Effects of parents’ attitudes, values, and beliefs on their risk decision-making on behalf of their children enrolled in minor hockey

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Koo, Ean Tjenyee
proxy risk , concussion , parents , health risk management , hockey
Although there have been many studies examining the factors involved in children’s risk of injury, there has been a dearth of research that examines specific individual parental factors in children’s risk of injury. This thesis examined how the attitudes, values, and beliefs of 119 Canadian minor hockey parents of children (aged 9 to 12 years) with respect to their decision-making regarding their children’s safe participation in hockey. Two studies are reported. The first study describes: (a) the development of a questionnaire that quantifies the constructs of perceived control, probabilities, values, risk propensity, competitiveness, and assertiveness expectancies; and (b) a sample of hockey parents in terms of their demographic characteristics and their attitudes, values, and beliefs regarding their children’s participation in minor hockey. The second study examined the relationships between these attitudes, values, and beliefs and a measure of their risk decision-making. Overall, results showed that (a) this sample of hockey parents tended to be well educated, and did not see themselves as being generally over-competitive or aggressive; (b) hockey parents’ attitudes, values, and beliefs regarding their children’s risk of concussion had very little predictive value or reliable connection with respect to their risk decision-making on behalf of their children; and (c) the most significant factors in parents’ risk decision-making were the opinions of their children, and the opinions of the doctors. The implications of these findings for future research and practice are discussed.
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