Goal: We are trying to connect PYD research with practice and policy by creating a network of researchers and knowledge-users. We did a systematic review, have some social media stuff, and are working with sport organizations across Canada to study knowledge translation.

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Project log

Nicholas Holt
added 2 research items
Originating in the field of developmental psychology, positive youth development (PYD) is an asset-building approach to youth development research and practice that emphasizes enhancing strengths and developing potential in all youth (Lerner, 2017). Extracurricular programmes designed to promote PYD typically include (a) positive and sustained relationships between youth and adults, (b) activities that build life skills, and (c) opportunities for youth to use life skills as both participants and leaders in community activities (Lerner, 2004). Over the past decade, sport psychology researchers have increasingly adopted the PYD perspective to examine developmental experiences in sport. Early PYD through sport research tended to adopt PYD approaches from the broader developmental psychology literature. There are now several sport-specific measures and models of PYD, hallmarks of a buoyant and expanding area of scholarship. A central premise underpinning this chapter is that sport-specific measures and models of PYD are important and necessary owing to the unique developmental experiences sport can provide. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to review theory and research relating to the topic of PYD through sport.
Positive Youth Development (PYD) is an asset‐building approach to youth development research and practice that emphasizes enhancing strengths and developing potential in all youth. This chapter explains how PYD emerged and the ways in which it has been applied to sport. It details the origins of PYD, and discusses conceptual approaches to PYD and associated research. The chapter examines the life skills literature, and highlights important issues for future consideration to advance research and practice in PYD through sport. The approaches to PYD originating in developmental psychology have provided the foundation for contemporary PYD research in sport. Life skills building activities are an essential feature of programs designed to foster PYD. A major focus in PYD through sport revolves around helping youth learn life skills and transferring these skills to other contexts such as home, school, and work.
Nicholas Holt
added 3 research items
Different types of evidence can be used to inform organisational decision making. The purpose of this study was to identify types of evidence used in sport organisations. Data were collected via interviews with 60 Canadian Provincial Sport Organisation representatives from five provinces. A qualitative description approach was used and data were subjected to an inductive-to-deductive thematic analysis procedure, with the deductive component guided by a classification of evidence types. Results demonstrated that knowledge and information (reported by 38 participants) and ideas and interests (28 participants) were the most frequently reported evidence types, whereas research (12 participants), political (2 participants), and economic (12 participants) evidence types were least frequently reported. These findings suggest that sport science researchers could communicate in the form of, and through mediums dedicated to, knowledge and information and ideas and interests in order to reach sport organisations.
The purposes of this study were to identify and explore (a) the life skills learning contexts experienced by Canadian junior national team biathletes and (b) the ways in which they learned life skills in these contexts. Nine members of the Canadian junior national biathlon team participated in individual semi-structured interviews. Results of thematic analysis revealed three life skills learning contexts: sport, school/work, and family. Participants reported learning life skills by using cognitive processes of observational learning and reflections on experiences. Some athletes reported that life skills learning occurred ‘automatically’ as a consequence of being involved in high level sport, which may suggest implicit cognitive learning. Practically, these findings suggest young high level athletes should be encouraged to engage in multiple contexts in order to experience opportunities to develop life skills, and learning certain cognitive strategies may facilitate the development of life skills across contexts.
Nicholas Holt
added an update
We are nearing the completion of our PYDSportNET grant, but the project is going strong. We've published three open-access papers (listed below).
We continue to build our online network: and @PYDSportNET on Twitter and Facebook
We recently submitted a new grant application to further the work of PYDSportNET. We are also pleased to see some great new research on coach leadership from Kurtis Pankow, life skills acquisition across multiple learning contexts from Helene Jorgenson, Kacey Neely's work on deselection, and Shannon Pynn's recent article on exemplary parenting. Watch this space for more parenting research, as we continue to explore the role of parents in promoting PYD.
Holt, N. L., Camiré, M., Tamminen, K. A., Pankow, K., Pynn, S., Strachan, L., MacDonald, D., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2018). PYDSportNET: A knowledge translation project bridging gaps between research and practice in youth sport. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 9, 132-146. doi:10.1080/21520704.2017.1388893
Holt, N. L., Pankow, K., Tamminen, K. A., Strachan, L., MacDonald, D. J., Fraser-Thomas, J., Côté, J., & Camiré, M. (2018). A qualitative study of research priorities among representatives of Canadian provincial sport organizations. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 36, 8-16. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.01.002
Holt, N. L., Pankow, K., Camiré, M., Côté, J., Fraser-Thomas, J., MacDonald, D., Strachan, L., & Tamminen, K. (2018). Factors associated with using research evidence in national sport organisations. Journal of Sports Sciences, 36, 1111-1117. doi:10.1080/02640414.2017.1357830
Nicholas Holt
added 3 research items
Objectives: The first purpose of this study was to examine low-income parents' and their children's perceptions of the benefits associated with participation in youth sport. The second purpose was to examine parents' perceptions of the challenges associated with providing their children sporting opportunities. Design: Interpretive Description qualitative approach (Thorne, 2008). Methods: Thirty-five individual interviews were conducted with parents and children from 17 low-income families. Data were transcribed and subjected to interpretive description analytic techniques. Results: Analysis produced three main findings: (1) Parents and children reported that sport participation was associated with a range of personal and social developmental benefits; (2) Parents reported that several remaining barriers and constraints restricted the extent to which their children could engage in sport and gain sustained developmental benefits; and, (3) Parents offered several possible solutions to the problem of engaging their children in sport. Conclusions: Findings demonstrate the value and importance of providing sport to children from low-income families, but highlight that increased efforts are needed to overcome remaining barriers and sustain long-term participation and benefits.
The purpose of this study was to explore factors associated with the use of research evidence in Canadian National Sport Organisations (NSOs). Data were collected via individual semi-structured interviews with 21 representatives from Canadian NSOs. A qualitative description approach was used. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and subjected to an inductive-to-deductive thematic analysis. A research implementation framework (Rycroft-Malone, 2004) was used to organise inductively derived themes into the higher-order categories of evidence (use of evidence, disconnection between research and practice), context (lack of capacity, organisational structure), and facilitation (personal connections with researchers and sport scientists, formal meetings with stakeholders). Overall, NSO representatives did not have a clear understanding of evidence and lacked capacity to access and translate research. However, some context factors, along with internal and external facilitators, were in place and could be used to enhance research implementation.
Objectives The overall purpose of this study was to examine Canadian Provincial Sport Organization representatives' research priorities in order to provide directions for future research and knowledge translation initiatives in youth sport. Design Qualitative description methodology. Method Interviews were conducted with 60 representatives of Canadian PSOs from five provinces. Analysis followed the process of data condensation, data display, and drawing conclusions. Results The most frequently reported research priorities were athlete development systems, participation and retention, parenting, benefits of sport, and coaching. Conclusions Research that addresses the priorities of stakeholders may increase the adoption of research evidence in practice, program, and policy contexts. This study provides directions that may help inform future research agendas in youth sport. Conversely, the study also revealed that extensive previous research exists in several of the priority areas identified. These findings suggest that knowledge translation research is required in these areas. Knowledge tailoring may be a useful strategy for improving knowledge translation in these areas. Ultimately, it appears that efforts to increase connections between researchers and other stakeholders in youth sport are important.
Martin Camiré
added a research item
Generating a common understanding of knowledge translation among stakeholders is a key issue for increasing the use of research evidence in practice. The purpose of this article is to create a better understanding of knowledge translation in youth sport by providing a framework and guidelines for facilitating knowledge translation. We present PYDSportNET, a knowledge translation project designed to enhance the use of research evidence to promote positive youth development (PYD) through sport. This project is guided by the Knowledge to Action framework, which has two components (knowledge creation and the action cycle). For the knowledge creation component, we completed a meta-synthesis and created knowledge products. For the action cycle, we completed two studies with key sport stakeholders. Simultaneously, we created a knowledge dissemination and exchange network. Having described these activities, we go on to highlight some lessons learned to date and next steps for the project.
Nicholas Holt
added an update
We will be presenting a symposium at the ISSP conference in Sevilla on July 13. Drop by to learn more about the progress of PYDSportNET
Also, the website is now live: