Hoyle, R. H., & Leff, S. S. (1997). The role of parental involvement in youth sport participation and performance. Adolescence, 32, 233-243.

The association of parental involvement (both parental support and pressure) with enjoyment, performance, self-esteem, and other characteristics of 25 young tournament tennis players (aged 9-17 yr) was examined.

Ss provided information about the role parents played in their tennis game, their own view of their game, their self-esteem, and their state, regional, and national rankings.

Parental support was significantly associated with enjoyment, with an objective measure of performance, and with the importance players' ascribed to their tennis game. Ss who reported a high level of parental support tended to report greater enjoyment of tennis, to view tennis as a more important part of their lives, and to have better state rankings than did Ss who reported a lower level of parental support.

Implication. Strong parental support and involvement in a sport increases the enjoyment and experience of young athletes. Rather than vilifying parents, as is a common practice in several sports, this facilitatory resource should be used to maximize the experience of young people in highly competitive sport settings.

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