Parental Roles in Children’s Sport Participation: Effects of Ethnicity and Immigration

Kyu soo Chung, Kennesaw State University
B. Christine Green, George Mason University


Parents take on varied roles in their children’s sport, such as an interpreter, provider, and model. These roles are enacted across settings, and impact the relationship families have with sport, and the value placed on sport vis-à-vis other contexts. This study looks at how Korean, Korean immigrant, and Anglo-American parents carry out these roles, as the value parents place on their children’s education is controlled. One hundred forty-seven Korean parents in South Korea and 126 Korean immigrant and 112 Anglo-American parents in the U.S. provided answers to self-administered questionnaires regarding their supportive behaviors of children’s sport. The findings reveal the three groups’ differences in their encouragement, labor, and transportation provision; however, the findings reveal no difference in their modeling role. This study provides a theoretical understanding of how Korean immigrant parents affect their children’s sport participation, pointing to how social and cultural construction is reflected in their parenting and youth sport purchase decisions.