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Drop-out from team sport among adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies

Back, Jenny; Johnson, Urban; Svedberg, Petra; McCall, Alan; Ivarsson, Andreas


Jenny Back

Urban Johnson

Petra Svedberg

Andreas Ivarsson


During the last decades, an increased drop-out rate in adolescents' team sport participation is observed. Given the potential adverse consequences of drop-out from team sport more information about risk factors for drop-out is warranted. The objectives of this systematic review were to (1) synthesise the literature on factors associated with future drop-out from team sport among adolescents and (2) investigate the strength of associations between drop-out and related factors with meta-analysis. The databases Academic Search Elite, ERIC, PsycINFO, PubMed and SPORTDiscus were searched for relevant publications from the earliest reported date until October 8, 2021. Articles were included if: (1) data about drop-out was collected; (2) the focus was on adolescents; (3) the context was team sport and (4) studies were of prospective design. We used the Risk of Bias Assessment Tool for Nonrandomized Studies (RoBANS) to assess the risk of bias in included studies. A narrative synthesis was conducted according to the reporting guideline of synthesis without meta-analysis. Studies that presented statistical data necessary for the calculation of Hedge's g effect sizes were included in the meta-analysis. In total, 16 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the narrative synthesis. The meta-analysis included 12 of the studies. Altogether, 6304 adolescent team sport players participated in the selected studies. Of those studies, most had a focus on intrapersonal factors relationship with drop-out. The results showed that constructs related to motivation as well as sport experience had the strongest relationships with drop-out. To prevent drop-out from adolescents' team sport, organisations and clubs are recommended to focus on developing a high-quality motivation climate that facilitates motivation and enjoyment.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 13, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 18, 2022
Publication Date 2022-07
Deposit Date Jun 23, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 23, 2022
Journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise
Print ISSN 1469-0292
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 61
Article Number 102205
Keywords Adolescents, Drop-out, Organised sport, Team sport, Sport participation
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