Lessons from the Field. Development of a group intervention to promote need-supportive sport parenting

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alan Chu, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Objective This Lesson from the Field describes the development of a need-supportive parenting intervention aimed at enhancing motivation and preventing burnout in youth athletes.Background Self-determination theory posits that basic psychological needs (i.e., autonomy, competence, and relatedness) are essential for optimal motivation and performance in any context. However, research has shown that parents, a critical social agent, may thwart rather than support their children's psychological needs in competitive contexts such as sport. The development and implementation of need-supportive sport parenting interventions are warranted.Method We reviewed and analyzed the components, including the content, frequency, and duration, of need-supportive sport coaching interventions and parenting interventions in other domains (e.g., education). Based on the analysis, we constructed our intervention with a workbook to educate parents on (a) reducing athlete pressure, (b) providing choices within limits, (c) focusing on individual improvement, and (d) enhancing parent–child communication. We used gymnastics examples to illustrate these strategies.Conclusion This article provides parent educators with a theoretically and empirically informed intervention to work with sport parents. The proposed benefits of the program may extend beyond athlete motivation and burnout prevention to better parent–child relationships and psychological need satisfaction of both the parent and the child.

Additional Information

Family Relations, 72(3)
Language: English
Date: 2022
athlete, basic psychological needs, burnout, child, parent, self-determination theory

Email this document to