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Akira Asada and Yong Jae Ko

Sport management researchers have provided numerous perspectives for understanding the process whereby people become fans of sports teams in the realm of sport socialization research ( Funk & James, 2001 , 2004 ; McPherson, 1976 ; Melnick & Wann, 2004 , 2011 ). Socialization is the process by

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Trevor Williams

The subject of this paper is the sport socialization of athletes with disabilities; the object is to contribute to research and praxis through a review of the relevant sociological literature on the subject. The majority of the research, which uses structural-functionalism, is seen as a set of pioneering attempts to generate reliable information. However, the resulting information is too simplistic and theoretically deficient. The minority of the research, which uses interactionism, is seen as complementing the structural-functionalist studies by focusing on different aspects of the socialization experiences of athletes with disabilities. This research is insightful but it is collectively unsystematic. It is concluded that the study of disability sport socialization is in its infancy and is in urgent need of an adequate theoretical foundation. Three theoretical suggestions are offered to provide such a foundation, together with substantive suggestions for focusing on the themes of institutionalized physical activity and sport, social relationships, social configurations, and social control.

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Gregory A. Cranmer

Previous research has suggested the potential for enduring and influential messages (otherwise known as memorable messages) to serve as mechanisms of athlete socialization but has failed to explore how these messages might help athletes adjust to their teams. This study used open-ended questionnaires to explore how the memorable messages that Division-I student-athletes receive before their college career influence them before and after they join their teams, as well as the associations between message content and function. The results of this study indicate that memorable messages shape student-athletes’ attitudes, expectations, and participative decisions before beginning their college careers and their attitudes, relationships, and performance once they began their careers. However, few associations between message content and functions were observed, and no associations between student-athletes’ sex and sport type with message functions were observed. These results highlight the role of discourse in sport socialization by revealing that specific messages help prepare and acclimate student-athletes for college athletics. However, this study fails to provide insight into why specific functions might occur.

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Camilla J. Knight

It is widely accepted that parents are a pivotal part of young people’s sporting journey, and over the last 4 decades there has been a substantial growth in research pertaining to youth sport parenting. The aim of this paper is to review the status of the literature pertaining to parenting in youth sport and suggest areas for future work. Specifically, the author provides a very brief history of sport parenting research before turning attention to the 3 areas of study that are currently attracting the majority of researchers’ attention: the influence of parental involvement in youth sport, factors affecting parental involvement in youth sport, and strategies to promote high-quality parental involvement. Future research directions pertaining to the sport parenting questions that are asked, the populations that are sampled, and the interventions that are developed and evaluated are subsequently provided. Finally, the paper concludes with some considerations for best practice in sport clubs and organizations that seek to foster more adaptive youth sport parenting.

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Mary A. McElroy

This study examined the role of athletic participation in affecting educational aspirations of disadvantaged youth, namely, those students for whom traditional opportunities for developing educational motivations have been restrictive. Using Coleman's leading crowd theory, it was hypothesized that disadvantaged students who were members of the interscholastic sports program would be exposed to a positive peer-group influence unavailable to their nonathletic counterparts. A national representative sample of 1,799 male high school seniors from the Youth in Transition project were used. Disadvantaged youth were defined in terms of social background and school attitudinal/behavioral factors. An interaction-regression modeling strategy for educational aspirations indicated that the interaction models did not significantly contribute to the explanation of educational aspirations. These findings resulted in the conclusion that sport participation's impact on educational aspirations was not greater for disadvantaged youth. It was suggested that the incorporation of social and psychological factors of socialization into more complex sport models is necessary in order to assess the true impact of sport participation on educational concerns.

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Travis E. Dorsch, Alan L. Smith, and Meghan H. McDonough

The purpose of this study was to enhance understanding of how parents are socialized by their children's organized youth sport participation. Five semistructured focus groups were conducted with youth sport parents (N = 26) and analyzed using qualitative methods based on Strauss and Corbin (1998). Sixty-three underlying themes reflected parents' perceived socialization experiences resulting from their children's organized youth sport participation. Each theme represented 1 of 11 subcategories of parental change, which were subsumed within four broad categories of parent sport socialization (behavior, cognition, affect, relationships). Each category of parental change was interconnected with the other three categories. Moreover, six potential moderators of parent sport socialization were documented, namely, child age, parent past sport experience, parent and child gender, child temperament, community sport context, and type of sport setting (individual or team). Together, these findings enhance understanding of parent sport socialization processes and outcomes, thus opening avenues for future research on parents in the youth sport setting.

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Urbain Claeys

This paper deals with the evolution of the concept of sport and the changing sport participation patterns in Europe. The concept of sport has evolved under the influence of the “Sports for All” philosophy. The entire Sports for All campaign has helped open up the definition of sport. Its borders have been shifted, both for participants and scientists. There are now more sports than ever, and more physical activities are considered sports. Sport participation is a result of a complex set of factors: facilities and organizations, patterns of sport socialization, personal motivations, and also the current changes taking place in society. In this discussion, special attention is paid to the relationship between sport socialization and sport participation patterns.

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Maureen R. Weiss and Annelies Knoppers

The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to replicate and extend the earlier findings of Greendorfer (1977) by examining the role of significant others on the socialization of female volleyball players, and (b) to clarify the use of various statistical methodologies in sport socialization research. Players (N = 95) competing in the 1979 Big Ten volleyball championships responded to a sport socialization questionnaire designed to assess the degree of influence of socializing agents on active sport involvement. Descriptive statistics revealed that female volleyball players were surrounded by significant others who strongly supported and encouraged their participation throughout their life cycle. Multiple regression analyses revealed that, of the significant others who supported participation, parents, peers, and physical education teachers/coaches collectively had a significant influence on sport involvement only during the participant's childhood. Brothers were significant agents of sport socialization during the player's childhood and college years; no other agents reached significance for any of the life cycle stages. The discrepant results between the two analyses of this study, and previous socialization studies, were attributed to homogeneity of the sample and the statistical methods used. Recommendations are made about the use of statistical and methodological procedures in future socialization research.

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John M. Silva III

Some sport scientists have suggested that various rule violating behaviors (including aggressive player behavior) are normative behaviors perceived to be “legitimate violations” by participants (e.g., Silva, 1981; Vaz, 1979). In an attempt to determine if sport socialization influences the degree of perceived legitimacy of rule violating sport behavior, 203 male and female athletes and nonathletes were shown a series of eight slides. Seven of these slides clearly depicted rule violating behavior. The subjects rated the unacceptability-acceptability of the behavior shown on each slide on a scale of 1 to 4 (totally unacceptable-totally acceptable). Subjects were categorized according to: (a) gender, (b) amount of physical contact, (c) highest level of organized sport participation, and (d) years of participation. Regression and polynomial regressions indicated that male respondents rated rule violating behavior significantly more acceptable than females. Trend analyses on the other categorical variables indicated support for an in-sport socialization process that legitimizes rule violating behavior. This perceived legitimacy was considerably more pronounced for males than for females at all levels of analysis.

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Trevor Williams and Denise Taylor

This study examines the influence of peers as sport socialization agents in the context of a wheelchair racing subculture in the United Kingdom. Using participant observation and survey methods the study focuses on elite and nonelite peer relationships–those between nonelite racers, between elite racers, and between elite and nonelite racers–and the knowledge that is transmitted and exchanged as subcultural responses to wheelchair racing problems. Six main interactional socialization contexts are identified: buying a racing wheelchair, British Wheelchair Racing Association training sessions, local training sessions, domestic races, foreign races, and Great Britain national squad training. Within these contexts elite racers socialize their nonelite peers by passing on subcultural solutions to two sets of problems: those that concern the racing chair and those that concern training. The relationship between the individual and the collective is complex, but peers play a major role in the development and transmission of the wheelchair racing subculture.