Negative Parental Behaviour in Canadian Youth Hockey: Expert Insiders’ Perceptions and Recommendations

Corliss N Bean, Sarah Jeffery-Tosoni, Joe Baker, Jessica Fraser-Thomas

Abstract


Recent media coverage and peer-reviewed research has called attention to Canadian youth hockey, highlighting problematic parent behaviours (Feschuk, 2011; Gillis, 2014; Robidoux & Bocksnick, 2010). The purpose of this study was to explore negative parental behaviour in Canadian youth hockey through the perspectives of 10 expert hockey insiders. Results revealed negative parent behaviours related to stakeholder abuse, excessive investments and rewards, over-stepping coaching lines, and encouragement of aggression. Participants provided insight into the motives behind these behaviours including the lure of professional sport, the hockey hierarchy, parents’ return on hockey investments, and living vicariously through one’s children. Participants also proposed potential solutions to prevent and manage these issues including effective parent education programs with targeted curricular content, and stronger reporting and discipline systems. Findings are discussed through the lens of the what, why, and how of negative parental behaviours in youth sport, and contextualized within the current changing climate of minor hockey in Canada.

Keywords


ort; Adolescent; Sport Psychology; Parent Education

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