Sport and the socio-emotional development of children

Sport and the socio-emotional development of children

Copyrights: Pro Sport Development A new research study by Pro Sport Development analyzes the impact of their Community Sports Program on the socio-emotional development of children.

Pro Sport Development (PSD) , in collaboration with Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) initiated an in-depth evaluation to better understand the impact of its Community Sports Program (CSP) on the socio-emotional development of children in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

The overall intended impact of the CSP is to help children from marginalized backgrounds improve their socio-emotional health and well-being, and empower them to become confident and competent leaders within their own communities.

Over the past few years, the changes created by the program have been documented through articles, videos and case studies focusing on individual participants’ stories of change. In addition, analysis using secondary data pertaining to the CSP participants has been conducted. However, up until 2019, only basic quantitative data along with limited qualitative assessments were utilized to evaluate the impact of PSD’s sport for development initiative in Bhubaneswar.


For the evaluation of the CSP in 2020-21, a mixed-methods approach was utilized. An exploratory design procedure was used, wherein the quantitative data was collected first, followed by the collection of qualitative data.

Within the quantitative data, baseline and end-line surveys were used with both target and control groups to analyze the changes in their socio-emotional wellbeing. For qualitative data, interviews with select participants, along with their families and PSD trainers, were conducted.

Quantitative data

A total of 267 children from two schools participated in the pre and post intervention surveys conducted for this evaluation. The target group (n=175) consisted of children registered for the CSP at the time of the baseline data collection, and were part of the online intervention implemented through the year. The control group (n=92) comprised of those children from the same schools who did not and have never previously participated in the CSP.

However, as seen in the data analysis of the surveys, the average responses and index scores of a few indicators of both the target respondents and control group have shown a positive change, whereas others have shown a negative change over the evaluation period. Interestingly, the change witnessed in the baseline and endline data for the average responses and index scores for all indicators for both the target respondents and control group follow very similar patterns.

Qualitative data

Qualitative data was also collected as part of the evaluation, in the form of short interviews with participants, their families, and the PSD trainers, to understand more deeply how the CSP impacted participants during this time period. This data allowed PSD to understand the personal impact that the program has had on participants. In total, six participants and their families were interviewed […]

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Second lawsuit filed against La Jolla private school amid allegations of bullying

Second lawsuit filed against La Jolla private school amid allegations of bullying

(Elisabeth Frausto) The San Diego French American School in La Jolla is being sued by a second family in as many months for allegedly failing to address bullying. On the heels of a lawsuit filed nearly two months prior , a second family has sued the San Diego French American School in La Jolla, alleging the family’s two children, in second and eighth grades at the school, were the victims of bullying and harassment by other SDFAS students. A court date in the case has been scheduled for Feb. 4, 2022.

The lawsuit also claims SDFAS, a private school for preschool through eighth grade with an annual tuition starting at $19,950, failed to investigate the family’s allegations or take action to address them.

The lawsuit, filed May 11 in San Diego County Superior Court, names SDFAS, Head of School Mark Rosenblum and the guardians of four students among the defendants. The La Jolla Light is not naming any of the families involved so as to not identify the children.

The suit seeks at least $25,000 in damages for each of eight causes of action, including breach of contract, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A ninth cause of action seeks “relief as the Court may deem proper,” along with “a preliminary and permanent injunction compelling SDFAS to investigate and address claims of bullying, assault, and battery on the SDFAS campus.”

The younger of the plaintiffs’ children, a 7-year-old boy, “experienced and continues to experience incidents of bullying frequently and regularly” according to the lawsuit, including being “punched in the face” by another child in March.

The school took no action after the punch was reported, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit also states the punch was part of “ongoing harassment and bullying” over the course of the school year by other students against the child, who “remains emotionally traumatized” by the alleged incidences.

The lawsuit states that the school has not only “taken no disciplinary action” against the students who allegedly bullied the plaintiffs’ child, but also “has required [the plaintiffs’ child] to continue socializing with” them.

The boy’s mother told the Light her son “started having panic attacks, being scared, hiding in the car” and experienced depression.

The lawsuit states the child suffered “irreparable harm in the form of emotional distress, mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation and anxiety.”

The older child, a 13-year-old girl, also experienced “ongoing harassment,” the lawsuit claims, throughout the entire school year. This includes “anti-Semitic bullying” on campus during school hours while students were still attending classes in person, and several alleged incidences that took place in October online via chat and social media platforms.

The girl’s parents and stepmother reportedly communicated with Rosenblum between October 2020 and April 2021 about their concerns. The school “took […]

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How to encourage a child’s biophilia

How to encourage a child’s biophilia

The sight of children lugging large heavy bags while sprinting to school reveals how their schedules are dictated by aptitudes considered important by the modern world: tight class schedules, sports and exercise, homework, and chores. But not the natural world.

These school activities overlook the human body’s need for natural surroundings and undermine the importance of time spent outdoors. World Environment Day on 5 June is a time to consider teaching our children the importance of creating and protecting green spaces, to support their learning abilities and emotional manageability. It is never too early to start.

The human brain is at its most fertile as a child, and is capable of adapting and absorbing knowledge at an exceptional pace. It is also true that this stage of development is the most defining time for growing children.

The quality of a child’s experience (positive or negative) helps shape how their brains develop. Just as negative experiences such as being exposed to traumatic life events define a child’s perspective and personality, positive experiences like spending quality time outdoors can help boost brain development. The same study also demonstrates the positive benefits of spending time in nature for children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Even a simple walk in nature spurs concentration levels in children. Besides playing a key role in cognitive development, exposure to nature also has wide-ranging emotional, physical, and physiological benefits for children which is the reason outdoor learning education programs have started gaining popularity in recent years.

Physical activity and unstructured play are also important factors contributing to a child’s growth and development. While one fulfils the body’s physical needs, unstructured play triggers the creative side of the brain.

‘Forest Floors’, a Scandinavian concept, spurs early childhood development by recreating small patches of ‘forest’ in the playground. Just a little grass and some mud expose children to good microbes. If a small patch of transplanted forest floor can have this impact, imagine what consistent exposure to our natural surroundings could do.

There is a strong connection between nature and the overall growth process of children, which is why incorporating environmental education and psychology into the national curriculum as a primary subject has a compelling justification. While there may be a growing consensus among parents that children can gain knowledge from watching nature documentaries and working on conservation through the classroom, these second-hand adventures will never hold the same sensory and emotional impact as childhood discoveries beneath a moss-covered brick, or a pile of dried leaves.

According to Wilson’s (1984) well-regarded ‘ biophilia hypothesis ,’ humans are born with an innate affinity for nature. It asserts that human dependence on nature is not limited to material and physical sustenance but […]

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How Pursuing a Quest Can Bring Purpose to Your Life

How Pursuing a Quest Can Bring Purpose to Your Life

In 2002, I walked into a cafe, laptop in hand, to begin a grand adventure.

My adventure did not involve swords, dragons, or golden cups; it didn’t require me to hike the Appalachian trail or steer a boat solo across the world. All I had to do was sip a cappuccino and tap away at my keyboard. After years of detour as a corporate lawyer, I was finally allowing myself to reach that mythical state of being I’d dreamed of since age four: becoming “a writer.”

Believe me when I tell you that I had no idea I would ever publish a best-selling book. My goal was simply to publish something— anything —by age seventy-five. That took the pressure off and put me in a state of near constant flow, and occasional bliss. I wrote a play, a memoir, poetry, and half a novel.

After three years, I started writing Quiet and knew instinctively that this was the one.

But the adventure began long before Quiet and its runaway success. The adventure was the simple act of trying to become a writer in the first place.

In September 2014, my friend Chris Guillebeau came out with a wonderful new book . A book about quests and adventures and about how doing that big crazy (or quiet and intimate) thing you’ve always dreamed of may be the best thing you’ll ever do.

I’ll let Chris tell you all about it…

How Pursuing a Quest Can Bring Purpose to Your Life

by Chris Guillebeau

We all like to adopt habits and make choices that improve our lives—or at least we like the idea of doing so. Small changes can lead to big results, whether it’s being mindful about what we eat or trying to get an extra hour of sleep. Improvement is good.

But what if there’s something bigger that you could do…something that would fundamentally change your life for the better? After thinking carefully about what you enjoy doing and what you find most meaningful, maybe you should think about making that thing the focus of your daily life for years to come.

Perhaps you should consider a quest .For the past ten years, I’ve been pursuing a grand adventure . Even as an introvert (or perhaps because I’m an introvert), I’ve always loved travel, whether it’s exploring new cities and losing myself in foreign markets or heading into a small village after an extended bus ride from a larger hub. After going to a bunch of places, I decided to create structure around those discoveries. Instead of just traveling for fun, I’d turn it into a mission: I’d attempt to visit every country in the world.Every country, no exceptions—and in case you’re wondering, there are 193 […]

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Have you been at your worst with your kids during the pandemic?

Have you been at your worst with your kids during the pandemic?

Lately, I have had a lot of parents calling in, laden with guilt, treating me a little bit like a confession box.

The pandemic has pushed many parents to the edge of intolerance and frustration with their children, who find themselves at the receiving end of anger outbursts, anxiety attacks or melancholia. Parents are shattered in the face of their own inability to get a grip on their emotional demonstrations in the worst forms. Screaming, hitting, slapping, spanking, dissing, criticising and/or avoiding our kids was never part of anyone’s plan.

Last week, one mother wept through most of her session, sharing that her anger had been out of control, calling herself a monster. Another mom confessed she hides herself in the bathroom every dinner time, as by the end of the day she just can’t handle her twins anymore. A father said he was ashamed of threatening his son with a shoe in his hand, when the little guy threw a ball at him to catch during a meeting. One mother messaged me saying, “I have read all the books I need, I know all the do’s and don’ts, rights and wrongs, but I still slip. It kills me to see my child’s face after I have removed my frustration on him. “

The periodic cycle of anger, frustration, guilt, sadness, exhaustion, leading back to anger, has thrown many off, despite the deluge of parenting wisdom around.

While we are intellectually aware, emotionally adept and behaviourally in control the most we can, the heat of the pandemic has gotten to most families. With patience running out, a lot to do in a day and no solace in sight, we can all relate to and empathise with each other’s high strung reactions to people around us. There is no question that children are being exposed to undesirable tumult.

Can there be some simple corrective action? Can the impact of this ever be undone? Will children be traumatised for life or can we help them get over it? Truth is we never know. But we have to try.

There are a few scientific and psychological constructs that we can pin hope on to believe that the trauma caused to children due to the emerging and increasing impulsivity amongst parents, can be reversed, repaired or limited.

While aggravated or in a emotionally aroused state, children often do not differentiate between negative or positive attention. This means that even if you are shouting at a crying child, they do not get impacted by the words or the volume, but in fact may feel comforted […]

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Get Happy: The Science Of Emotions And How To Harness Them For Happiness

Get Happy: The Science Of Emotions And How To Harness Them For Happiness

Profile of a head with layers of color showing importance of managing emotions for happiness. It’s been 16 months of turmoil and chances are you’ve had plenty of emotions roiling within. From frustration, grief or anxiety to relief, elation or anticipation, you’ve likely felt a range of sentiments throughout the pandemic—and this will continue.

But beyond just having all the feels, understanding, monitoring and managing your emotions contributes significantly to happiness and success in life . It’s more important than you might think, and there’s science to prove it.

Consider all the ways emotions matter and can help you move forward as you transition back to something closer to your pre-pandemic life and renew, refresh and (perhaps) reinvent your approaches. Don’t Judge

Our happiness can be negatively impacted if we judge our own emotions—whether they are “correct” or whether we should be feeling them. Sometimes we evaluate ourselves harshly: In a sad situation, we may believe we should be more wrecked, or in a joyous setting, we may believe we should be experiencing greater jubilation. Or we may think we’re more stressed than we should be. In fact research with 2,324 people across eight countries and published by the American Psychological Association found when we negatively evaluate our emotions, we are more likely to feel depressed or unhappy. Undergoing a range of emotions is natural and our experiences are unique. We can benefit by not being too hard on ourselves about certain ideals or how we think we “should” be feeling.

It’s also natural to believe we should be happy all the time and this too, is a myth. Additional research published by the American Psychological Association finds stress and anxiety aren’t always bad. Sometimes they alert us to danger or to something we need to change. Of course, if they become overwhelming or damaging, we should seek help. But it’s normal to feel ups and downs in life. When you worry about being worried or feel depressed about feeling depressed, it only exacerbates negative feelings. The concept of happiness inflation (or scientifically, “hedonistic adaptation”) describes the belief that our happiness should be constantly increasing, but this isn’t realistic. Life ebbs and flows as do our reactions to it. Accepting this natural course contributes toward overall happiness by removing the pressure to be always-positive or constantly-content. Be Authentic

The ability to be yourself and express yourself fully also is critical to happiness, and many believe the pandemic has shown a light on emotional health. As my colleague Marianne says, “Now, we’re allowed to start talking about how we feel.” In fact, a study at National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found children in families which were more expressive […]

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