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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Using a positive youth development approach, we comprehensively review the literature on social, psychological, and physical outcomes of children's participation in sport and physical activity. Organizing topical areas around the Five Cs (Lerner & Lerner, 2006 ), we first discuss robust findings on social assets, including social relationships and competencies (parents, peers, coaches) and moral development. Second, we review the knowledge base on psychological assets, including self-perceptions (global self-worth, perceived competence), emotional outcomes (primarily enjoyment and anxiety), and motivational orientations and behaviors. Third, we discuss the unique set of physical assets that are possible from engaging in physical activity–based youth development programs, such as motor skill development, physical fitness, and physical health. Finally, we offer several avenues for future research studies that will provide even more definitive evidence of physical activity as a context for promoting positive youth development.

Keywords: Peer relationships, parental influence, coach behaviors, moral development, self-perceptions, emotions, motivation, motor skill development, physical health

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