Promoting Sport Participation During Early Parenthood

2016-09-13 18:08:22 | BioPortfolio


The primary objective of this investigation is to test the efficacy of two sport participation formats (individual sport, team sport) on key psychosocial outcomes compared to a non-sport condition among parents of young children who were not participating in sport at baseline of the study.

Research of this type is important because parents represent a group dealing with numerous challenges and this is a period of time shown to have the greatest decline in physical activity. Furthermore, parents could reap great benefits in psychological health through the increase in physical activity and sport participation.


This study is exploring the impact team sports has on psychological well-being of parents compared to individual sports or a "night out". Our research questions include:

Does 1) team sports participation (choice-based from existing adult recreation leagues in greater Victoria) increase psychosocial outcomes (quality of life, relationship satisfaction, social functioning, perceived parenting capability, enjoyment) compared with 2) individual sport participation (choice-based from adult recreation alternatives in greater Victoria), and 3) a standard control condition? Hypothesis: The team sports condition will show significantly larger changes in psychosocial outcomes compared to the two other conditions after three-months of participation (primary end-point). Furthermore, the individual sports condition will show significantly larger changes in psychosocial outcomes compared to the control condition after three-months of participation.

Secondary Research Questions

1. Can participation in the team sports and individual sports conditions be explained by the constructs of the Sport Commitment model [21]? Hypothesis: Participation will be predicted by sports commitment as per the tenets of the Sport Commitment Model, and commitment will be predicted primarily by enjoyment (+), social constraints from family obligations/involvement alternatives (-), followed by social involvement opportunities/personal investments (+).

2. Can group differences among parents with regard to these participation and psychosocial outcomes be explained through a mediation model? Hypothesis: The covariance of the assigned conditions on psychosocial outcomes will be explained by sport participation. In turn, the covariance between participation and assigned conditions will be explained by salient underlying motives from the Sport Commitment Model. In particular, enjoyment will explain the differences between both sport conditions but the better psychosocial outcomes from team sports will be explained by the additional social involvement opportunities.

3. Is there a seasonal, gender, dual/single parent, age of child, or type of sport difference across primary outcomes by assigned condition? Hypothesis: These are exploratory research questions with no pre-set hypothesis. Both sport conditions may have participation lowered by weather conditions in the winter. Men may participate in sport more due to lower child-rearing expectations but there is limited research to support this conjecture at this time.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label




Team sports, Individual sport condition, Night out


Behavioural Medicine Laboratory
British Columbia
V8P 5C2




University of Victoria

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-09-13T18:08:22-0400

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