Youth Sport Parenting Styles and Practices

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Nicholas L. Holt University of Alberta

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Katherine A. Tamminen University of Alberta

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Danielle E. Black University of Alberta

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James L. Mandigo Brock University

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Kenneth R. Fox University of Bristol

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The purpose of this study was to examine parenting styles and associated parenting practices in youth sport. Following a season-long period of fieldwork, primary data were collected via interviews with 56 parents and supplemented by interviews with 34 of their female children. Data analysis was guided by Grolnick's (2003) theory of parenting styles. Analyses produced five findings: (1) Autonomy-supportive parents provided appropriate structure for their children and allowed them to be involved in decision making. These parents were also able to read their children's mood and reported open bidirectional communication. (2) Controlling parents did not support their children's autonomy, were not sensitive to their children's mood, and tended to report more closed modes of communication. (3) In some families, there were inconsistencies between the styles employed by the mother and father. (4) Some parenting practices varied across different situations. (5) Children had some reciprocal influences on their parents' behaviors. These findings reveal information about the multiple social interactions associated with youth sport parenting.

Holt, Tamminen, and Black are with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Mandigo is with the Department of Physical Education and Kinesiology at Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada. Fox is with the Department of Exercise, Nutrition, and Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.

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