Current Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 308–319 | Cite as

The mediating role of parental support: The relation between sports participation, self-esteem, and motivation for sports among chinese students

  • Haroona Qurban
  • Jin WangEmail author
  • Hassan Siddique
  • Tony Morris
  • Zhi Qiao


The purpose of this study was to examine Chinese students’ motivation for sports participation using the theory of social learning. We examined the role of parental support as a mediator of the relationship between motivation, self-esteem, and sports participation. We operationalized parental support as tangible and intangible support provided by parents. We hypothesized that motivation and self-esteem would be positively associated with tangible and intangible parental support, and parental support would mediate the relationship between self-esteem, motivation, and sports participation. We administered questionnaires to 255 students (male = 71; mean age = 17.4, SD = 1.15; female = 184; mean age = 17.1, SD = 1.18) and either of their parents. We tested our hypothesized model using structural equation modeling (SEM), which included testing a measurement model that specified five latent variables and then compared the estimates generated by our hypothesized model with our data. We found our hypothesized model fit the data well. As predicted, there were significant indirect effects of self-esteem and motivation on sports participation through parental support, indicating evidence of mediation. The researchers suggest that parental support for adolescents should be integrated and utilized for future interventions to promote sports participation in the cultural context of China. Future studies with longitudinal follow-ups are suggested to explore actual causal relationships.


Parental support Self-esteem Motivation Sports participation 



I declare that manuscripts submitted to the Journal have not been published elsewhere or are not being considered for publication elsewhere and that the research reported will not be submitted for publication elsewhere until a final decision has been made as to its acceptability by the Journal.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

Authors Haroona Qurban, Jin Wang, Hassan Siddique, Tony Morris and Zhi Qiao declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Participation in the study was voluntary and anonymous, so it was stored with code numbers to identify questionnaires completed by the same student and their parent. Respondents completed the questionnaires using the online survey link and all data were saved automatically without specific identity of the respondents. Some of the study participants were under and some over 18 years old, so those who were 18 and over gave their own written consent and those under 18 obtained written parental consent. Parents who completed questionnaires gave written consent in advance. All data was stored in a secure folder on the first author’s computer during the course of the study.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

12144_2018_16_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (2.8 mb)
ESM 1 (JPG 2819 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haroona Qurban
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jin Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hassan Siddique
    • 3
  • Tony Morris
    • 4
  • Zhi Qiao
    • 1
  1. 1.College of EducationZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST)MirpurPakistan
  3. 3.University of Science and TechnologyHefeiChina
  4. 4.School of Exercise and Sport ScienceVictoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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