A Longitudinal Comparison of Parent and Child Influence on Sports Participation

Arena Chang, Joseph L. Mahoney


Drawing on expectancy-value theory, this study examines children’s motivational attributes and parental influences on how children spend their leisure time in middle childhood and adolescence. Specifically, the study examined if parent encouragement and beliefs (i.e., perceived importance of sports and perceived child ability) and child motivation (expectancy and value for sports) are predictive of sports participation over the course of middle childhood and adolescence. Parent and child reports are compared using data from the Childhood and Beyond (CAB) longitudinal study. Findings reveal that parent beliefs and encouragement and child motivation were positively associated with sports participation in middle childhood. Both parental influences and children’s motivation measured in middle childhood were predictive of time spent participating in adolescence. However, only parent influences were predictive of whether the child continued to participate in sports in adolescence.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2013.85

Copyright (c) 2013 Journal of Youth Development

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/