Identifying Coaching Abuses in Youth Sport: A Human Rights Approach for Policy Development

by Elaine Cook

Institution: Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Regina
Department: Kinesiology
Degree: MSc
Year: 2014
Record ID: 2031689
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10294/5388


A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Kinesiology & Health Studies, University of Regina. vi, 83 p. Research indicates that the culture of sport tends to promote an idealized, or mythologized perception of the benefits of participation for youth (Brackenridge, 2006; Forster, 2006; Houlihan et al., 2011). The belief that sport is a moral oasis (Brackenridge, 2006) has had a serious negative impact on our understanding of the harm caused by abuse in youth sports. In particular, there is a lack of data, monitoring, evaluation, and universal definitions of abusive coaching behaviours, despite the general acknowledgement that coaches wield considerable power and influence that extends beyond the playing field. Without such information it is extremely difficult to develop and enforce policies that protect the rights of children who engage in sport. Therefore, it is the purpose of this study to classify observations made about unacceptable coaching behaviors, in order to identify behaviours that violate the rights of children, which in turn will provide the information necessary to develop policy statements intended to guide the conduct of coaches. Comments (164) from 4 different sports (ice hockey, baseball, basketball, and football) ??? collected by the Justplay Behaviour Management Program -will be deductively analyzed and categorized into the Typology of Coaching Transgressions (TOCT) model. Measures of construct and content validity provide evidence of the content and construct adequacy of the TOCT model. Results indicate that across all sports, indirect coaching abuses outnumber direct coaching abuses, ??2 (3, 255)= .18.52, p = .000, the two contact sports, hockey and football, contain the greatest number of direct abuses, ??2 (1, 255) = 10.79, p = .001, and they also contain the greatest number of neglect behaviours, ??2 (3, 255) = 9.27, p = .026 (two cells had less than 5 behaviours). Finally, psychological and modeling behaviours are the greatest percentage of all behaviours across all sports (43.5% and 44.7% respectively).