Determining If Competition Level Matters in Developing Positive and Negative Youth Sportsmanship
American Journal of Sports Science
Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2018, Pages: 38-46
Received: Feb. 1, 2018;
Accepted: Feb. 16, 2018;
Published: Mar. 24, 2018
Views 1550 Downloads 90
Skye Gerald Arthur-Banning, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, USA
Mary Sara Wells, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, University of Utah, Salt Lake, USA
Brian Malcarne, Recreation and Leisure Administration, York College of Pennsylvania, York, USA
Young Suk Oh, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, USA
Millions of young athletes engage in youth sport every year at a variety of levels ranging from beginning instruction up through elite national competitions. Parents are frequently registering these youth in sport for a variety of benefits including the frequently mentioned purpose of “building character”. Although a vague term, building character is often associated with the concept of moral behavior or sportsmanship. Youth sport professionals hoping to develop programs focused on the benefits of improving sportsmanship should understand how all aspects of their programs can either improve or hinder these types of behaviors. This requires a greater understanding of how the level of competition will contribute to both positive and negative sportsmanship behaviors. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if differences in positive and negative sportsmanship behaviors exist at various levels of competitive youth sport experiences. To accomplish this, systematic observations occurred at two different soccer tournaments. The first tournament was designed for elite athletes in the Mountain West region of the US while the second tournament was more recreationally based and was located in the South East. A total of 62 games were observed of young athletes in the U-12 and U-14 age groups. Prior to observing these games, observers went through an extensive training to ensure that they could reach 80% agreement in their observations of both the positive and negative sportsmanship behaviors engaged in by the athletes, spectators, and coaches of each game. Results from this study suggest a lack of difference between the two competitive levels in terms of positive sportsmanship behavior, but a significant (p < 05) difference did exist between the elite athletes and recreational athletes in the number of negative sportsmanship behaviors demonstrated in a half game with the elite athletes engaging in nearly four times as many negative sportsmanship behaviors. Although some limitations do exist, youth sport professionals can use this information in a variety of ways. To begin, programs targeted at improving sportsmanship now know how to better target their efforts. This can be done through additional trainings for the programs serving elite athletes. Finally, it is important to note that programs at all levels were demonstrating many positive qualities. Consequently, it would behoove youth sport professionals to attempt to minimize the negative behaviors without eliminating the opportunities for athletes, coaches, and spectators to behave positively.
Skye Gerald Arthur-Banning,
Mary Sara Wells,
Young Suk Oh,
Determining If Competition Level Matters in Developing Positive and Negative Youth Sportsmanship, American Journal of Sports Science.
Vol. 6, No. 2,
2018, pp. 38-46.
Bouchard, C., Shepard, R. J., and Stephens, T. (Eds.) 1994. Physical activity, fitness, and health. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Danish, S. J., Petitpas, A. J., and Hale, B. D. 1990. Sport as a context for developing competence. In T. Gullotta, G. Adams, and R. Monteymar (Eds.), Developing social competency in adolescence (Vol. 3, pp. 169-194). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Metzl, J. D. 2002. The young athlete. Boston: Little Brown.
Hansen, D. M., Larson, R. W., and Dworkin, J. B. 2003. What adolescents learn in organized youth activities: A survey of self-reported development experiences. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 13 (1), 25-55.
Daniels, A. M. 2007. Cooperation versus competition: Is there really such an issue? In D. F. Perkins and S. Le Menestral (Eds.), New directions for youth development: Sports-based youth development (pp. 43-56). Washington D. C.: Jossey-Bass.
Le Menestral, S., and Perkins, D. F. 2007. An overview of how sports, out-of-school time, and youth well-being can and do intersect. In D. F. Perkins and S. Le Menestral (Eds.), New directions for youth development: Sports-based youth development (pp. 13-25). Washington D. C.: Jossey-Bass.
Thornton, C. M., Cain, K. L., Conway, T. L., Kerr, J., Saelens, B. E., Frank, L. D., Glanz, K., and Sallis, J. F. 2017. Relation of adolesents’ physical activity to after-school recreation environment. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 14 (5), 382-388.
Baron, L. J. 2007. Contemporary issues in youth sports. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Bergeron, M. F. 2007. Improving health through youth sports: Is participation enough? New Directions for Youth Development, 115, 27-41.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). 2015. Physical activity and health: A report of the surgeon general. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Coakley, J. 2016. Sports in society: Issues and controversies (12th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
Ewing, M. E., Gano-Overway, L. A., Branta, C. F., and Seefeldt, V. D. 2002. The role of sports in youth development. In M. Gatz, M. A. Messner, and S. J. Ball-Rokeach (Eds.), Paradoxes of youth sport (pp. 31-47). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Shields, D. L. L., and Bredemeier, B. J. L. 1995. Character development and physical activity. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Hellison, D. 2011. Teaching social and personal responsibility through physical activity. (3rd ed.) Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Fullinwider, R. K. 2006. Sports, youth and character: A critical survey. College Park, MD: Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, University of Maryland.
Holt, N. L. 2016. Positive Youth Development Through Sport. (2nd ed.) Routledge, New York, NY.
Stevenson, C. L. 1975. Socialization effects of participation in sport: A critical review of the research. Research Quarterly, 46, 297.
Goldstein, J. D., and Iso-Ahola, S. E. 2006. Sportsmanship in youth sports. The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance, 77 (7), 18-24.
Murphy, S. 1999. The cheers and the tears: A healthy alternative to the dark side of youth sports today. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Corrion, K., Long, T., Smith, A. L., and d’Arripe-Longueville, F. 2009. “It’s not my fault; It’s not serious”: Athletic accounts of moral disengagement in competitive sport. The Sport Psychologist, 23, 388-404.
Dorsch, T. E., Smith, A. L., Dotterer, A. M. 2016. Individual, relationship, and context factors associated with parent support and pressure in organized youth sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 23, pp. 132-141.
Perkins, D. F., and Noam, G. G. 2007. Characteristics of sports-based youth development programs. New Directions for Youth Development, 115, 75-84.
Duda, J. L. 1993. Goals: A social-cognitive approach to the study of achievement motivation in sport. In R. N. Singer, M. Murphy, and L. K. Tennant (Eds.), Handbook of research on sport psychology (pp. 421-436). New York: MacMillan.
Ryska, T. A. 2003. Sportsmanship in young athletes: The role of competitiveness, motivational orientation, and perceived purpose of sport. The Journal of Psychology, 137 (3), 273-293.
Wells, M. S., Ellis, G. D., Arthur-Banning, S. G., and Roark, M. 2006. Effects of staged practices and motivational climate on goal orientation and sportsmanship in community youth sport experiences. Journal of Parks and Recreation Administration, 24 (4), 64-85.
Sherif, M., and Sherif, C. 1969. Social Psychology. New York: Harper and Row.
Guivernau, M., and Duda, J. L. 2002. Moral atmosphere and athletic aggressive tendencies in young soccer players. Journal of Moral Education, 31 (1), 67-85.
Bolter, N. D. and Weiss, M. R. 2016. Routledge International Handbook of Sport Psychology: Delivering on the Promise. Routledge, New York.
Chalip, L. and Hutchinson, R. 2017. Reinventing youth sport: formative findings from a state-level action research project. Sport in Society, 20 (1), 30-46.
David, P. 2005. Human rights in youth sports: A critical review of children's rights in competitive sports. New York: Routledge.
Pynn, S. R., and Holt, N. L. 2017. Toward a conceptualization of good parenting in youth sport. Journal of Exercise, Movement, and Sport, 49 (1), 68-78.
Chaumeton, N. R., and Duda, J. L. 1988. Is it how you play the game or whether you win or lose? The effect of competititve level and situation on coaching behaviors. Journal of Sport Behavior, 11, 157-174.
Smith, N., Quested, E., Appleton, P. R. and Duda, J. L. 2017. Observing the coach-created motivational environment across training and competition in youth sport. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35 (2), 149-158.
Roberts, G. C., and Treasure, D. C. 1992. Children in sport. Sport Science Review, 1, 46-64.
Smoll, F., and Smith, R. 1989. Leadership behaviors in sport: A theoretical model and research paradigm. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 19, 1522-1551.
Bredemeier, B. J. 1995. Divergence in children’s moral reasoning about issues in daily life and sport. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 26, 453-464.
Carpenter, P. J., and Yates, B. 1997. Relationship between achievement goals and the perceived purposes of soccer for semiprofessional and amateur players, Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 19, 302-311.
White, S. A. 1995. The perceived purposes of sport among male and female intercollegiate and recreational sport participants. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 26, 490-502.
Arthur-Banning, S. G., Paisley, K., and Wells, M. S. 2007. Promoting sportsmanship in youth basketball players: The effects of referees' prosocial behavior techniques. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 25 (1), 96-114.
Brown, B. B., Bakken, J. P., Ameringer, S. W., and Mahon, S. D. 2008. Understanding peer influence in children and adolescents. New York: Guiliford Press.
Ellis, G. D., Paisley, K. P., Wells, M. S., Silverberg, K., and Henderson, H. 2004. How to Promote Sportsmanship in Your Youth Sport Leagues: The Play Hard, Play Fair, Play Fun Program. Parks and Recreation, 39 (6), 46-51.
Vallerand, R. J., Deshaies, P., and Cuerrier, J. P. 1997. On the effects of the social context on behavioural intentions of sportsmanship. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 28 (2), 126-140.
Coakley, J. and White, A. 1992. Making decisions: Gender and sport participation among British adolescents. Sociology of Sport Journal, 9, 20-35.
Wells, M. S., Arthur-Banning, S. G., Paisley, K. P., Ellis, G. D., Roark, M. F., and Fisher, K. 2008. Good (Youth) Sports: Using Benefits-based Programming to Increase Sportsmanship. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 26 (1), 1-21.