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Parental behaviors in team sports

how do female athletes want parents to behave?

Knight, C.J., Neely, K.C., & Holt, N.L. (2011). Parental behaviors in team sports: how do female athletes want parents to behave?. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 23 (pp. 76-92)

Parents display various positive and negative behaviors at youth sport competitions. This study examined early adolescent female athletes’ preferred parental behaviors at team sport competitions. Individual interviews were conducted with 36 female athletes (M age = 13.5 years) who frequently competed in team sports. Data analysis led to the identification of three categories of parental behavior across different phases of competition (before, during, after). Athletes indicated preferences related to preparation for competition, parental support and, encouragement during competition, and the provision of feedback after competition. The results suggest that parents should engage in different types of behaviors as the temporal context of competitions change.



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Camilla Knight
Kacey Neely
Nicholas Holt

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