25 Jun 2020

The Youth Sport Trust has published a new research report ‘What About the Boys’ which sets out the potential for sport to play a greater role in improving boys’ mental health. It comes amid increasing worries about mental health, anti-social behaviour and lack of achievement and aspirations among boys.

Young men and boys represent the group at highest risk of mental health problems in developed countries and are less likely to seek help. The report cites research showing that:

  • 77% of school exclusions in England were boys
  • 7% of boys have a behavioural disorder, compared with 5% of girls
  • Black boys and white boys from low socio-economic backgrounds are least likely to perform well at GCSE level

It is well established that regular physical activity enhances social, emotional and physical wellbeing. The report argues that there is a need for greater targeting of sport and physical activity to improve wellbeing and achievement among young men who are in the ‘forgotten third’.

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