Sport parent sideline behavior: An ecological model


Youth sport has the potential to provide numerous psychological, physical, and social benefits, however with high dropout rates (participation decreases by about 20% between 10-15 years old according to Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2014) not all children have the opportunity to receive these benefits. The overall climate of youth sport can contribute to dropout (Hedstrom & Gould, 2004) and adult involvement in youth sport is part of shaping that climate. One adult group that influences children's sport experience and the overall climate of youth sport is parents, who provide various types of support but can also negatively influence the climate through their behavior on the sidelines. Using Bronfrenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory (1977), the purpose of this poster is to outline what is known about sport parent sideline behavior and build a model that identifies gaps in current research and frames future studies about sport parent sideline behavior. A database search yielded 21 studies that were used to build the model. From this model, it is clear that the perspective of the parent is not often considered and therefore future research about parental preferences for sideline behavior, including whether these preferences are influenced by personal or situational factors, is proposed. Specifically, gender and previous sport experience are personal factors that need to be examined and the situational factors of type of sport, the stakes, and type of occurrence on the playing field are factors that need to be considered simultaneously in a large scale study.