chapter  18
13 Pages

Sport parent roles in fostering positive youth development

ByM. Blair Evans, Veronica Allan, Matthew Vierimaa, Jean Côté

This chapter describes the parenting role, how it changes from childhood to adolescence and across social settings, and how parents shape youth development. Parents are often assigned a spectrum of social roles in youth sport ranging from spectator to sport agent, financier, coach, equipment manager, and driver. Not surprisingly, direct role that parents have in the sport experience of their child decreases as athletes emerge from childhood into adolescence and young adulthood. The experiences of youth from ethnic minority communities may also involve different parent influences. Development in sport relates to intent of sport involvement to cultivate performance in sport-specific skills, long-term participation in physical activity, and personal development. Perhaps most noticeably, the quality of parent child relationships directly influences the developmental outcomes and personal assets that result from sport participation. Contrasting the influence parents have on youth sport with the potential for misguided behaviours that harm youth development, sport parents represent a valuable conduit for translating youth development research.