Friend, foe, or both? A retrospective exploration of sibling relationships in elite youth sport

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Nelson, Kendra
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With the abundance of literature focusing on parental influence in sport, it is important to identify family dynamics that extend beyond parents to include siblings. In this study, sibling influence was explored though interviews with previously identified elite youth female athletes (N=4) and their sibling (N=4) of the same sex who participated in the same sport. The purpose was to discover how siblings influence sport participation and how parents influence sibling relationships, retrospectively. Three categories emerged from the data: positive experiences participating in the same sport, negative experiences participating in the same sport, and perception of the parental role. The participants’ descriptions coincide with observational learning and both deidentification and divergence processes. The data adds to the probable sibling and parent experiences proposed in the Developmental Model of Sport Participation and provides insight for athletes, parents, and coaches on how to manage sibling relations in sport.
Sibling relationships, Retrospective study, Observational learning, Sibling deidentification, Sibling divergence, Perspective of the parental role, Parental support, Elite sport, Developmental Model of Sport Participation, Siblings in sport