Perceptions of parent-child relationships and sport experiences among east-asian women


Parents are crucial in supporting and influencing their child's sport experience. The existing research on parent-child relationships in sport is primarily based on Western parenting styles; thus, investigation of other cultures is important given that parenting practices can vary due to different cultural understandings of parenting. This study examined the different cultural beliefs between a foreign-born parent and their native-born child and investigated how different values may influence the child's sport experience. Ten participants (Mage = 21 years) took part in semi-structured interviews; five participants continued to play sports competitively beyond high school and five participants stopped participating beyond high school. Three themes were identified from qualitative content analysis: (a) Athletes' internalization/perceptions of parental support: Different athletes perceived their parents' support in different ways, leading to more or less positive perceptions of and satisfaction with their parents' support. (b) Understanding meanings behind parents' actions: Conflict between parents and athletes arose from a lack of understanding about the meaning of parents' behaviours. Greater conflict occurred if athletes were less satisfied or did not understand their parents' underlying intentions surrounding their behaviours. (c) Values and alignment of values: Parents' and athletes' values around sport and education were related to conflict and decisions to continue sport participation. Participants whose values aligned with their parents' had less conflict in the parent-child relationship and more positive perceptions of parental support and the overall sport experience. Parental compromises appeared to be related to opportunities for the athlete's autonomy to make decisions about their long-term sport participation.