Examining the respect in sport parent program in minor hockey


There is promising evidence that interventions and education programs targeting parents in youth sport positively influence athlete outcomes. However, to date there has been no systematic evaluation of the Respect in Sport Parent Program (RiSPP) regarding its association with athletes' sport experiences. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the RiSPP among minor hockey athletes over three years. Athletes completed an online survey at least once during the three-year study period (N = 366; 84.2% males; 14-19 years of age; M = 15.4 years); 83 athletes also completed multiple surveys for longitudinal analyses. Surveys included measures of positive and negative developmental experiences, prosocial and antisocial behaviours towards teammates and opponents, parental support and pressure, sport enjoyment, and commitment. ANOVA results comparing athletes in leagues that adopted the RiSPP at different time points indicated significant differences in prosocial behaviours toward teammates among athletes in leagues that implemented the program in 2010-2012 compared to 2013-2014, F(3, 328) = 2.68, p < .05, ?2 = .02. Multilevel longitudinal analyses revealed overall improvements in athletes' initiative, goal setting, and cognitive skills over time. Athletes in leagues that implemented the RiSPP during the study reported improvements in antisocial behaviours toward opponents (p = .047) and marginally significant changes in personal and social skills (p = .065) and goal setting (p = .10). There were no differences in the other outcome variables. Based on these findings it appears that a web-based educational parent program was positively associated with some changes in athletes' sport experiences.

Acknowledgments: This research was supported by a Partnership Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada