Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The field of positive youth development has evolved in response to the growing effort to provide youth with safe and healthful activities during leisure time. Physical activity-based youth development programs (PA-based YDPs) utilize a range of individual and team sports and physical activities as tools to simultaneously teach character development and physical skills for the acquisition of life skills. The intentional focus on positive youth development provides a suitable context for the development of a youth-adult relationship (YAR). The bonding between a youth and adult is critical to the development of adaptive responses and life skills which ultimately impact the functionality of youth in adulthood. There is a limited understanding of the relationship between characteristics of adults who volunteer in PA-based YDPs and characteristics of YARs. Due to the importance of establishing a positive YAR within a PA-based YDP, it is useful to consider how the motivation of adult volunteers is related to characteristics of positive YARs. The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the relationship between volunteer adult motives and characteristics of YARs. Two studies, one using quantitative methods and one using qualitative methods, addressed this general purpose. The quantitative study examined the relationship between adult motivations and characteristics of YARs by testing the proposed model, Principal Motives of Positive Youth-Adult Relationships Model. The qualitative study used a semi-structured interview protocol with 12 volunteer adult leaders to investigate the motives of adult volunteers and their perceptions of YARs established in PA-based. Results of the study did not support the hypothesized model; however, it did provide justification for refining the model to focus on one YAR characteristic (trust/respect) as it may relate to volunteer motivation. The study did provide evidence to support a relationship between the satisfaction of volunteer motivation and the development of YARs. Additionally, facilitators of YAR development focused on the presence of two YAR characteristics. Implications for the broad base of positive YDPs and youth sport settings along with directions for future research are included.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Baker, Birgitta



Included in

Kinesiology Commons