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Parent–Adolescent Attachment and Interpersonal Relationships in Sports Teams: Exploring the Gender Differences

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate how gender is related to parent–adolescent attachment and the perception of interpersonal relationships in sports teams. The second goal was to explore whether there are gender differences in the relations between adolescent attachment and their interpersonal relationships in sport-related contexts. The sample included 120 adolescents (59 girls), aged 12 to 15 years. The adolescents completed questionnaires regarding their attachment with their parents and the quality of the relationship with their best friend within the team. The adolescent social competence was rated by their team members and coaches. Compared to boys, girls reported higher levels of benefits of their relationship with their best friend and received higher ratings of social competence from their team mates and coaches. The strengths of the associations between attachment characteristics and interpersonal relationships, however, did not differ based on children’s gender. Our findings suggest the importance of gender in relation to attachment style and interpersonal relationships and reveal that the associations between these variables are similar across the gender group.

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Correspondence to Loredana R. Diaconu-Gherasim.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Diaconu-Gherasim, L.R., Duca, D.S. Parent–Adolescent Attachment and Interpersonal Relationships in Sports Teams: Exploring the Gender Differences. Gend. Issues 35, 21–37 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12147-017-9190-0

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Keywords

  • Parent–adolescent attachment
  • Quality of friendship
  • Social competence
  • Sports teams
  • Gender differences