Karl E. Zang

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Athletic Coaching Education

Committee Chair

Kristen Dieffenbach

Committee Member

Roch King

Committee Member

Valerie Wayda

Committee Member

Edward Etzel


Current literature has previously reported on the potential benefits of sport participation (Dhurup, 2012; Tomik, Olex-Zarychta, & Mynarski, 2012), which are also some of the main motivations parents enroll their children in youth sport programs (Kurnik, Kajtna, Bedenik, & Kovac, 2013). Parents have also been reported as being both gatekeepers (Schwab, Wells, & Arthur-Banning, 2010) and supporters (Holt, Tamminen, Black, Mandigo, & Fox, 2009) in regards to their child’s participation. This study surveyed 135 parents enrolled in participation youth sport programs in order to identify the influential factors on parents youth sport program selection. Assessed influential factors were compared to an established questionnaire on youth sport parents motivations for enrollment (Kurnik et al., 2013). It was observed that although motivations for program enrollment were similar to previous research (Hutchinson, Baldwin, & Caldwell, 2003, 2008; Kurnik et al., 2013), other factors stood out. ‘Child expressed interest’ was most influential factor for program selection with ‘close to home’ and ‘child has friends within this youth sport program’ being second and third. This data suggest that parents may choose programs based on what they believe their child wants to do as opposed to health-related benefits reported in previous research.