Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Studies

Committee Chair(s)

Travis Dorsch


Travis Dorsch


Troy Beckert


Kay Bradford


Richard Gordin


Gretchen Peacock


Motivation has become a widely studied construct in intercollegiate athletics, as coaches and administrators have sought to maximize the socioemotional and performance aspects of athletic competition. While researchers acknowledge parents as having an important role in the socialization of motivation, research in this area has largely focused on sport-specific parenting practices, failing to account for the broader components of global parenting style that may influence parent-initiated motivational climates, and subsequently the motivational profiles exhibited by developing student athletes. The present study was designed to investigate the relationship among global parenting style, parent-created motivational climate, and student-athlete motivation within the context of intercollegiate athletics. A sample of 156 student athletes aged 18 to 25 (M = 20.45, SD = 1.60) from two different Division I universities in the Intermountain West region of the United States completed a 74-item questionnaire composed of items related to global parenting style (PSDQ), parent-initiated motivational climate (PIMCQ-2), and student-athlete motivation (TEOSQ). Due to relative homogeneity of parenting styles and practices among the study sample, mediation analyses were used to determine the relationship between authoritative parenting style and student-athlete task motivation as mediated by parent-initiated mastery climate. Unstandardized indirect effects were computed for each of 5000 bootstrapped samples yielding an indirect effect of .76 (95% CI = .31, 1.46, p= .03). Present findings highlight the importance of the parent-child relationship, specifically the role of parenting styles and practices in the enhancement of student athletes’ intrinsic motivation. Importantly, doing so would hold the potential to bolster student-athlete well-being and satisfaction with the college experience, two stated goals of the NCAA.