girls celebrating after scoring a goal

Project: FIDES ADP

This study seeks to improve girls’ mental, physical, and social health, and extend the time they participate in organised sport. This shall take place by enhancing the girls’ own knowledge as well as that of their parents and coaches, of the different biological, psychological, and social challenges girls often encounter during puberty and in their teens when they take part in organised sports.

Project facts

Project name
Female Inclusion & Development in Exercise and Sports; Athlete Development Program (FIDES ADP)
Project manager
Anna Melin
Other project members
Sofia Ryman Augustsson, Daniel Bjärsholm, Jørgen Kjær, Mariah Larsson, Susanne Linnér and Felicia Radovan Linnaeus University; Ådne Ausland, Aron Gauti Laxdal, Bård Erland Solstad and Monica Klungland Torstveit, Universitetet i Agder, Kristiansand, Norge; Anna Lena Aronsson, RF SISU Småland; Patrik Karlsson, RF SISU Skåne
Participating organisations
Linnaeus University; University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway; RF SISU Småland and RF SISU Skåne
The Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research & Charity
1 January 2023–31 December 2025
Sports Science (the Department of Sport Science, the Faculty of Social Sciences)

More about the project

The project Female Inclusion & Development in Exercise and Sports; Athlete Development Program (FIDES ADP) seeks to improve girls’ well-being and extending their participation in organised sport, by enhancing the girls’ and their parents’ as well as their coaches’ knowledge of the various biological, psychological, and social challenges that girls often encounter during puberty when participating in organised sport.

The project plans to make 12 short films with specific themes about the specific challenges that girls encounter. The films that are primarily targeting the girls, will be tested, developed, and valuated through an intervention including both the girls, parents and coaches.

The number of women within sports is increasing. However, poor mental health among teenage girls is unfortunately also increasing. The psychosocial stress brought on by an unhealthy sports environment may increase the risk of depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Girls at the age of puberty face specific challenges in terms of accepting the physical changes to their bodies, such as increased body weight and body fat percentage, while boys at the same time gain more muscle mass and strength. An increasing focus in society on body shape also contributes to unhealthy standards gaining ground among young people, particularly with girls.

The unhealthy societal norms and -expectations, as well as the constant need to fit in during adolescence in combination with the expectations in competitive sports may be conflicting. To strengthen the well-being and confidence in girls through training, there is a need for a sports environment that take their psychological, biological, as well as social conditions into consideration. A supporting sports environment has the potential to counteract the spreading of unhealthy standards.

FIDES ADP is part of the research conducted by the interdisciplinary research group Sustainable Sport and Performance (HIP) and the Linnaeus Knowledge Environment Sustainable Health.