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Pedro Teques, Luís Calmeiro, Henrique Martins, Daniel Duarte and Nicholas L. Holt

The overall purpose of this study was to examine the mediating effects of parents’ coping strategies on the relationship between parents’ emotional intelligence and sideline verbal behaviors during their children’s soccer games. Participants were 232 parents (120 mothers and 110 fathers) of youth soccer players age 9–13 years. Observations in situ were carried out at 30 soccer games during a soccer tournament. At the end of the game, parents were approached and asked to complete the Emotional Intelligence Scale and the Brief COPE scale. Structural-equation-modeling analyses revealed that adaptive and maladaptive coping mediated the relationship between regulation of emotion and parents’ praise/encouragement, and negative and derogatory comments during the game. In addition, game result moderated the relationships between emotional intelligence, coping strategies, and parent behaviors. Emotional regulation and adaptive coping may promote desirable parent sideline behaviors and reduce undesirable behaviors.