Parents and interscholastic sport: a mixed-method approach to identify salient issues

James E. Johnson, Eric Forsyth, Warren A. Whisenant, Gibson W. Stoffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parents are generally considered one of the strongest influences on interscholastic athletes. Unfortunately, empirical research identifying the most salient administrative issues associated with parents is scarce, leaving administrators to use anecdotal or dated information that is uninformed by empirical research. The current study bridged a gap in the literature by using a mixed-method design to identify which parent issues throughout the United States are most prominent to administrators. A national sample of interscholastic administrators (N = 170) from eight geographic regions revealed ten issues that are currently and predicted to be impactful five years into the future. The top three issues were Educating Parents, Keeping Athletics in Perspective, and Treatment of Coaches. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were then conducted with seasoned administrators to provide clarity on how these issues manifest themselves within interscholastic sport. Ultimately, this study offers a foundation from which further research and interscholastic policy can be influenced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-77
Number of pages19
JournalManaging Sport and Leisure
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - May 4 2019


  • Interscholastic athletics
  • National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
  • contemporary issues
  • parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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