Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management


Barcelona, Robert J

Committee Member

Anderson , Denise M

Committee Member

Schmalz , Dorothy L


Youth sports are a means for children to develop physically, mentally, and socially. Recent studies show that 75% of children drop out of sports by age 13. One of the main reasons that children discontinue sport participation is pressure from parents and coaches. Researchers have shown that certain coach-created motivational climates lead to youth outcomes such as initiative and identity reflection. This study measured perceived motivational climate, basic psychological needs satisfaction, perceived competence, self-esteem, and how those constructs impact sport commitment. Two hundred and twenty children (ages 8-12) playing youth sports in a southeastern recreation department were surveyed at practices and games. Results indicate four findings: 1) perceptions of autonomy-supportive coaching behaviors predict mastery climate; 2) perceptions of mastery climates predict psychological need satisfaction; 3) basic psychological need satisfaction predicts competence and self-esteem; 4) basic psychological need satisfaction and self-esteem predict sport commitment. Results from this study support the literature of motivational climate and sport commitment.

Included in

Sociology Commons