Social Agents’ Influence on Self-Perceived Good and Bad Behavior of American Youth Involved in Sport: Developmental Level, Gender, and Competitive Level Effects

in The Sport Psychologist

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Eric M. MartinMichigan State University

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Martha E. EwingMichigan State University

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Daniel GouldMichigan State University

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Significant social agents are thought to play a vital role in youth development (Brustad, Babkes, & Smith, 2001). The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) commissioned a nationwide survey to examine the effect significant social agents had on youth sport behavior. In Phase I, initial data were collected and results were published in the Journal of Coaching Education (2011). The results of the previous analyses were largely descriptive, and further analyses were desired. Therefore, the current study (Phase II) is a secondary but more in-depth data analysis of the initial data collected by the USADA. Phase II analyses (n = 3379, Mage = 12.23, SD = 2.78) revealed that youth sport coaches have the greatest positive influence on youth followed closely by parents, but all of the significant social agents, to different extents, were seen as more positive than negative by youth. Results varied by developmental level, gender, and competitive level. Results, limitations, and practical implications are discussed.

The authors are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.

Address author correspondence to Eric M. Martin at emmartin11@gmail.com.
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