Sports and Young Offenders: A Descriptive and Comprehensive Analysis of Ten Interventions



*Rioux MA, Laurier C, Gadais T, Terradas M. (2017). Sports and Young Offenders: A Descriptive and Comprehensive Analysis of Ten Interventions. Revue de Psychoéducation. 46(2): 337-358.


The objective of this study is to analyze research on sports-based interventions in a rehabilitation environment to understand how and why such initiatives can have an impact on the rehabilitation of young participants. A review of the literature was performed from four databases: ERIC, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Psycinfo and Sport Discuss. All studies meeting the inclusion criteria (n = 10) were initially analyzed in a descriptive and comprehensive manner in light of the Theory of Change (Weiss, 1998). These analyses have shed light on the factors associated with the operation of sport-based interventions with young offenders. The main themes under which the factors are grouped are: (a) the young participants (participation and non-participation), (b) sports-based intervention (objectives and mechanisms), (c) participant’s sports experience (coaches and sports), (d) the impact of the intervention on participants (attitude towards delinquency, delinquent behaviour, physical, psychological, social and psycho-educational), and finally, (e) the factors influencing the relationship between sports participation and impacts on young participants (intrapersonal, interpersonal and programming). The study concludes with recommendations related to the implementation of a sports-based intervention in rehabilitation areas.