Adolescence is often a tumultuous and challenging period for children, as they discover their sexuality, search for an identity, and learn to think abstractly. Sports and exercise are typically touted for their physical health benefits, but they also can have a significant impact on the psychological development of children. This paper presents an overview of three classic, staged developmental theories: Freud’s psychosexual model, Erikson’s psychosocial model, and Piaget’s cognitive model. It then explores a number of common themes and concepts within the literature that involve adolescent sports participation and the impact that it can have on sexual, social, and cognitive development.
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