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Parents' Own Experience of Verbal Abuse Is Associated with their Acceptance of Abuse towards Children from Youth Sports Coaches

Parents' Own Experience of Verbal Abuse Is Associated with their Acceptance of Abuse towards Children from Youth Sports Coaches

Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine 249(4): 249-254

Verbal or physical abuse from coaches has negative effects on young athletes, and the parents of athletes also have an influence on the sports environment. It is therefore important to understand parents' attitudes towards abuse against their children from the coaches. This study aimed to elucidate the characteristics of parents who accept the infliction of verbal or physical abuse on their children from coaches of youth sports teams. A cross-sectional study using self-report questionnaires was conducted with parents of young athletes (n = 6,493). Multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess the factors associated with parents' acceptability of verbal or physical abuse against their children. The proportion of parents who were accepting of verbal or physical abuse was 21.5%. Acceptability of verbal or physical abuse was significantly associated with male (odds ratio: 1.67, 95% confidence interval: 1.43-1.95), younger age (1.24, 1.09-1.41), lower educational attainment (1.32, 1.17-1.50), smoking habits (1.42, 1.23-1.63), experience of playing on a team with high levels of competition during their junior or high school days (1.31, 1.15-1.50), and experience of verbal and physical abuse by their own former coaches (3.59, 3.03-4.26 and 1.17, 1.02-1.35). About 58% and 28% of parents had experienced verbal and physical abuse from their own former coaches, and parents who had experienced verbal abuse themselves were most likely to be accepting of verbal or physical abuse towards their children. Educating parents is considered to be important for preventing and eradicating abuse against young athletes.

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Accession: 069616554

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PMID: 31839627

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