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Scott B. Martin, Peggy A. Richardson, Karen H. Weiller and Allen W. Jackson

During the past decade females have had more opportunities to participate in sports at various levels than ever before. These opportunities and the recognition received due to their success may have changed peoples’ views regarding same-sex role models, perceived parental encouragement, and expectations of success. Thus, the purpose of the study was to explore role models, perceived encouragement to participate in youth sport from parents, and sport expectations of adolescent athletes and their parents living in the United States of America. A questionnaire was administered to 426 adolescent athletes who competed in youth sport leagues and to one parent within each family unit (n=426). Chi square analysis indicated significant relationships between athletes’ gender and the gender of their role model and between parents’ gender and the gender of their role model (p = .0001). DM MANOVA revealed a significant multivariate difference for adolescent athletes and their parents on the questions concerning expectations for future athletic success. Post hoc analyses indicated that the athletes were more likely than their parents to believe that they could play at the college, Olympic, or professional levels. In addition, boys were more likely than girls to believe that they could play at the college, Olympic, and professional levels.