75 percent of athletes' parents let their child skip exams for a game

August 25, 2008

Three quarters of parents of young athletes let their child forgo an exam for an important game, a new study conducted at the University of Haifa has found. In comparison, only 47% of parents of young musicians will agree to their child choosing a performance over an exam. "Parents usually don't understand their role in the course of their child's career development, and cross the line between involvement and intervention," the study's authors said.

The study, which was conducted by Sharon Yaniv, Prof. Ron Lidor and Prof. Avigdor Klingman, examined 203 students from 7th to 12th grade in four different schools in northern Israel who participate in high school sports leagues. Some of the students were on their school all-star teams (basketball, volleyball and athletics); others were active in various sports leagues (basketball, soccer and athletics); and the rest, as the control group, were student-musicians. Seventy parents, 6 coaches, 4 team managers, 10 educational counselors and 5 school principals also took part in the study.

The findings showed a distinct difference between all-star athletes, athletes in local leagues and musicians, in almost all of the parameters examined. For example, participation in sports has different effects on teenagers' moods. A high percentage of all three groups reported that their participation in sports causes them to be in a good mood; 97% of all-star players; 92% of those in sports leagues; and 88% of musicians. However, 80% of all-star sportsmen reported that their sports participation may cause them to be in a bad mood, compared to just 51.5% of those involved in sports leagues and 28% of musicians.

Participation in sports also causes all-star athletes more disappointment - 70% of all-star athletes compared to 60% of league players and 28% of musicians. The findings are much the same in causing frustration - 66% of all-star athletes felt frustrated by their sporting endeavors compared to 50% of those in leagues and 32% of musicians.

One of the accepted assumptions among high school students is that the athletes who represent the school receive preferential treatment, and the study reinforces this assumption - 63% of all-star athletes responded that the school gave them special consideration, compared to 52% of musicians and 41% of those in leagues. In addition, 66% of all-star athletes reported that their school helped them in extending deadlines for assignments and exams, compared to 44% of musicians and 30% of those in sports leagues. Also, 63% of the all-star athletes responded that their school helped them with tutoring sessions - compared to 11% of those in leagues and 8% of musicians.

In light of these findings, it is no surprise that school principals interviewed for the study said: "Sports is one of the most popular interests in the school. This can be seen by the fact that the athletes' needs are met through designing special programs, consideration of their needs, consideration of their teachers, competitions and placing the school athletics program high on our list of priorities." And "Sports is as popular a subject as communications and electronics, but sports raise school pride while other areas of study do not."

And what do the educational counselors say about the young athletes? "They are cognizant of their own needs but not the needs of others. It's not a good part of their character, or their personality; the contempt for others, their condescending behavior and their feeling of superiority," said one of the counselors in the study.

"For young athletes, those that are active in sports leagues and primarily those that represent their school, there are unique needs that require special handling. Given that, the focus on athletic achievements and the pride they bring the school could harm other educational values that students should be taught," the researchers summarized.
-end-


University of Haifa

Related Athletes Articles from Brightsurf:

51% of Americans agree paying college athletes should be allowed
More Americans than not believe that college athletes should be allowed to be paid more than what it costs them to go to school, a new national study of nearly 4,000 people suggests.

Menstrual dysfunction is more common among young athletes than among non-athletes
Menstrual dysfunction is more prevalent in young Finnish athletes than it is among non-athletes of a similar age, but athletes experience less body weight dissatisfaction than non-athletes do.

Athletes don't benefit from relying on a coach for too long
Athletes increasingly relying on a coach over the course of a season may be a sign that they aren't progressing in their development, according to new research from Binghamton University.

Olympic athletes should be mindful of their biological clocks
Biological clocks have sizeable effects on the performance of elite athletes.

Female athletes at risk for nutritional deficiencies
Two decades of research among female athletes over the age of 13 years shows that a lack of nutrition knowledge about what they need to eat to stay healthy and compete may contribute to poor performance, low energy and nutrient intake, and potential health risks, according to a Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School study.

Electrocardiogram shows value in college athletes' screens
Research published today indicates that screenings that incorporate an ECG are more effective at detecting cardiac conditions that put athletes at risk, and more efficient in terms of cost-per-diagnosis of at-risk players, than screenings involving only a physical exam and patient history.

How kirigami can help us study the muscular activity of athletes
Scientists devise an elastic and durable skin-contact patch for measuring the electromyographic activity of the palm muscle inspired by ancient Japanese paper crafts.

Study examines attitudes toward transgender athletes
As several states draft legislation that would force student-athletes to play as their gender identified on their birth certificate instead of on a team that matches their gender identity, a team of political scientists investigated underlying factors that drive public opinion on transgender athletes.

The mind-muscle connection: For aesthetes, not athletes?
The 'mind-muscle connection.' Ancient lore for bodybuilders, latest buzz for Instragram fitness followers.

Sudden cardiac arrest in athletes: Prevention and management
It's marathon season, and every so often a news report will focus on an athlete who has collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest.

Read More: Athletes News and Athletes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.