2018 Volume 244 Issue 4 Pages 297-304
Verbal or physical abuse from coaches has a negative impact on young athletes. To prevent abuse against young athletes, it is important to know the characteristics of abusive coaches. This study aimed to elucidate the characteristics of coaches who commit verbal or physical abuse in youth sports teams. A cross-sectional study was conducted with coaches of youth sport teams in Miyagi prefecture, Japan (n = 1,283), using a self-reported questionnaire (response rate was 24.0%). Multivariate logistic regression models were used for analyses. The prevalence of verbal and physical abuse towards young athletes was 64.7% (n = 830) and 6.2% (n = 79), respectively. Verbal abuse was significantly associated with lower educational attainment (odds ratio (OR): 1.32, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.03-1.69), experiences of verbal abuse by own coaches (OR: 1.85, 95% CI: 1.37-2.50), acceptability for verbal or physical abuse (OR: 2.53, 95% CI: 1.82-3.52), and dissatisfaction with athletes’ attitude (OR: 1.62, 95% CI: 1.26-2.07). Physical abuse was significantly associated with experiences of physical abuse by respondents’ coaches (OR: 2.71, 95% CI: 1.50-4.92), acceptability for verbal or physical abuse (OR: 3.89, 95% CI: 2.39-6.33), and longer experience of coaching in years (OR: 2.45, 95% CI: 1.20-4.98). The results of this study show that coaches who commit verbal or physical abuse had typically experienced abuse from their former coaches, and adopted a similar style. Breaking the negative cycle of verbal and physical abuse is necessary to eliminate the abuse of young athletes.