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About the Project

An exciting opportunity for a full-time PhD period of study is available in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling.

There is a substantial body of research on parenting in youth sport that focuses on how to be a ‘good’ sport parent. This includes strategies parents should use to optimise their child’s sport experiences. As youth athletes move up performance pathways, the stresses and demands placed on parents increase significantly. While some empirical studies highlight the demands of youth sport environments and how parents can cope with them, the risk of parent burnout has been overlooked. Sport-based burnout is a cognitive-affective syndrome characterized by symptoms of emotional and physical exhaustion, reduced accomplishment and enjoyment, and sport devaluation. Burnout has been shown in athlete populations, as well as coach populations, but research to date has not explored burnout in sport parents.

The overall purpose of this PhD is to develop a better understanding of parent burnout in youth sport. Specifically, the goal is to use a mixed-method approach to explore parents’ experiences of burnout, understand how their social identities influence burnout, and identify strategies to provide social support and decrease risks of burnout.

Entry Requirements
The successful candidate should have (see example below) - amend/add as applicable:
• a 1st or 2:1 degree in a Sport Studies/Exercise Science subject or Psychology
• a Master’s degree in Sports Psychology
• an interest in youth sport and sport psychology
• some experience in qualitative methodologies

How to Apply
Applicants are asked to send in all the documentation listed below, attached as a single email, to using the subject header “Parent Burnout in Youth Sport”.

Documents to attach include

• Academic Transcript(s) and Degree Certificate(s): Final degree transcripts including grades and degree certificates (and official translations, if needed) - scanned copy in colour of the original documents.
• References: Two references on headed paper (academic and/or professional). At least one reference must be academic. The other can be academic or professional. Your references should be on official headed paper. These should also be signed by the referee. If your referees would prefer to provide confidential references direct to the University then we can also accept the reference by email, from the referee’s official university or business email account to clearly labelling the reference e.g. “Parent Burnout in Youth Sport”
• Copy of CV: detailing relevant education and work experience.
• Applicant Statement: a brief 1-page letter of motivation, outlining your research interests and your thoughts on how you could contribute to our research agenda.

Selection process
Applications will be assessed by the project team and shortlisted applicants may be invited to an interview. The successful candidate will be based in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport in the Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling.

Funding Notes

The project is self-funded, however the opportunity may occasionally arise for paid tasks relating to teaching and research within the Faculty. Further information relating to fees and funding can be found here: View Website

For questions or further information, queries should be directed to Kacey Neely ()

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