role in fostering critical social and emotional learning (SEL) skills necessary to succeed in school, careers, and life. These SBYD programs have a particularly strong impact on young men of color and youth in under-resourced communities.

The study, funded by the Allstate Foundation, surveyed nearly 10,000 youth across the country who participated in a SBYD program.  It found that substantially more young people in SBYD programs develop SEL skills than those attending non-sports programs.

“Through sport, young people increase their social skills, teamwork, sense of positive identity, and desire to give back to their team and community – all attributes that have been shown to drive long-term success academically, on the job and in life,” said Kim Sabo Flores, Ph.D. of Hello Insight, who conducted the study. “One of the most important finding shows that sports programs are especially important for young men, who have more difficulty than girls growing these skills off the field,” Dr. Flores adds.

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