mental health, physical activity, adaptive behavior, Healthy China

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The Outline of Healthy China 2030 Plan clearly proposed to develop youth and adolescent physical health intervention plan. School physical education/sports not only plays a major role in promoting a physically active lifestyle among school students, it can also make a significant contribution to the Healthy China 2030 Plan. Previous research has indicated school sport psychology as an important area to provide quality physical education programs. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to examine the research progress and trend of school sport psychology to inform future research practice and identify effective strategies for physical activity participation. All relevant literature on school physical education psychology from 2000 to 2021 were collected from CNKI and WOS databases, a total of 4347 papers were collected. To ensure the accuracy of the research, the inconsistent literature was manually eliminated, and 1642 effective journal papers were finally selected. CiteSpace 5.7.R4 software was used for scientific measurement and visualization analysis. The results suggest that the studies conducted in China mainly focus on higher education with college students as related to exercise/physical activity and mental health, while other countries attempt to develop exploration, validation, and intervention studies among children and adolescents to promote physical activity from psychological perspectives. The results also indicates that interdisciplinary research with sophisticated methodology has become popular in the field of school sport psychology. Meanwhile, the research focuses on the application function, physical education practice, and other aspects. The research frontier mainly manifested in “academic,” “performance,” “psychological capital,” “regression analysis,” “mediating effect,” “Physical Education of Fit Index,” “Intervention,” and related research. Research studies guided by the theoretical frameworks of psychology in physical education have revealed the relationship between psychological constructs and student learning as well as physical activity participation. The results have built a solid foundation for future research. Intervention studies can be conducted from different aspects using effective strategies identified in previous research. To better understand student adaptive behavior with respect to learning and physical activity, a mixed method research design is also recommended for future studies.