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Title: The role of social support in youth sport
Author: Sheridan, Daragh Martin
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 3247
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis aimed to extend knowledge concerning the role of social support in youth sport. A literature review was conducted to identify the current status of knowledge in the area through a systematic review of studies applicable to social support in youth sport. The findings provided up-to-date knowledge in the study area and informed a two-part intervention-based study designed to determine the feasibility of whether an intervention has the potential to be run again in a controlled trial. The first (quantitative) part of the study aimed to determine the effect of the intervention on participants and to address theoretically important considerations relating to the specific role of perceived and received support in a youth sport context. Results demonstrated that changes in pre and post intervention values (i.e. intentions to drop out, social identity, received support, encountered, basic needs satisfaction) were non significant except for perceived support. The findings relating to a change in perceived support demonstrated that higher perceived available support was significantly associated with lower levels of intentions to drop out at the end of the study. Furthermore, social identity emerged as a significant mediating factor in explaining the association between changes in perceived support and intentions to drop out. The first part of the study also examined the stress buffering effect of received support. Findings demonstrated that stress encountered had a significant main effect on intentions to drop out. Moreover, received support was shown to exert a significant but small buffering effect on the relationship between stress encountered on intentions to drop out. The purpose of the second (qualitative) part of the study was to examine whether the intervention needed to be refined or adapted to make it more acceptable to users or more relevant to the specific context in which it was delivered. The findings revealed a range of key factors relating to perceived (e.g., access to games, games format) and received support (e.g., peer to peer support, increased confidence to participate, stress encountered, stress removed). The results of the pre and post analyses combined with the qualitative findings in the study suggest that the social support intervention has the potential to be tested in a controlled trial. The discussion focuses on the current status of the research area, limitations, suggested practical implications and future research directions. The findings highlight the importance of developing perceived support and social identity in youth sport and received support in buffering stressors typically associated with youth sport drop out.
Supervisor: Lavallee, David ; Coffee, Pete Sponsor: Gaelic Athletic Association
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social Support ; Youth Sport ; Drop Out ; Sports Social aspects ; Sports Psychological aspects ; Dropouts ; Teenage athletes ; Social networks ; Young adults Recreation