Parental influences in athlete sport participation: A systematic review of literature

Patrícia Coutinho, Isabel Mesquita, Antonio Manuel Fonseca


The purpose of this article was to review the existing literature on parental influence in sport. The following databases were used to collect the articles: Academic Search Complete, SPORTDiscus, PsychInfo, Education Research Complete, ISI Web of Knowledge, PubMed, EBSCO, and SCOPUS. After a careful selection of the articles and a rigorous analysis of them, we obtained 52 empirical articles on the subject matter eligible for analysis. The results highlight the existence of two distinct perspectives of analysis: a descriptive vision which is focus on the characterization of parental influence and the respective behaviours adopted by parents in sport, and another perspective focused on the relationship between parental influence and the athlete’s behavioural responses. The critical analysis of the articles allowed the identification of potential methodological obstacles that is necessary to overcome in future studies, as well as possible guidelines to explore in further research in this field.


Parental influence; Athlete development; Sport participation

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