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Enhancing Parental Involvement in Junior Tennis Open Access


Other title
Youth Sport
Parental Involvement
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Knight, Camilla J
Supervisor and department
Holt, Nicholas (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
McHugh, Tara-Leigh (Physical Education and Recreation)
Gould, Daniel (University of Michigan, Kinesiology)
Mayan, Maria (Faculty of Extension)
Rodgers, Wendy (Physical Education and Recreation)
Dunn, John (Physical Education and Recreation)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The ultimate goal of this Dissertation was to identify ways to enhance parental involvement in junior tennis. Three distinct, but related, studies were conducted. The purpose of the first study was to develop a grounded theory of optimal parental involvement in junior tennis. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with 90 tennis players, ex-junior players, parents, and coaches from the United Kingdom. Data analysis led to a grounded theory built around the core category of ‘understanding and enhancing your child’s tennis journey.’ The core category was underpinned by three categories: Shared and communicated goals; developing an understanding emotional climate; and engaging in enhancing parenting practices for competitive tennis. The theory predicts that consistency between goals, emotional climate, and parenting practices will optimize parenting in junior tennis. It became apparent that parents sometimes struggled to help their children. Hence, the second study aimed to identify the strategies parents used to support their children's tennis involvement and obtain parents’ views regarding additional help they required. Interviews were conducted with 41 parents of junior players in the United States. Data analysis led to the identification of four strategies parents used to provide support to their children and five issues they wanted additional help with. These findings indicated that parents ‘surrounded themselves with support’ to facilitate their children’s involvement in tennis, but required additional information regarding specific aspects of tennis parenting. The final study was designed to focus on tournaments, seeking to examine parents’ experiences of watching their children compete. Interviews were conducted with 40 parents of junior players competing in tournaments in Western Australia. Parents’ experiences at tournaments appeared to be primarily influenced by four factors and participants provided four recommendations to enhance their experiences. Overall, these results indicated that a variety of factors, ranging from their children’s performance to tournament organization, influenced parents’ tournament experiences. The identification of these factors, along with participants’ suggested changes, has a number of implications for parent education initiatives that may enhance parenting in junior tennis in the future.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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