Parents' Perceptions of Their Roles in a Competitive Youth Swim Club: An Exploratory Study

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Mark Aoyagi

Second Advisor

Scotty Hanley


Parents’ perceptions, Children, Competitive, Youth, Swimming


The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine parents’ perceptions of their roles and how they fulfill those roles in their child’s competitive youth swimming experience. There is an increasing need to explore the beliefs and opinions of parents of youth athletes directly as they are highly involved in their child’s sport, can provide immediate feedback, and have the ability to positively and negatively influence their child’s experience (F redricks & Eccles, 2004). Four parents (three mothers, one father) of children ages 11 to 13 who were involved in a competitive youth swim club participated in individual semi-structured interviews. Interpretive description methodology served as a suitable framework as it allows researchers to find themes and patterns within participants’ subjective perceptions. Data analysis suggested that parents’ perceived their roles to be either that of a supporter or facilitator of the experience. Parents’ perceptions of their fulfillment of these roles were themed as adapting to the child (age, personality), to the sport, and providing balance in their child’s life. Practical implications for future work with parents of youth athletes are discussed.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


34 pages

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