Enhancing Parental Involvement in Junior Tennis

  • Author / Creator
    Knight, Camilla J
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Holt, Nicholas (Physical Education and Recreation)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Mayan, Maria (Faculty of Extension)
    • Rodgers, Wendy (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Gould, Daniel (University of Michigan, Kinesiology)
    • Dunn, John (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • McHugh, Tara-Leigh (Physical Education and Recreation)