Perceived parental support, pressure, and the socialization of adolescent athletes’ coping

Katherine A. Tamminen *, Carolyn E. Mcewen ** and Peter R. E. Crocker **

(*) Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Canada
(**) School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia University, Toronto, Canada


A. Tamminen, K., E. Mcewen, C., R. E. Crocker, P. (2016). Perceived parental support, pressure, and the socialization of adolescent athletes’ coping. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 47(4), 335-354. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2016.47.335


OBJECTIVES: This study examined the influence of perceived parental support and pressure as well as parents’ socialization of coping on adolescent athletes’ coping in sport. DESIGN: A cross-sectional online survey was used to collect data from adolescent athletes and one of their parents. METHODS: Eighty-five pairs of athletes (n females = 31, n males = 54, M age = 13.56) and parents (n mothers = 58, n fathers = 27, M age = 45.73) completed online surveys: athletes completed subscales of the Coping Instrument for Competitive Sport (Gaudreau & Blondin, 2002) and the Parental Involvement in Activities Scale (Anderson et al., 2003); parents completed the Socialization of Coping Questionnaire (Abaied & Rudolph, 2010) to examine explicit socialization of engagement or disengagement coping. RESULTS: Parental socialization of engagement coping was significantly associated with athletes’ task oriented coping, while athletes’ perceived parental support and parental pressure were significantly associated with athletes’ disengagement coping. Perceived parental support moderated the relationship between parents’ socialization of disengagement coping and athletes’ disengagement coping. CONCLUSION: With regard to athletes’ task-oriented coping, it may be useful for parents to explicitly tell their child how to use engagement coping in sport. With regard to disengagement coping, it may be important for parents to focus on establishing a supportive parental context as well as minimizing the extent to which they encourage their child to use disengagement coping to deal with stressors in sport.

Keywords: Cross-sectional, Dyad, Parent-child relationships, Psychosocial development, Youth sport