Research > Research Inventory > Sports Psychology: Youth Specific Studies

“The Credit Card or the Taxi”: A Qualitative Investigation of Parent Involvement in Indoor Competition Climbing

Authors: BA Garst, RJ Gagnon, GA Stone | Year: 2019
Summary/Results: Authors used 4 focus groups of 27 parents to better understand the factors behind parental involvement in indoor youth competition climbing.  According to the study, parent involvement in ICC (Indoor Climbing Competition) is (1) significant, evolving, volunteers-driven, and sometimes excessive; (2) facilitated by community and main-stream sport dissatisfaction, and (3) constrained by finances, geography, and awareness.
Reference: Leisure Sciences (May 2019)
PDF: Link

Children’s perception of action boundaries and how it affects their climbing behavior.

Author: JL Croft, GJ Pepping, C. Button, JY Chow | Year: 2018
Summary/Results: Researchers tested 30 children for the relationship between their perception of their own ability to reach horizontally, diagonally, and vertically with their ability to do a climbing traverse. The children tended to overestimate their vertical reaching ability and underestimate or accurately estimate their horizontal and diagonal reaching ability, and horizontal reach perception appeared to accurately predict both success and better speeds of doing the traverse. Beta-Angel note: the discussion section in this paper suggests that perception is based on the potential degrees of freedom inherent in your given body position – or the location of your body, and any potential constraints on it, while considering reach in the rough direction of travel that’s being tested. Factors influencing perception could include: experience, intention to use the hold, postural control, and flexibility.
Reference: J Exp Child Psychol. 2018 Feb;166:134-146.
Sports Psychology > Youth Specific Studies

Pediatric and adolescent injury in rock climbing

Author: V. Schöffl, C. Lutter, K. Woollings, I. Schöffl | Year: 2018
Summary/Results: This research paper is an aggregation of injury science regarding youth climbing using the following major headings: Age differentiation, anatomical location, environmental location, acute vs. chronic injuries and changing trends in injuries, injury types and severities, intrinsic (within the body) vs. extrinsic (outside of the body) risk factors, “inciting events” (reasons for the injury), injury prevention, and recommendations. A small highlight of evidence-based preventive measures is provided here: (1) dynamic belay techniques for children; (2) reasonable shoe size, (3) gender and biological age-related training, (4) neglect of campus board before closure of growth plates, and (5) no preventive finger taping. Beta-Angel note: highly recommended for youth coaches and physios.
Reference: Res Sports Med. 2018;26(sup1):91-113.
Sports Psychology > Youth Specific Studies

The system of development of coordination abilities of young climbers 6-7 years old

Authors: Kozina et al. | Year: 2018
Summary/Results: No Summary Available yet.
Link to Research

Ultrasound evaluation of stress injuries and physiological adaptations in the fingers of adolescent competitive rock climbers

Author: K. Garcia, D. Jaramillo, E. Rubesova | Year: 2017
Summary/Results: Researchers evaluated 20 male/female climbers divided up into 3 different levels of climbing and compared them to 6 male/female non-climbers using different types of radiographic imaging, and a questionnaire.  The climbers were divided up based on: (1) climbing grade, (2) use of supplemental finger exercises, (3) number of years climbing, and (4) hours per week spent climbing/training.  The authors suggest that climbing results in adaptive changes (flexor tendons, volar plates, and soft tissues) in the fingers of young climbers but that these adaptive changes also involve the potential for stress injuries. The authors also suggested that there are both advantages and disadvantages in the use of MRI imaging over Ultrasound imaging.
Reference: Pediatr Radiol. 2018 Mar;48(3):366-373

To be active through indoor-climbing: an exploratory feasibility study in a group of children with cerebral palsy and typically developed children

Author: MS Christensen, T. Jensen, CB Voigt, JB Nielsen, J. Lorentzen| Year: 2017
Summary/Results: Authors tested the impact of a 3-week climbing program on two groups: kids with and without cerebral palsy (CP).  The program assessed measures of physical activity, climbing performance, functional motor tests, physiological hand strength and speed tests, tests which measures how well the brain connects to the muscles, ankle joint tests, and psychological tests.  While finger strength did not improve over the course, motor improvements included a sit-to-stand test, range of motion in the ankle, a precision test, and a rate of force production test (in the least affected hand) all showed improvement in the CP kids.  The authors attribute the motor improvement to increased connection between the brain and muscle.
Reference: BMC Neurol. 2017 Jun 15;17(1):112.

Rock climbing for promoting physical activity in youth

AUTHOR: SR Siegel, SM Fryer | Year: 2017
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers reviewed 9 articles on youth climbing and health-related fitness. They found that climbing was not adequate at recreational levels to promote aerobic fitness in children unless through a structured session, but it is beneficial for muscular strength and endurance, and good for providing bone-strengthening exercises. The reviewers found that in general, a lack of good research and a low number of studied participants may be contribute to the lack of support for climbing in schools.
REFERENCE: American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, Vol. 11, Issue 3 (2017)

Comparing climbing kinematics of children with and without pathological gait

AUTHOR: J. T. N. Miller, S. D. Russell | Year: 2016
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers compared lower limb force, upper limb force, joint angle ranges and lower limb muscle-tendon lengths in 3 children with cerebral palsy against 5 children who had more typical development. While no difference was found with respect to upper limb force production and the average length of lower limb muscle tendons, researchers found that the children with cerebral palsy had reduced lower limb force production and decreased joint angle ranges.
REFERENCE: 3rd Rock Climbing Research Congress. Proceedings 2016, Telluride, CO

Indoor competition climbing as a context for positive youth development

AUTHOR: B. Garst, G. Stone, R. Gagnon | Year: 2016
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers survey 623 parents and climbers to determine whether indoor competition climbing has positive outcomes for youth. The researchers identified themes and their importance to responders based upon the frequency with which they were mentioned: combining physical, social, and mental development (40.8%), supportive, caring relationships (29.4%), confidence (19.9%), and character (7.2%). Additional conclusions include highlighting benefits for youth females.
REFERENCE: Journal of Youth Development, 2016, 11, 2

Health-related fitness and energy expenditure in recreational youth rock climbers 8-16 years of age

AUTHOR: SR Siegel, JM Robinson, SA Johnston, MR Lindley, KA Pfeiffer | Year: 2015
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers studied 15 male and female adolescents to determine how 3 months of climbing impacts physical fitness and whether the exercise can provide moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity. Because the study suggested climbing met recommendations for exercise intensity and duration, and for muscle and bone strengthening, researchers suggests that rock climbing can provide moderate intensity levels of physical activity.
REFERENCE: International Journal of Exercise Science 8(2): 174-183, 2015

Incidence, mechanism and risk factors for injury in youth rock climbers

AUTHOR: KY Woollings, CD McKay, J Kang, WH Meeuwisse, CA Emery | Year: 2015
SUMMARY/RESULTS: [UPDATE] Researchers asked 116 youth climbers to fill out a survey on the extent of climbing injuries. The researchers found that there were 4.44 injuries per 1000 climbing hours, that sprains (27%) and strains (26%) were the most common injury, repetitive overuse was the primary cause of injury (42%), specifically in the location of the hands and fingers (21%). The authors suggest that older age, injury in a sport other than climbing, and preventive taping are risk factors for injury. Beta-Angel note: this is a case of the risk factors being associated with the injury, but that should not necessarily mean they are the cause.
REFERENCE: Br J Sports Med. 2015 Jan;49(1):44-50

Anthropometry, physical fitness and psychological profile of adolescent rock climbers from South of Spain: predictors of performance

AUTHOR: J. Moreno Pérez, F. B. Ortega, L. C. Corpas-Hidalgo, I. Garrido, V. EspañaRomero | Year: 2014
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers gathered data on 19 young elite climbers and compared them to larger sets of data on non-climbers in order to identify factors which determine climbing performance in youth.   The researchers suggest that youth climbers have lower levels of obesity and better fitness than normal children, that the highest average of body types were of the ectomorph (greater than average in being thin, narrow, and with low body fat), even while a mesomorph (greater than average muscular development) body type, low body surface area, and daily motivation all correlated with high climbing performance.
REFERENCE: 2nd International Rock Climbing Research Congress, Sep 2014.

Oxygen uptake and energy expenditure for children during rock climbing activity

AUTHOR: PB Watts, ML Ostrowski | Year: 2014
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers sought to measure energy use in 29 children during (1) a sustained climbing period, and (2) a series of interval climbing periods. Energy use during the interval climbing both averaged higher and peaked higher than during the sustained climbing period.
REFERENCE: Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2014 Feb;26(1):49-55.

Physiological demands of indoor wall climbing in children

AUTHOR: M. Panácková, J. Baláš, V. Bunc & D. Giles | Year: 2014
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers assessed 25 male and female children for oxygen consumption and heart rate on two separate routes and for time during a subsequent 8-week period of climbing. There were no differences in oxygen consumption between boys and girls, the children could reach a max heart rate between 81-90%, and typical children’s climbing sessions involved short bursts of high-intensity climbing activity punctuated by longer periods of rest.
REFERENCE: Sports Technology, Vol 7, Issue 3-4: Rock Climbing (2014)

Epiphyseal stress fractures of adolescent climbing athletes – a 3.0T MRI evaluation

AUTHOR: T. Bayer, V. Schöffl, M. Lenhart,T. Herold | Year: 2014
SUMMARY/RESULTS: The authors assessed whether a type of MRI machine is effective in assessing stress fracture injuries in children at the time of injury and during a follow-up. The authors found that the readers of the MRI results could effectively identify and assess the injury, even when a conventional x-ray was not helpful.
REFERENCE: 2nd International Rock Climbing Research Congress, Sep 2014

Physiological effects of bouldering activities in upper elementary school students

AUTHOR: M. Fencl, J. Muras, J. Steffen, R. Battista, A. Elfessi | Year: 2011
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers compared the heart rates of 64 elementary school students who participated in either (a) a structured bouldering activity, or (b) a non-structured bouldering activity. While differences occurred between active and resting heart rates, no significant difference was found in the average active heart rate, suggesting that ‘bouldering is a legitimate physical fitness activity’ regardless of method.
REFERENCE: Physical Educator, v68 n4 p199-209 2011

The effect of climbing wall use on the grip strength of fourth-grade students

AUTHOR: CD Lirgg, R. Dibrezzo, M. Gray, T. Esslinger | Year: 2011
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Beta-Angel note: If someone has access, we would appreciate a summary.
REFERENCE: Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Vol. 82, No. 2, pp. 350-354 (2011)

Effect of indoor wall climbing on self-efficacy and self-perceptions of Children with special needs

AUTHOR: ER Mazzoni, PL Purves, J. Southward, RE Rhodes, VA Temple | Year: 2009
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers assessed the impact of a 6-week climbing program on 46 children with disabilities using a survey on their perception of themselves and their ability to succeed. While children’s perception of their own ability to succeed at climbing improved significantly, their perception of their own athletic and social competence, as well as overall self-worth did not, suggesting that other activities which improve self-perceptions of the ability to succeed – beyond climbing – are required to improve a child’s overall self-perception.
REFERENCE: Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 2009, 26, 259-273

Changes in upper body strength and body composition after 8 weeks indoor climbing in youth

AUTHOR: J. Balas, B. Strejcova, T. Maly, AJ Martin | Year: 2009
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers studied the effect of climbing volume on upper limb strength and endurance in 50 youth climbers over the course of 8 weeks. Both boys and girls who climbed more significantly increased their performance in hanging with bent arms and grip strength. Additionally, while no changes were seen in overall body fat, significant changes were found in fat-free mass, which suggests that weight was being transferred between metabolically active cells, which are associated with increased nourishment in athletes, and metabolically inactive cells.
REFERENCE: Isokinetics and Exercise science 17 (2009) 173-179

Radiographic adaptations to the stress of high-level rock climbing in junior athletes: a 5-year longitudinal study of the German Junior National Team and a group of recreational climbers

AUTHOR: VR Schoffl, T. Hochholzer, AB Imhoff, I. Schoffl | Year: 2007
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers compared 10 elite youth athletes to 10 recreational climbers over the course of five years using survey and x-ray of the hand in order to determine whether adaptations to climbing may lead to finger joint disease. Although the researchers found what they call “adaptive stress reactions” to climbing in the elite youth climbers, they found no evidence of finger joint disease. However, they recommend a longer follow-up.
REFERENCE: Am J Sports Med. 2007 Jan;35(1):86-92.

Physiological responses to rock climbing in young climbers

AUTHOR: AB Morrison, VR Schoffl | Year: 2007
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers reviewed 50 articles associated with both (a) training and (b) injury in order to make evidence-based recommendations for youth climbers. The authors make recommendations for bouldering participation age; hang-board use; male/female distinctions in injury and training; association of growth-spurts and injury; distinctions in training based on age; shoe fit, and; diet. Beta-Angel note: while most papers defy simple summaries, this paper in particular suggests conclusions around multiple different areas and thus is worth a read if you’re a youth educator.
REFERENCE: British Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol. 41, Issue 12, 2007 or (Note: copy paste link, don’t click) 

Reliability of peak forces during a finger curl motion common in rock climbing

AUTHOR: PB Watts, RL Jensen | Year: 2003
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers tested the reliability of a finger force sensor on 31 youth competitive rock climbers. Peak finger curl force is a highly reproducible measurement using the tested measurement system.
REFERENCE: Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 7(4), 263-267

Anthropometry of young competitive sport rock climbers

AUTHOR: Watts PB1Joubert LMLish AKMast JDWilkins B. | Year: 2003
SUMMARY/RESULTS: This study characterized the physiology of young competitive rock climbers compared to their non-climbing peers and to climbing adults. They found that young rock climbers had similar physical characteristics to adult rock climbers – small stature, low body mass, lower number of skinfolds, and high handgrip to mass ratio. However, young rock climbers did not have significantly lower than average BMIs, as is often seen in adult competitive rock climbers.
REFERENCE: Br J Sports Med. 2003;37(5):420-4.

Detecting pupils talented for sport climbing in Slovenian schools

AUTHOR: B Leskošek, M Bohanec, V Rajkoviè | Year: 1999
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers presented an evaluation model for sport climbing, which is part of a knowledge-based system called “Talent” – a computer tool for physical education teachers to help both discover talent and counsel children on their desire to take up competitive sport. The paper shows which characteristics are important for sport climbing (body weight and height, % body fat, strength of the arms and body, co-ordination, and flexibility, discusses congruence (which was high) between the computer-based system and a Slovenian national climbing team trainer’s assessment, and suggests that the inclusion of sport climbing in a broader assessment system can help bring knowledge about the sport to the public. Beta-Angel note: the inner workings of the Slovenian conveyor belt of talent have been revealed!
REFERENCE: International Conference on Science and Technology in Climbing and Mountaineering, 1999, University of Leeds, UK.