Parental Role in Children’s Sports Activities in the Context of Achievement Goal and Self- Determination Theories
Background. Aiming at understanding what influences youth sports experiences, researchers emphasize the
significance of the role of the family not only in the decision to get engaged in sports activities, but also in the
inclination to continue the activities. The increasing emphasis is on parental involvement and the impact of positive
and negative verbal behaviour influence on the psychosocial state of children engaged in sport. The aim of this
article was a conceptual overview of the family role, as the most significant microenvironment, in children’s sports
Methods. Analysis and discussion of scientific literature.
Results. Parental behaviour entails different reactions of children engaged in sports, but on the basis of self-
determination and achievement goal theories, it can be argued that the behaviour of the family should encourage
athletes’ mastery orientation, and consequently, a more pro-social conduct and moral reasoning can be expected.
Conclusions. Systematic literature review showed that both theories are in favour of actions and strategy, with
reference to parents’ encouragement to involve children in a task, while reducing their ego functioning. It can be
concluded that parents perceive their behaviour differently from that of their children, so often parents’ positive
reinforcement can have a negative impact on athletes’ psychosocial state, values, behaviour and goal-setting at
present and in the future.
Keywords: sport, athletes, achievement goal theory, self-determination theory, parents’ influence.
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