A Qualitative Study of Exemplary Parenting in Competitive Female Youth Team Sport

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Abstract

This study examined how exemplary youth sport parents support their daughters in competitive team sport. Individual interviews were first conducted with eight coaches (three women and five men). Coaches were then invited to nominate exemplary youth sport parents. Interviews were subsequently conducted with 10 nominated parents (seven mothers and three fathers). Interpretive description methodology (Thorne, 2016) was used. Results were organized around three categories: being autonomy supportive (represented by the themes of not forcing a direction, sharing goals, fostering independence, and emphasizing effort and having fun), building healthy relationships (trusting and communicating with coaches and supporting the team and club), and coping with emotional demands (assisting before competitions and monitoring emotions during and after competitions). Theoretically, the results highlight the value of autonomy-supportive parenting styles and parents’ emotional intelligence.

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