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Understanding parental secure base support across youth sport contexts in Sweden

TOVE MARS, Camilla Knight Orcid Logo, Louise Davis, Markus B.T. Nyström, Olivier Rouquette Orcid Logo

Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Volume: 73, Start page: 102658

Swansea University Authors: TOVE MARS, Camilla Knight Orcid Logo, Olivier Rouquette Orcid Logo

Abstract

The notion of secure base explains how a child can grow and become independent through access to a significant other (i.e., parent) who is available, encouraging, and non interfering. The purpose of the current study was to develop an understanding of parental secure base support within the context...

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Published in: Psychology of Sport and Exercise
ISSN: 1469-0292
Published: Elsevier BV 2024
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa66323
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Abstract: The notion of secure base explains how a child can grow and become independent through access to a significant other (i.e., parent) who is available, encouraging, and non interfering. The purpose of the current study was to develop an understanding of parental secure base support within the context of youth sport in Sweden, with a specific focus on: (a) what parental behaviors constitute a secure base, and (b) how these behaviors differ across contexts (at home before and after sport, at practice and during competitions). An interpretive descriptive methodology (Thorne, 2016) was used. Interviews were conducted with 13 family triads (children aged 12-15 years) and 1 dyad living in Sweden. Analysis was conducted to illuminate associations, patterns, and relationships within the sample. Analysis led to the development of nine categories of parental behaviors that were perceived to underpin a secure base. Availability was seen to comprise physical presence and support provision, being responsive, and developing positive mental representations. Encouragement encompassed demonstrating that sport participation is valued, motivating to explore sporting endeavors, and reinforcing and rewarding persistence in sports. Interference was described as unrequested interference, requested interference, and intentionally constrained involvement. Additionally, influencing factors such as communication, family structure and culture, were identified. The findings provide an empirical illustration for several behaviors that have been perceived as positive in previous literature, as well as highlighting numerous further complexities, particularly as it relates to interference.
Keywords: attachment theory; availability; encouragement; interference; sport
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: This research was funded and supported by the Swedish Research Council for Sports Science (Centrum för idrottsforskning; CIF) and Umeå School of Sport Sciences (Idrottshögskolan; IH).
Start Page: 102658