Parental Decisions on Return to Youth Sport During a Global Pandemic

Examining Parental Decisions by Race, Gender, and Socio-Economic Status


  • Kyle Bunds North Carolina State University
  • Jonathan Casper North Carolina State University
  • Jason Bocarro North Carolina State University
  • Michael Edwards North Carolina State University
  • Kimberly Bush North Carolina State University
  • Austin Thompson North Carolina State University
  • Michael Kanters North Carolina State University


Good parenting, Youth Sports, COVID19, Concerted Cultivation, Risk Society


The onset of COVID-19 altered the way parents make decisions on safe activities for their children. Given the impact of this global pandemic, it is important to consider what decisions parents make when faced with the obstacle of keeping a child safe while letting them pursue extracurricular activities, such as sports. To this end, we examine decision-making of parents regarding whether or not they are comfortable allowing their children to participate in sport activities. For this purpose, we conducted two waves of surveys with youth sport parents in spring 2020 and fall 2020. The findings suggest there are some differences based on race, gender, and socio-economic status and that, in general, parents became more comfortable with local youth sport participation as the pandemic continued.


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