Effects of Unrealistic Expectations on Children in Youth Sports and Early Burnout Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Unrealistic Expectations on Children in Youth Sports and Early Burnout

Research Structure

Youth Sports

Motivators for Participation in Sports

Effect of Unrealistic Expectations and Parental Pressure on the Sports Performance of the Children

Reliability and Validity

EXPECTED CONCLUSION

Recommendation for Further Research

This study aims at identifying the effect of unrealistic expectations of parents on burnout in youth sport. In order to identify these effects appropriately, this study will examine the perceptions of parents as well as their children in relation to the purpose of the involvement of their child in sports. In addition to that, it will also examine the perception of the children about the expectations of their parents in relation to their sport activities.

Apart from that, the expectations of parents will be identified and then the impact of these expectations on the performance of children in the sport activities will be evaluated. This study also will also compare the perceptions of the parents and their children in order to find out further examine discrepancies that exists between them.

A total of 50 adolescents, who belong to the age group ranging from eleven years old to nineteen years old, and 75 of their parents will be surveyed and interviewed in relation to the involvement of their children in the sports activities. Using sport as a medium a number of variables, about the perceptions of the children in relation to their parents, and the perception of the parents about themselves and the relationship that existed between the parents and their children will be reviewed.

This research will also evaluate the differences that exist between the perceptions of the children and the perceptions of the child. It also aims at identifying the manner in which support of parents and parental pressure influenced the success of the child and enhanced his or her enjoyment for sports. It is estimated that parents might have a more positive perception of themselves and their involvement in the sport activities of their children as compared to the negative or a less attractive perception of the children in relation to the involvement of their parents in the sports activities.

Effects of Unrealistic Expectations on Children in Youth Sports and Early Burnout

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1. Background of the Study

Sports can play an important role in enabling the children and youth to learn some of the most important lessons about life in a fun and engaging manner. A number of studies have indicated that participation in sports can prove out to be very beneficial and favorable for the youth. This is because it fosters responsible social behaviors among them, enables them to achieve greater success in their academic life, and leads towards an enhancement of personal health and fitness. In addition to that, being a member of a team also enables children or youth to have an insight to the important sense of belonging. (Faculty of College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania State University, 2000)

All the children, however, do not experience the above mentioned benefits of being in a sports program. The atmosphere that the organizations, parents, and coaches of the children set plays a very important role in identifying that what would be the potential impact, positive or negative, of a sports program on the youth or the children. It has been suggested by a number of scholars that a "win-at-all-costs" atmosphere set by the parents can prove out be very detrimental in the development of the youth in a sports program. (Faculty of College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania State University, 2000)

It is inevitable to avoid the negative outcomes in a given sport program, if the children perceive that consistent pressure is being exerted on them, in relation to participating and succeeding in a given sport, by their parents. (Faculty of College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania State University, 2000)

Competitive stress, which according to O'Dell and Tietjen (1997), can be defined as "the force or pressure on a youth participant to perform well" (O'Dell and Tietjen, 1997), and burnout, which can be defined as the physical fatigue of a child along with the evident and drastic decrease in the enjoyment for the sport, are the two most common reactions of children in relation parental pressure and unrealistic expectations. (Faculty of College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania State University, 2000)

As a result of the excessive pressure and unrealistic expectations of the parents, The child perceives that his or her talents and abilities cannot meet the expectations that are placed on him or her. In addition to that, the children also feel that they do not have the abilities and skills that are required to succeed in the situation which they are confronting. (Lindner, 1991; O'Dell and Tietjen, 1997).

Parental pressure and unrealistic expectations are one of the most prominent underlying sources of the negative aspects of the youth sports. Requirements for specialization and perfection coerce the children to stop taking part in all the other sports and activities apart from the sport in which they are expected to succeed. There is a great probability of injury and burnout immediately after the introduction of increased specialization in the course of training. (Faculty of College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania State University, 2000)

The beginning of specialization is marked when both the parents and the children start dreaming that the athletic career of the child shall grow to the elite level. In most of the cases, the parents are ready to forsake all of the goals and objectives of the child for the sake of this dream and this results in failure and burnout of child in the sport program. (Faculty of College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania State University, 2000)

It has been indicated by the studies of Cumming & Ewing, (2002) and Hamstra, Cherubini and Swank (2002) that the ratio of the high school athletes, who make it to the elite level, is less than one-half of one percent of all high school athletes. (Cumming & Ewing, 2002; Hamstra, Cherubini and Swank, 2002).

Sport activities constitute only one aspect of the life of a child in which the involvement of parents plays an important role. It is necessary for the parents to get positively involved in all the facets of the child's life. They should also show the child and make him or her see and feel, as suggested by Parker and Boak, (1999) "high levels of emotional warmth and encouragement of independence and low levels of strictness and aggravation" (Parker and Boak, 1999).

It has also been identified by a number of studies that a strong parent child relationship plays an important role in spurring the success of the children in most of the achievement oriented activities. (Faculty of College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania State University, 2000)

This is because a strong parent child relationship has a number of positive impacts on the performance of the children in various aspects of their lives, which also include the sports activities of the children:

The reduction of aggression level

Lowers the disruptive behavior of the children

Increases the respect for authority

Enhances the levels of self-control

Provides the children with an environment, which is free of the harmful and detrimental situations. (DuBois and Eitel, 1994, Fagen and Cowen, 1996).

According to the study conducted by Fagen and Cowen, (1996), teenagers who experience a strong and positive relationship with their parents have higher levels of self-esteem and are more confident as compared to the children who experience weak relationships with their parents. (Faculty of College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania State University, 2000)

It can, therefore, be concluded that a strong relationship between the parents and the children builds up the foundation that provides the children consistency, support, and stability to further themselves in various aspects, including youth sport. (Fagen and Cowen, 1996).

This study aims at identifying the effect of unrealistic expectations of parents on burnout in youth sport. In order to identify these effects appropriately, this study will examine the perceptions of parents as well as their children in relation to the purpose of the involvement of their child in sports. In addition to that, it will also examine the perception of the children about the expectations of their parents in relation to their sport activities.

Apart from that, the expectations of parents will be identified and then the impact of these expectations on the performance of children in the sport activities will be evaluated. This study also will also compare the perceptions of the parents and their children in order to find out further examine discrepancies that exist between them.

A total of 50 adolescents, who belong to the age group ranging from eleven years old to nineteen years old, and 75 of their parents will be surveyed and interviewed in relation to the involvement of their children in the sports activities. Using sport as a medium a number of variables, about the perceptions of the children in relation…

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