Understanding Consumers’ Experiences with Youth Sport: Opportunities from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Title: Understanding Consumers’ Experiences with Youth Sport: Opportunities from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Authors: Teare, Georgia
Date: 2022-09-22
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic greatly altered the ways in which families could engage in youth sport and physical activity (SPA). These forced changes might have implications for families’ preferences and conceptualization of value of youth SPA post-pandemic. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation was to understand the impacts of a global pandemic (i.e., COVID-19) on youth SPA by exploring consumers’ (i.e., families in the Ontario) experiences with youth SPA, and examining if and how preferences for returning to SPA might be shifting and affecting perceptions of value post-pandemic. This dissertation was guided by Social Ecology Theory (i.e., behaviour is a function of the sociocultural and built environment) and consumer behaviour theory (e.g., disconfirmation paradigm; if expectations are met or exceeded, consumers will be satisfied). A collective case study methodology with an exploratory mixed-methods design was employed. First, focus group interviews were conducted with families in Ontario (n=14) followed by semi-structured interviews with youth sport providers in Ontario (n=12) to understand these groups’ experiences with youth SPA during the pandemic and post-pandemic intentions. Finally, for generalizability, questionnaires were administered to parents in Ontario (n=550) to assess families’ experiences with, preferences for, and conceptualization of value of youth SPA pre, during, and post-pandemic. Overall, families experienced decreases in youth SPA in all contexts considered (i.e., organized SPA, non-organized SPA, travel for SPA, diversity of SPA). However, the way families felt about these changes (i.e., satisfaction) varied. Families’ socioecological circumstances and their satisfaction with the changes to their youth SPA during the pandemic shaped their preferences and conceptualizations of value for youth SPA post-pandemic. While the forced changes to youth SPA contributed to reconceptualization of value for families with means and access to participation opportunities, families without these means were, and are likely to continue to struggle to access youth SPA opportunities.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/44090
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -