WEIGHT-BASED TEASING IN RECREATIONAL SPORTS IN NOVA SCOTIA: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY
MetadataShow full item record
Weight-based teasing (WBT) is associated with negative mental health outcomes for youth. Research indicates WBT is a persistent problem in schools. There is a gap in research on WBT during recreational sports. This study examined the prevalence and beliefs about WBT in youth sports using an online survey of team members, primary caregivers, and coaches. Thirty-five percent of team members experienced WBT during sports. Fifty-six percent of primary caregivers and team members and forty-four percent of coaches witnessed WBT during sports. Between 31% and 71% of participants felt WBT is serious, concerning, and harmful to health. Participants identified coaches promoting WBT through minimizing and accepting the behaviour. Body-weight expectations, media messaging about athletes’ bodies, and lack of WBT policies also promoted WBT. Education on good sportsmanship and body positivity as well as anti-bullying programs discouraged WBT. Athlete protection policies that address weight-based victimization are required to reduce WBT in sports.