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Transformational parenting and coaching on mental toughness and physical performance in adolescent soccer players: The moderating effect of athlete age

Murray, Ross M.; Dugdale, James H.; Habeeb, Christine M.; Arthur, Calum A.


Ross M. Murray

Christine M. Habeeb

Calum A. Arthur


Both parent and coach leadership behaviours are instrumental to adolescent athlete development. Researchers, however, are yet to examine parent and coach leadership influences simultaneously, and at different stages of adolescents’ psychological and physical development. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to understand if the effects of transformational parenting, and transformational coaching on mental toughness and performance varied at different ages during adolescence. Early adolescent (ages 10–14) and late adolescent (ages 15–18) soccer players (n = 334) completed questionnaires assessing their perceptions of their mother’s, father’s, and coach’s transformational leadership, as well as a questionnaire assessing mental toughness. Participants also completed a comprehensive battery of physical fitness tests relevant to soccer. Results indicated that transformational fathering was more strongly associated with levels of mental toughness for early adolescent athletes than it was for later adolescent athletes. Results also indicated that transformational coaching was more strongly associated with physical performance for later adolescent athletes than it was for early adolescents. Overall, these results can inform development models and provide support for future longitudinal studies to assess the impact of parent and coach transformational leadership across different stages of athlete development.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 30, 2020
Online Publication Date May 25, 2020
Publication Date Apr 3, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 2, 2022
Journal European Journal of Sport Science
Print ISSN 1746-1391
Electronic ISSN 1536-7290
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 4
Pages 580-589
Keywords Leadership, youth, mother, father, development
Public URL