chapter  2
Applying a critical ecological approach to the issue of athlete abuse in sport
WithGretchen A. Kerr, Ashley E. Stirling
Pages 14

The focus of this chapter on young athletes' experiences of emotional abuse within the coach-athlete relationship. Given the influence that childhood experiences have on long-term health and development, including continued participation in sport and physical activity particular attention will be paid to athletes under the age of 18 years. Using a critical ecological approach, individual and contextual influences that make the sport environment conducive to emotional abuse within the coach-athlete relationship are reviewed, and recommendations are made for enhancing athlete welfare. As proposed by Bronfenbrenner (1999), a critical ecological approach is one in which the influence of various environments on an individual's development are considered; these environments range from the proximal level of the family to the macro level of the culture in which one lives. Further, these environments interact with one another across time. Environment is proposes in this chapter that the current landscape of coaching in Canada and other countries represents a risk environment.