Children’s agency in sports socialization: The meaning of children’s sport among the immigrant family triad

Yilun Zhou *, Monika Stodolska ** and Hongping Zhang ***

(*) Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA
(**) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, Ph.D.
(***) University of Tennessee, USA

Citation

Zhou, Y., Stodolska, M., Zhang, H. (2021). Children’s agency in sports socialization: The meaning of children’s sport among the immigrant family triad. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 52(4), 310-334. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2021.52.310

Abstract

This paper explored the perceived meaning of children’s sports involvement among the father-mother-child triad in Chinese immigrant families in the U.S. The research project employed a multiple-case study design, and collected a variety of forms of data, including participant observations; face-to-face interviews; and parents’ journals. Data were collected from the fathers, mothers, and pre-adolescent children from 11 Chinese immigrant families residing in the Houston metropolitan area. Each family’s data were compiled as a case study narrative, on which within-case and comparative coding and analyses were conducted. The findings of the study revealed that there were generational differences in the perceived meaning of children’s sports participation. The agency and influence of children were found during the meaning construction process and supported by Chinese immigrant parents. Multiple factors, including gender, acculturation status, and age, were related to the perceived meaning of children’s sports involvement.

Keywords: Perceived Meaning of Sport, Sports Socialization, Children’s Sport, Family Triads, Immigrant Family


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