The role of parental involvement in youth sport participation and performance.
This research examined the association of parental involvement, both parental support and parental pressure, with enjoyment, performance, self-esteem, and other characteristics of young tournament tennis players. Male and female players (median age = 13 years) attending a regional tennis academy provided information about the role their parents play in their tennis game, their own view of their game, their self-esteem, and their state, regional, and national rankings. This information was used to examine the association of parental support and parental pressure with players' enjoyment of tennis, their performance, and their self-esteem. It was found that parental support was significantly associated with enjoyment, with an objective measure of performance (but not players' self-reported level of performance), and with the importance players' ascribed to their tennis game. Players who reported a high level of parental support tended to report greater enjoyment of tennis, view tennis as a more important part of their lives, and fall lower in state rankings than players who reported a lower level of parental support. In addition, parental support appeared to mediate relations among several player characteristics. The data provided no evidence that parental pressure is an important influence on participation and performance of young tournament tennis players.
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