Adolescent–parent attachment characteristics and quality of youth sport friendship

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Objectives:To examine the link between security of adolescent–parent attachment relationships and experiences of friendship quality in male team sport participants.Design and method:Ninety six male adolescents involved in team sports completed self-report assessments of relationship security with a key parental attachment figure and of the nature of their friendship with a nominated sporting best friend. Teammates and coaches also provided ratings related to how easy they found it to get along with participants.Results:Results provided evidence that the nature of the adolescent–parent attachment relationship was significantly related to sporting friendship experiences. More secure adolescent–parent attachment characteristics corresponded to more positive sporting friendships. Furthermore, sporting friendship dyads where both friends reported more secure attachment relations with parents were experienced more positively than dyads where both friends were less securely attached to parents or even where one friend was less securely attached.Conclusion:There is a suggestion that adolescent attachment relations with parents are indicative of underpinning working models of attachment that may subsequently influence the manner in which youngsters negotiate friendships in sporting contexts.

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