Intergenerational patterns in sports participation: The role of gender and sport specificity

Studies to date have not fully explored intergenerational links in the specific sports played by parents and their children. This study explored the role of gender and sports specificity in associations between parents’ sports history and child sports participation. Data were obtained through an online survey in October 2020 of 525 Pennsylvania residents with a child between the ages of 3 and 17. Results indicated that parents who played recreational sports as children were more likely to have a child play recreational sports. Parents with either recreational or competitive sports backgrounds were more likely to report that their child played competitive sports. Fathers who played recreational sports were more likely to have their child play recreational sports than mothers. Parents’ perceptions of sport participation importance were associated with higher odds of child competitive sports participation for sons and for opposite-gender children than for daughters or same-gender children. These trends underscore the need for continued efforts to not only promote athletic opportunities for females, but also to work towards changing the common belief that sports are inherently masculine. Further study is needed to examine how fathers view recreational versus competitive sports and how parents’ views of the different level of sport change over time and by child gender.


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Work Title Intergenerational patterns in sports participation: The role of gender and sport specificity
Open Access
  1. Lacey Wallace
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Dataset
Publication Date 2021
Deposited August 19, 2021




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