Educating Parents of Children in Sport About Abuse Using Narrative Pedagogy

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 University of Tasmania
  • 2 Swansea University
  • 3 Laurentian University
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Research on abuse in sport reveals that sporting environments are unique contexts where athlete abuse can occur. An international panel on “safe sport” identified the need to implement strategies to ensure sport is safe for all. One strategy identified as a way of preventing abuse from occurring in sport is to educate the parents of athletes. This study centres on an education intervention implemented with 14 parents from a gymnastics and swimming context where narrative pedagogy (e.g., athletes’ stories of abuse) was used. As a result of engaging with narrative pedagogy, parents were able to identify unacceptable coaching practices. However, the extent of several dominant cultural ideologies (e.g., competitive performance ideology) became known through the parents’ responses and influenced the way they took up the athletes’ abuse stories.

McMahon is with the Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. Knight is with the College of engineering, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom. McGannon is with the School of Human Kinetics, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Jenny McMahon at Jenny.McMahon@utas.edu.au.
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