Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Committee Member

Dr. Denise Anderson, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Skye Arthur-Banning

Committee Member

Jamie Cathey

Abstract

To understand the full spectrum of impact that youth sport organizations have, it is beneficial to look at parental involvement as an important variable of youth sport participation. As more parents understand the potential benefits for their children participating in youth sports, parental engagement is increasing on the sidelines of games and practices. The primary reason for parents to attend youth sporting practices and events is likely to support their child but there may be additional motivations parents have for increased involvement including their own relationship building. Very little research has been done on possible social benefits for parents in youth sport environments. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential that youth sport organizations have to provide an environment where parents can find a sense of belonging and build relationships with other parents within a sports league. Specifically, this study examined parental sense of belonging within the City of Clemson Parks and Recreation Department’s youth soccer league. A total of 114 parents completed a questionnaire, 10 of which were selected for follow-up interviews. Sense of belonging was measured using the Sense of Belonging Index (SOBI-A). The results of this study confirmed that parental involvement within youth soccer can contribute to relationship building and a sense of belonging for parents.

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