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Why study Families in the context of Sport

Over 90% of American youth participate in organized sport during childhood and/or adolescence, making youth sport an important context to study the development of parents and children and their interaction within the family. Moreover, as parents and families continue to invest a growing percentage of family resources into the athletic development and success of their children, the “appropriate” level of parental involvement in youth sport has become a polarizing cultural debate. This debate is significant because the quality and quantity of parent involvement in extra-curricular activities has been linked to enhanced child outcomes including motivation and achievement. In light of these findings, youth sport is an important, and indeed ubiquitous, context for the study of human development and family interaction.

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FIS Team Discussion

Prospective Students

Graduate Students
Graduate students receive intensive research training, high-quality teaching instruction, and meaningful professional development experiences. Additionally, graduate students will mentor undergraduate researchers and receive group and individualized mentorship from Dr. Dorsch. Accepted students will engage in research across human development-, family-, and sport-related disciplines. It is expected that graduate students demonstrate scholarly curiosity and embody a desire to impact communities through their research, teaching, and outreach. Dr. Dorsch typically accepts one new graduate student per year. Applicants are encouraged to initiate communication with Dr. Dorsch well in advance of the application period. Potential students should have strong academic and research profiles that align with the Families in Sport Lab mission.

Undergraduate Research Assistants
(URAs) gain scholarly training and experience by assisting Dr. Dorsch and/or his graduate students on ongoing research projects. URAs assist with literature reviews, data collection and analyses, and the preparation of scientific presentations. Additionally, URAs gain professional development and research skills that will prepare them for graduate school in a range of social scientific fields. We encourage all URAs to think about their own research agendas and meaningfully contributions to the lab’s mission.