The sport environment of young ambitious athletes: Does it represent a healthy performance culture?

Sport for youth may help promote their health and well-being. However, many young ambitious athletes taking part in performance-focused organized sport activities may be surrounded by an environment in which good results are highly appreciated and expected, which may create a considerable degree of pressure to perform. Parallel to this, young athletes may bear a less developed concept of risk which may influence their willingness to accept and take behavioral risks in search for a professional career in sport. Hence, there is a possibility of a threat to their health in the service of performance development and good results

Formal title

Health risk practices among ambitious Norwegian youth athletes. Studies among individual- and team sport participants


Examine the relationship between a multiple set of theoretically based personal and contextual risk factors, as well as protective factors, on athletes’ behavior that may pose a risk to their health. Behavioral examples are playing when injured, use of painkillers, taking nutritional supplements and attitudes and intentional use of illicit substances will also be examined. Our target group are young dedicated athletes, focused towards performance enhancement. The main objective is to gain further knowledge of the sport environment and promote a healthy performance culture for youth sports


The project will consist of a systematic review study and three quantitative empirical studies. The review study aims to provide an update status of the research field while also help to further finetune our research models guiding the three empirical studies.

For our three empirical studies, we will collect data using electronic questionnaires among young individual- and team-sports athletes using validated questionnaires.