Past researchers found that youth sports participation was associated with improvements in youth mental health, academic achievement, emotional regulation, and behavior. This study focuses on whether those who participated in team sports as youth might exhibit more effective parenting styles and strategies than those who did not. Data were collected through an online survey of 525 Pennsylvania residents with a child between the ages of 3 and 17. Data were collected in October 2020. Youth who participated in recreational or competitive team sports were more positively involved with their children than others. Recreational sports participants used more positive discipline strategies than others; this trend was not observed for competitive athletes. Competitive team sport participation was associated with more inconsistent discipline and poorer supervision of children, a trend not found among recreational athletes. Further study is needed to assess change in youth competencies over time and by degree of participation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science