Development and initial evidence for the Stressors among Parents in Youth Sport Scale (SPYSS)


Parents are an integral part of the sport experiences of youth athletes (Wylleman et al., 2000). While parents have been found to experience stress related to their youth sport involvement (Harwood & Knight, 2009a,b), the field of research to date lacks psychometric instruments to adequately assess the various stressors encountered by parents in youth sport settings (Dorsch et al., 2021). A questionnaire targeting stressors among sport parents was developed comprising 52 items and 13 subscales based on previous qualitative research of parent stressors in youth sport (e.g., Harwood & Knight, 2009a, b). Parents of minor hockey athletes (N=1187; Median parent age range = 41–50yrs; Median household income = over $110,000 CAD/year) completed the questionnaire. Parents reported the perceived intensity of each stressor as well as the frequency of its occurrence on 5-point Likert scales. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to test the underlying structure of the developed questionnaire. Eleven factors were extracted and explained 67% of variance. EFA results were further used to refine the item pool and latent factor structure. Confirmatory factor analysis was then applied to test the data fit. Overall, indices (CFI = .87; TLI = .85; RMSEA = .06) indicated an acceptable model fit. The results provide evidence for the validity of a measure assessing stressors among youth sport parents. The instrument provides further support on previously proposed stress domains for sport parents (Harwood & Knight, 2009a, b). Future studies are needed to test the measure in diverse samples of youth sport parents.

Acknowledgments: This research was supported by a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant.