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Child maltreatment in sport: smashing the wall of silence: a narrative review of physical, sexual, psychological abuses and neglect
  1. Kristine Fortier1,
  2. Sylvie Parent1,
  3. Geneviève Lessard2
  1. 1 Department of Physical Education, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
  2. 2 School of Social Work and Criminology, Laval University, Québec, Québec, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Sylvie Parent, Physical education, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada; Sylvie.parent{at}


Child maltreatment in sport is an undeniable problem. High-profile cases of sexual abuse of child athletes are obvious examples of child maltreatment in this context. Young athletes also face physical and psychological maltreatment, as well as neglect, although these types of child maltreatment are understudied in sport and receive less public attention. Little is known as to how to define physical and psychological maltreatment and neglect in sport and their diverse manifestations. The aim of this paper is to propose concrete manifestations of each type of child maltreatment in sport. We aim to help practitioners better understand and researchers better measure this problem.

  • child
  • sport
  • violence
  • athlete

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  • Contributors Each of the authors made substantial contributions. KF contributed to conception and study design, project management, and drafted the manuscript. SP contributed to conception and study design, project management, and writing and review of the paper. GL contributed to project management and reviewed the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada under Grant 108560, and Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur du Québec under Grant 104153.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.