Child abuse in sport education contexts

MELANIE LANG*, Jennifer McMahon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Most countries recognise four forms of child abuse – physical abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect – although definitions of these vary. This entry provides definitions of child abuse used in sport education with examples to illustrate particular behaviours that constitute abuse in this context. It also provides data on the prevalence of child abuse in sport and identifies who is most at risk of being abused. Data on what is known about perpetrators are also discussed, as well as the short- and long-term consequences of being abused as a child in sport for those affected and for sports organisations. Finally, it describes how the culture in sport education contributes to the occurrence and concealment of child abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Resources Online: Sports Studies
EditorsR Marttinen, L Alfrey, M Hemphill, T Quarmby
PublisherRoutledge, London
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Resources Online series


  • child abuse in sport
  • youth sport
  • physical education
  • sexual abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • psychological abuse
  • child neglect
  • physical abuse
  • child maltreatment
  • child protection in sport
  • safeguarding in sport
  • sport education

Research Institutes

  • Institute for Social Responsibility

Research Centres

  • Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport
  • Centre for Social Responsibility


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