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Alison M. McMinn, Esther M.F. van Sluijs, Niels Wedderkopp, Karsten Froberg and Simon J. Griffin

Cross-sectional associations between sociocultural factors and objectively-measured physical activity in a sample of 397 children (aged 9) and 213 adolescents (aged 15) were investigated. Associations with children’s physical activity were found for mothers’ physical activity (β=80,p < .01), parental participation (β=67,p = .01), mother’s age (β=−8,p < .01) and, in girls, fathers’ physical activity (β=73, p = .045; R2 for final model: 10.6%). No sociocultural factors were significantly associated with adolescents’ physical activity. Parental factors might be important targets for interventions to increase children’s physical activity but other factors may have greater influence. For adolescents’ physical activity, factors from other domains may be more important to target.

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Jack Martin and David Cox

A recently developed social psychological and biographical approach to the study of lives, life positioning analysis (LPA), is applied to the early life experiences of Canadian basketball player Steve Nash for the purpose of identifying sources of his athletic creativity and work ethic. The analysis focuses on Nash’s childhood and adolescence, especially his interactions with his father, brother, coaches, friends, and teammates. The interpretations, results, and conclusions offered describe specific types of interaction with these other individuals as likely influences on the development of important psychological aspects of the team oriented creativity that came to characterize Nash’s unique athletic style. The article concludes with a brief description of the unique yields and possible contributions of this type of biographical case study as a methodological approach in sport psychology.

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Kacey C. Neely and Nicholas L. Holt

The overall purpose of this study was to examine parents’ perspectives on the benefits of sport participation for their young children. Specifically, this study addressed two research questions: (1) What benefits do parents perceive their children gain through participation in organized youth sport programs? (2) How do parents think their children acquire these benefits? Twenty-two parents (12 mothers, 10 fathers) of children aged 5-8 years participated in individual semistructured interviews. Data were subjected to qualitative analysis techniques based on the interpretive description methodology. Parents reported their children gained a range of personal, social, and physical benefits from participating in sport because it allowed them to explore their abilities and build positive self-perceptions. Parents indicated they believed children acquired benefits when coaches created a mastery-oriented motivational climate that facilitated exploration. Crucially, parents appeared to play the most important role in their children’s acquisition of benefits by seizing “teachable moments” from sport and reinforcing certain principles in the home environment.

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Kylie Hesketh, Melissa Graham and Elizabeth Waters

This study investigated children’s after-school activity and associations with body mass index (BMI) and family circumstance. One thousand two hundred thirty-four parents and 854 children (age 8–13 years) completed activity diaries for the 2 hours after school. Parents reported children as more active than children reported themselves. Boys were reported to be more active than girls. Activity levels were generally not associated with BMI or family circumstance with the exception of cultural background. Parent-reported mean child METs were higher for mothers born in Australia (3.3 vs. 3.0; p = .02). Child-reported mean METs were higher for fathers born in Australia (2.9 vs. 2.6; p = .04) and where English was their main language (2.9 vs. 2.3, p = .003).

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Jim Taylor

This response to a case study focuses on how I would approach the development of an intervention program for Jenny. Such a program begins with extensive psychological and physical assessments. The psychological assessment would be garnered primarily through observation of Jenny at practice and in games, extensive interviewing of the athlete, and, with her permission, interviewing her coaches and parents. The physical assessment would involve testing of Jenny’s injured knee as well as a complete conditioning evaluation. The key issues that emerged as part of the conceptualization of Jenny’s Performance Dysfunction include: (a) family issues, including the internalizations of a perfectionistic father and a needy mother; (b) unresolved feelings related to her parents’ divorce; and (c) emotional immaturity that expresses itself in fear of failure, inappropriate emotions, and avoidance from conflict. The intervention would take a multimodal approach that involves: (a) insight; (b) emotional exploration; (c) behavioral change; and (d) mental skills. The program would conclude with a post-intervention assessment that would be comprised of objective evaluation of Jenny’s physical condition, coach feedback about Jenny’s behavior, and, finally, Jenny’s own assessment of changes that have occurred due to the intervention.

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Charlotte Louise Edwardson, Trish Gorely, Natalie Pearson and Andrew Atkin

Background:

To progress physical activity (PA) social support research using objective measures of PA, attention should be turned to specific segments of the day (eg, after school or weekends) in which young people spend the majority of their time with parents or friends. Furthermore, the majority of previous research has focused on the influence of parents and peers. The current study examined gender and age differences in 5 sources of activity-related social support and their relationship with objectively measured after-school and weekend PA among adolescents.

Methods:

328 adolescents aged 12–16 years (57% boys) wore an accelerometer for 7 days and completed a questionnaire assessing support for PA. After-school and weekend PA were extracted.

Results:

Adolescents perceived more support from their peers compared with other sources and boys perceived more peer support than girls. Younger adolescents perceived greater amounts of family support and explicit modeling from both mother and father; however, logistic support appeared constant throughout adolescence. After controlling for gender and age, peer support was a significant influence on after-school MVPA.

Conclusions:

Findings suggest that there may be benefit in encouraging adolescents to participate in PA in the after-school period with their peers.

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Moira E. Stuart and Vicki Ebbeck

The present study examined the influence of perceived social approval on moral development in youth sport. The sample consisted of 249 youth basketball players ranging in age from 9 to 15 years. A questionnaire was administered to the players during a team practice session near the end of a 10-week competitive season. Perceptions of significant other (mother, father, coach, teammates) approval of antisocial behavior served as the predictor variables; moral development components (judgment, reason, intent, behavior) served as the criterion variables. Canonical correlation analyses revealed significant overall relationships for both younger children (Grades 4 and 5) and adolescents (Grades 7 and 8). For younger children, lower perceptions of social approval were associated with a higher ability to judge a situation as a moral problem and the intent to exhibit moral behavior. For adolescents, perceived social approval was inversely related to reason, prosocial behavior, and particularly the judgment of a moral problem and the intent to exhibit moral behavior. These findings are discussed in terms of the importance of continuing to understand the influence of significant others on moral development in youth sport.

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Howard L. Nixon II

This paper addresses how parents encourage or discourage sports involvement by their visually impaired offspring, the types of sports involvement these children pursue, and the effects of parental encouragement on sports involvement. It analyzes new evidence from a study of parental adjustment to a visually impaired child. The evidence was derived mainly from open-ended, in-depth interviews of parents of 18 partially sighted and totally blind children who had attended public school. There were 15 mothers and 9 fathers in the 16 families who were interviewed, and 2 of the families had 2 visually impaired children. Additional data were provided through interviews with 14 professionals and volunteers from various fields who had sports-related experiences or observations of visually impaired children and their families. Four major forms of parental encouragement and discouragement were identified: strong encouragers, weak encouragers, tolerators, and discouragers. The predominance of the latter three helped explain the dominant patterns of limited involvement in sport by visually impaired children. Implications of these findings for mainstreaming and appropriate integration also are considered.

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Jeanette I. Candelaria, James F. Sallis, Terry L. Conway, Brian E. Saelens, Lawrence D. Frank and Donald J. Slymen

Background:

The study aim was to assess the relation of parent status to physical activity (PA) and the impact of parental roles, age and number of children on PA.

Methods:

Data for 909 women and 965 men, aged 20–57, were analyzed. Mixed Models were used to assess differences in PA between parents and adults without children, with analyses stratified by sex. The primary outcome was accelerometer-measured total daily minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA).

Results:

Parenthood was not related to MVPA, but mothers reported more total PA than nonmothers. For mothers and fathers, self-reported household activity was higher and sitting time lower, compared with nonparents. Both men and women with children aged 0–5 reported the highest household activity and the lowest sitting time, with household PA higher and sitting time lower with more children. There was no evidence that leisure, transport, or occupational activity varied by parenthood.

Conclusions:

Considering the potential impact of child-rearing on parent time demands, there was little difference in parents’ objectively measured MVPA compared with nonparents. Educational interventions or extracurricular programs for students and parents could target families with school-aged children. Development of tools to obtain parent reports of child care-specific PA behaviors would be useful.

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Nicholas L. Holt, Katherine A. Tamminen, Danielle E. Black, James L. Mandigo and Kenneth R. Fox

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.