Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children Are Not The Only Ones In The Game When It Comes To Sports

Date:
August 31, 2009
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Parents who sign their children up for sports as part of an educational experience and to learn about teamwork may be learning some of the same lessons themselves, according to new research.

Meghan McDonough, assistant professor of health and kinesiology; Travis Dorsch, doctoral student in health and kinesiology; and Alan Smith, associate professor of health and kinesiology, studied how parents benefit from their children's participation in youth sports. The researchers learned that children's sports participation increased parents' interest and participation in sports and also served as a context for developing new friendships.
Credit: Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock

Parents who sign their children up for sports as part of an educational experience and to learn about teamwork may be learning some of the same lessons themselves, according to new research from Purdue University.

"People often think about how youth sport benefits children because of physical activity, self-confidence and friendships, but we found that parents also are affected when their children play organized team sports," said Travis Dorsch, a doctoral student in health and kinesiology who led the study.

While children are making friends and learning to work well in groups, parents are practicing the same behaviors in the stands and on the sidelines. Spousal communication also improved as adults coordinated logistics for carpooling and attending practices and games, whereas other parents noted improving their time management skills. Some parents reported maintaining friendships after their children finished with sports, and others talked about how they experienced an emotional loss when they were finished being a sports parent and no longer had those opportunities for adult "playdates."

One mother even shared that her child scolded her for being so loud on the sidelines. "You know, that made me reevaluate a little how I was looking to the others around me," said the parent, who reported improving her bleacher behavior because of her child's comments.

Other parents reported they were proud of their children and were even motivated themselves to learn about or begin playing the sports their children participated in.

Another parent said that when her child decided to play tennis, she took up the sport, as well. "I never would have done that," the parent said.

"I don't think it's terribly surprising that parents connect with one another, but what was surprising is the intensity of that connection," said Alan Smith, associate professor of health and kinesiology. "Many view themselves differently, as well as their children differently, after exposure to youth sports. This experience was very eye-opening for them whether or not they themselves were previously involved in sports."

Dorsch and Smith, along with Meghan McDonough, an assistant professor of health and kinesiology, looked at how parents perceive that they change from a child's participation in team sports. Their results are published in this month's Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

In 2006 more than 57 million children under the age of 18 participated in organized sport programs, according to the National Coaching Report.

"Sports act as a platform for the child-parent relationship, and many parents said sports gave them and their children something to talk about," McDonough said. "What we learned from these parents shows that many do not fit the negative stereotype of being overinvolved or acting out."

At the same time, other parents were frustrated when a child did not make a competitive travel team after time, money and emotional energy had been invested in the child's sport experience over many years. Others admitted they felt guilty for wishing a team would stop winning so the season would end.

The researchers interviewed 26 parents of children, ages 6-15, who were playing organized basketball, baseball, softball or soccer. This research was supported by the Department of Health and Kinesiology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Children Are Not The Only Ones In The Game When It Comes To Sports." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831213218.htm>.
Purdue University. (2009, August 31). Children Are Not The Only Ones In The Game When It Comes To Sports. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831213218.htm
Purdue University. "Children Are Not The Only Ones In The Game When It Comes To Sports." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831213218.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins