The Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport is a comprehensive survey of the latest research into young people’s involvement in sport. Drawing on a wide diversity of disciplines, including sociology, psychology, policy studies, coaching, physical education and physiology, the book examines the importance of sport during a key transitional period of our lives, from the later teenage years into the early twenties, and therefore helps us develop a better understanding of the social construction of young people’s lives.

The book covers youth sport in all its forms, from competitive game-contests and conventional sport to recreational activities, exercise and lifestyle sport, and at all levels, from elite competition to leisure time activities and school physical education. It explores youth sport across the world, in developing and developed countries, and touches on some of the most significant themes and issues in contemporary sport studies, including physical activity and health, lifelong participation, talent identification and development, and safeguarding and abuse.

No other book brings together in one place such a breadth and depth of material on youth sport or the engagement of young people in physical activity. The Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport is therefore important reading for all advanced students, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers with an interest in youth sport, youth culture, sport studies or physical education.

Introduction Section 1: Youth sport in context 1.1. Introduction 1.2. Young people and social change 1.3. Youth leisure as the context for youth sport 1.4. Youths’ use of time from comparative, historical and developmental perspectives 1.5. Youth, sport and leisure careers Section 2: Youth sport around the world 2.1. Introduction 2.2. Youth sport participation: a comparison between European member states 2.3. Youth sport in Norway 2.4. Youth sport in the United States 2.5. Youth sport in Australasia 2.6. Youth sport in Japan 2.7. Youth sport in the Middle East 2.8. Youth sport in China Section 3: Trends in youth sport 3.1. Introduction 3.2. Tracking and youth sport: the quest for lifelong adherence to sport and physical activity 3.3. Dropping out from clubs, dropping in to sport light? Organizational settings for youth sports participation 3.4. Indoorising the outdoors: Tempting young people’s interests in lifestyle sports 3.5. Lifestyle and adventure sports among youth Section 4: Socialisation and youth sport 4.1. Introduction 4.2. Parenting and youth sport 4.3. Peer group experiences in youth sport 4.4. Understanding take-up, drop-out and drop-off in youth sport 4.5. A personal assets approach to youth sport Section 5: Social divisions and youth sport 5.1. Introduction 5.2. Playing an unequal game? Youth sport and social class 5.3. Sexuality, gender and youth sport 5.4. Youth sport, 'race' and ethnicity 5.5. Sport, youth and religion 5.6. Youth sport and dis/ability 5.7. Unpacking gender/sexuality/disability/social class to understand the embodied experiences of young people in contemporary physical culture 5.8. Youths’ participation rights in relation to dominant movement cultures Section 6: Youth sport, physical activity and health 6.1. Introduction 6.2. Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in youth 6.3. The health-enhancing effects of physical activity among youth 6.4. Measuring physical activity among youth 6.5. Youth sport, health and physical activity 6.6. Youth sport and mental health 6.7. Eating disorders in young athletes 6.8. Everyday distortions: youth sport and body images 6.9. Youth sport, cigarettes, alcohol and illicit drugs Section 7: Elite youth sport 7.1. Introduction 7.2. The elements of talent development in youth sport 7.3. Talent identification and development in youth sport 7.4. Health, well-being and the ‘logic’ of elite youth sports work 7.5. Child abuse in sport: from research to policy and prevention Section 8: Politics and policy in youth sport 8.1. Introduction 8.2. Elite youth sport policy and dual career support services in fifteen countries 8.3. Youth sport policy in small states 8.4. Youth and sport-for-change programmes: what can you expect? 8.5. Enacting youth sport policy: towards a micro-political and emotional understanding of community sports coaching work