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Social influence and children’s sport experience /

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Student Theses
Publication Information:
Su, Lin Yi Diana
Hong Kong : The Education University of Hong Kong
Social agents are often regarded as important to the participation and experiences of physical activity (PA) among children and adolescents. However, within the literature, the relationships between parental influences and child and adolescent PA have been inconclusive and discordant. Thus, study 1 adopted a meta-analysis to quantify and synthesize the associations between parental social influences (positive parental influence, punishment, and discouragement) and the PA level of children and adolescents. Through a systematic literature search using the PsycINFO, Web of Science, PubMed, ProQuest, and SPORTDiscus databases, we identified 112 eligible studies and subsequently extracted 741 effect sizes for our analysis. Multilevel meta-analysis showed that the corrected zero-order correlation of positive parental influence was positive and statistically significant, r = 0.202, SE = 0.014, t = 14.975, p < 0.001, 95% confidence interval (CI) = [0.176, 0.228]. Further moderation analysis also found that this was significantly moderated by parental gender (maternal vs. paternal), respondent of influence measure (parent-reported vs. child-reported), and type of PA measure (subjective vs. objective). The corrected zero-order correlations of negative parental influences (i.e., punishment and discouragement) were not statistically significant, and no significant moderation effects were observed. The findings of our meta-analysis showed that children and adolescents had higher PA levels when their parents supported PA participation by exerting positive social influence. Punishment and discouragement against PA by parents did not appear to be significantly associated with the PA level of children and adolescents. Study 2 was a two-wave prospective study that applied the social influence in sport model to investigate whether the social influences of parents, physical education (PE) teachers, and peers were predictive of students’ intention to engage in leisure-time physical activity (PA). Participants were 2,484 secondary school students (11 to 18 years old) who completed a questionnaire assessing positive influence, punishment, and dysfunction from the three social agents at baseline, and PA intention at a 1-month follow-up. Structural equation modelling (SEM) yielded excellent goodness-of-fit and consistent pathways between the three social agents. Students’ leisure-time PA intention (R2 = .103 to .112) was positively associated with positive influence (β = .223 to .236, p < .001) and punishment (β = .214 to .256, p < .01), and negatively associated with dysfunction (β = - .281 to -.335, p < .001). Multi-group SEM showed that the predictions were invariant between parents, PE teachers, and peers. Furthermore, no significant differences in students’ gender were found between perceived social influence and PA intention. The findings supported the application of the Social Influence in Sport Model in explaining the role of significant others on students’ intention to take part in leisure-time PA. Study 3 examined mental toughness (MT), which is an important psychological quality. This two-wave longitudinal study examined whether the social influences of coaches, fathers, mothers and peers were predictive of children’s mental toughness in sport contexts. The participants were 112 children (7 to 12 years old) who played basketball at the recreational level in China. At baseline and at the 3-month follow-up, they completed a questionnaire measuring their mental toughness and perception of social influences, such as positive influence, punishment, and dysfunction, from the four social agents. The model with correlations between social influence and mental toughness at a change-score level yielded excellent goodness-of-fit using variance-based structural equation modeling (VB-SEM). Children’s mental toughness (R2 = .37 to .45) was positively associated with positive influence (β = .228 to 361, p < .01), and negatively associated with dysfunction (β = - .166 to -.367, p < .05). Punishment was predicted negatively by social influences from coaches, fathers, and mothers (β = - .182 to -.247, p < .05), but not peers (β = .049, p > .05). Multi-group SEM showed that the relationships were invariant between coaches, fathers, mothers and peers. The findings show that children are more likely to have increased mental toughness when significant others exert positive social influence in the sporting environment. In sum, these three studies aimed to better understand how significant others and social influence types may enhance or inhibit motivational and behavioural outcomes, as well as health development
Call Number:
LG51.H43 Dr 2023eb Sulyd
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