Article: D’Andrea, W., Bergholz, L., Fortunato, A., & Spinazzola, J. (2013). Play to the whistle: A pilot investigation of a sports-based intervention for traumatized girls in residential treatment. Journal of family violence28(7), 739-749.

Analytical Summary

D’Andrea, Bergholz, Fortunato, and Spinazzola (2013) studied the impact of sport-based intervention on traumatized girls in residential treatment. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effects of trauma-informed sports on adolescent girls with traumatic history in the context of residential treatment. The goal was to find if sports can be modified in the light of trauma principles to treat traumatized girls. This research is significant because previous research has shown that physical activities are effective in improving self-efficacy, relationships with peers, and physical and mental health among young traumatized individuals. The motivation behind this research was the fact the literature is short of research efforts focusing the impact of sports among adolescent traumatized youth in the residential treatment centers. The study found significantly positive improvement in mental and behavioral health among trauma victims under study in six residential treatment facilities as a result of involving them in trauma informed sports events. Thus, sports-based interventions were found to effective way of treating trauma among adolescents.

One key concept discussed in this article is sports based intervention for traumatized girls. The author defined the sports based intervention as trauma informed sports which means sports activities modified by introducing principles of dealing trauma into it. The authors explained the trauma informed sports as those sports activities which use trauma principles to help traumatized individuals to control emotions, improve interpersonal effectiveness, and enhance coping with distress. D’Andrea, Bergholz, Fortunato, and Spinazzola (2013) limited the concept of sports based intervention to the study of its impact on traumatized girls in residential treatment only. Sharpe et al. (as cited in D’Andrea, Bergholz, Fortunato, and Spinazzola, 2013) found that sports based intervention is an effective way to enhance leadership and social skills among traumatized individuals. This information supports the idea of sports based intervention for treating trauma. “Team Sports for Complexly-Traumatized Youth” is another key term that adds more meaning to the key concept. It shows that especially team sports are very good in treating complex trauma in youth.

D’Andrea, Bergholz, Fortunato, and Spinazzola (2013) researched the relationship between trauma and trauma informed sports while Purves and Erwin investigated the relationship of self-disclosure with trauma. Thus both the sources tried to investigate the significance of expression for traumatized individuals. However, D’Andrea, Bergholz, Fortunato, and Spinazzola focused sports as a way of expressing internal emotions and feelings while Purves and Erwin focused the imagery art to express the feelings and emotions. Thus both the sources researched the role of emotional expression through two different ways in relation to trauma.


Purves, D. G., & Erwin, P. G. (2004). Post-traumatic stress and self-disclosure. The journal of psychology138(1), 23-34.