This week I and graduate student Alyssa Norris released a first-of-its-kind, evidence-based report titled Youth Sport Report: Parent Perceptions How Frequently Youth Sport Interferes With Family Time (LaVoi & Norris, 2011).
Youth sports informed by sport science and “done right” can provide a positive, meaningful context for youth development and family engagement. Yet for some families, concerns about the professionalization of youth sport are intensifying due to overuse injuries, early specialization, pressure to achieve, and increased commitment and time demands, which place the health and well-being of children and youth at risk. However, little is known about parents’ perceptions of how youth sport interferes with family functioning. The data in this report aims to fill that gap.
Based on the data herein and contrary to some scholarly and media reports of “overscheduling” problems—namely maladaptive child outcomes, and interference with family meals, vacations, and attendance of religious services—due to participation in youth sports, parents in this sample perceived youth sport minimally interferes with family functioning. Explanations for this occurrence are offered.
To download the full report click here.