New study on how parents experience their children’s sports injuries

Stefan Wagnsson, docent in sports science at Karlstad University took a walk with his good friend and colleague Leslie Podlog, professor of sports science at Université de Montreal. Pleasant company and fresh winter air resulted in a brand-new paper in Sport in Society on how parents experience and are affected by their children’s sports injuries.

Newswise — The paper is a so-called review paper and focuses on how parents experience and are affected by their children’s sports injuries.

“In the paper, we highlight that children’s sports injuries are often experienced as stressful by the parents and as something that makes them feel bad, says Stefan Wagnsson. They often feel unprepared to deal with their children’s injuries and at the same time find it difficult to get the help they need. Children’s injuries can also affect the parents’ relationships with others, where an injury can lead to friction in relation to other family members, but also that some parents lose contact with the wider parent group, which is considered by many to be an important social network.”

The study also shows that parents find it difficult to challenge the norm of the “tough athlete” who, like a machine, must endure pain and keep going without complaining, and therefore shy away from questioning the notion of “just keep going” despite that it would be better for the child to rest or rehabilitate their injury.

“Many parents may not be that familiar with the sport their children play and may not have close contact with the leaders either.​ Because of this, they hesitate to contact them to discuss their child’s injury, since they worry that it could affect the child’s chances of being selected for the team or a specific competition, but also that it might affect the relationship between the leaders and the child. “

In addition to Stefan Wagnsson and Leslie Podlog, the paper in Sport and Society also includes co-author Ross Wadey, professor of sport psychology at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London.

Sports Medicine

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