Countering the trajectories towards new forms of violence in youth

Enhancing protective factors through sports

Authored by: Dean M. Ravizza

Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367193256
eBook ISBN: 9780429201745
Adobe ISBN:


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Youth are increasingly embracing many forms of violent extremism, including those perpetrated by terrorist organisations or other domestic violent extremist movements. While there is no clear pathway towards violent extremism in youth, compounded issues of marginalisation and isolation have emerged as shared feelings in several cases. Efforts to prevent their participation have increasingly sought to involve youth, communities, and marginalised groups in a variety of programming to strengthen protective factors and reduce opportunities for engagement in violence. This chapter aims to demonstrate the potential for sports to strengthen the protective factors of youth at risk for such violence. Furthermore, it describes the critical roles of coaches and community stakeholders to contribute to the reinforcement of positive factors that enhance social inclusion. These actors also facilitate the creation of safe spaces where youth can practise important interpersonal skills that encourage emotional competence needed to handle conflicts with higher stakes.

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