A Matched Control Trial of a Mental Health Literacy Intervention for Parents in Community Sports Clubs


This controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of a mental health literacy intervention for parents delivered through community sport clubs. In total, 540 parents (321 females, 219 males) of adolescent athletes participated in a brief educational workshop on youth mental health (n = 352) or a community-matched control group (n = 188). Generalised linear mixed models revealed no significant improvements in the intervention group compared to control in the primary mental health literacy outcomes, at 1 month follow-up. However, parents in the intervention group were more likely to seek formal help for themselves, had increased confidence and knowledge to help someone experiencing a mental health disorder, experienced reduced psychological distress, and perceived more support from other parents in their sport club, relative to the control group. Overall, the findings suggest that a brief educational intervention delivered through community sports clubs can positively affect some components of parents’ mental health literacy.

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This work was supported by funding from the Movember Foundation-The Mental Health Imitative Grant 2014. The funding source had no other involvement in the study design or completion.

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Correspondence to Diarmuid Hurley.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the Ethical Standards of the Institutional Research Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Hurley, D., Allen, M.S., Swann, C. et al. A Matched Control Trial of a Mental Health Literacy Intervention for Parents in Community Sports Clubs. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 52, 141–153 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-020-00998-3

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  • Brief intervention
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Prevention