A Comparison of Parents’ Perceptions of Coaching Behaviors in Contact and Non-Contact Sports

A Latent Means Test


  • Zachary Beldon Missouri Southern State University
  • Joseph Walker University of North Texas


youth sports, coaching behaviors, parent perceptions, confirmatory factor analysis, latent means analysis


Youth sports coaches are widely recognized as being heavily influential in the psychosocial development of their athletes. Since parents have the ultimate decision about whether or not their child is going to participate in a sport, their perceptions need to be included in evaluating youth coaches. This study aims to evaluate parental perceptions of their child's youth sport coaches' behaviors and the impact that sport environment has on those perceptions. This study introduces a modified version of the Sportsmanship Coaching Behaviors Scale (SCBS) that is designed specifically to assess coaches' behaviors as perceived by athletes' parents.  The modified version of the SCBS was tested using Confirmatory Factor Analysis and structural invariance in relation to different sport types. Parents (N = 303) of youth sport athletes (volleyball n=139, basketball n=164) completed an on-site questionnaire prior to the end-of-season tournament. Results identify that the modified version of the SCBS is a valid instrument for youth sport parents, when they assess coaching behaviors impact on athlete’s sportsmanship behaviors. Furthermore, the results of the latent mean analysis identified that parents of contact sports perceived coaching behaviors more frequently than non-contact sport parents. The findings extend the generalizability of the SCBS, as this modified version is structurally valid for assessing parents’ perception of coaching sportsmanship behaviors and further identifies the differences between different sporting environments.


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