The role of parents in youth sport values
Goggins, Luke Peter
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Values are fundamental constructs that influence individuals’ attitudes and behaviours. Children can develop sport-related values systems from the attitudes and behaviours of their significant others. This thesis employed quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the relationships between parents’ values, motivational climate, and children’s values. In Study 1, 92 school children (mean age = 14.10 years, SD = 1.10) and their parents (mean age = 47.40 years, SD = 5.60) completed versions of the Youth Sport Values Questionnaire-2 and Parent-Initiated Motivational Climate Questionnaire-2. Strong correlations were found between children’s own and perceived parent competence, status, and moral sport values. A moderated-mediational analysis found that children’s perceptions of their parents’ values and motivational climate significantly predicted children’s own competence values (R2 = 0.52, p < 0.001), and parent’s values for their children were indirectly associated with children’s own competence values via children’s perceptions of their parents’ values, abs = 0.17-0.22, 95% CIs [0.04, 0.43]. Parents’ own values and children’s perceptions of their parents’ values significantly predicted child own status values (R2 = 0.65 & 0.63, p < 0.001), but parents’ values for their children were not associated with significant indirect effects on children’s own status values via motivational climate or children’s perceptions of their parents’ values. In Study 2, six parents (mean age = 41.00 years, SD = 7.54) participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis identified some inconsistencies between parents on the values they perceived to be important for their children compared to what has been identified by previous research as important for children in sport and some lack of awareness around how values are effectively transmitted. Other key themes that emerged from the analysis were parent own values, competition in children, social influences on child values and the behaviours of other parents. The findings from both studies emphasise how such interactions between parent and child values and motivational climate may differ depending on the value type, with a potential lack of conscious awareness from parents on how they transmit these values. Although it is important to consider the challenges and limitations associated with this type of research, the findings from both studies provide direction for future research and advance our understanding about the role of parents in shaping children’s sport values.
This research was funded through a legacy fund provided posthumously by Dr Martin Lee.
MSc by Research in Sport and Health Sciences