The Relationships between Organized Sports Participation, Parenting Behaviors, and Children's Behavioral and Emotional Functioning

Jessica Brodsky, Pace University

Abstract

The purpose of the following study was to expand research on sports participation by assessing the relationship between organized sports participation and specific domains of behavioral and emotional functioning in elementary aged children. The data obtained may be used to help parents, educators, and clinicians understand the influence that sports participation has in children's lives and help influence the creation of primary prevention programs that target children's mental health. Organized sports, as opposed to free play or other forms of physical activity, were looked at as they provide boundaries, rules, and commitment. Additionally, as parent behaviors strongly influence children's development, the moderating role of parenting behaviors on this relationship was explored. The study included 70 mothers or fathers of children between the ages of six and eleven who attended elementary schools in New York and New Jersey. Overall, this study found that organized sports participation is associated with significant behavioral and emotional benefits for children and may serve as a protective factor against negative parenting behaviors. This research suggests that those who participate more in organized sports have fewer Aypicality and Withdrawal symptoms and have greater leadership skills than those who participate less. The more children enjoy participating in organized sports, the fewer Depression and Behavioral symptoms they have and the more leadership skills they possess. Significant gender differences and differences between contact and non-contact sports participants were found with regard to Internalizing symptoms. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental|Recreation

Recommended Citation

Jessica Brodsky, "The Relationships between Organized Sports Participation, Parenting Behaviors, and Children's Behavioral and Emotional Functioning" (January 1, 2013). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3573707.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI3573707

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