The Influence of COVID-19 Upon Perceptions of Parent Identity and Role Among Youth Sport Spectators.

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Date: Apr. 1, 2022
Publisher: United States Sports Academy
Document Type: Article
Length: 4,758 words
Lexile Measure: 1440L

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Abstract :

Parent experiences in youth sport settings during the COVID-19 pandemic are a notable and understudied phenomenon. Parents had varied experiences as a result of safety mandates and protocols that limited physical presence and engagement in their child's sports activities. These limitations proved to be an emotional challenge for parents--balancing the responsibilities of protecting the safety of their families and providing sports experiences to promote both normalcy and acquire the life skills gained from sports participation in a fluid environment. In some instances, parents engaged in virtual spectating experiences which sought to minimize physical risks associated with COVID-19, but also did not require their physical presence to participate. Research on the virtual experience of parents is novel and from a sample of 112 parents across youth sport sectors in 18 states how the spectating modality influenced parental roles and identities was examined. Virtual spectating experiences reflected many challenges for parents, but also prompted much gratitude for allowing continued engagement in their child's sports activities. This exploratory research prompts larger questions urging sport-based professionals to examine the influences of spectating modalities on experiences of parents. The authors captured retrospective parent reactions to their personal spectating experience and generated a grounded theory diagram to demonstrate relationships between factors shaping the parent identity and role in this context. Implications for sport-based professionals are discussed. Keywords: youth sports, resilience, parenting, virtual spectating, COVID-19, identity

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A700859180