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Family, Consumer, and Human Development


Travis Dorsch

Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Email: Travis.Dorsch@usu.edu
Location: Family Life 217
Office Phone: 435-797-4565

Prospective students, research collaborators,
and community partners,
click here to visit the USU Families in Sport Lab website  


PhD, Purdue University (Sport & Exercise Psychology), 2013
MS, Purdue University  (Sport & Exercise Psychology), 2007
BA, Purdue University (Psychology), 2003

Research Interests

My research addresses the developmental impact of parenting practices on youth and families in sport, physical activity, and recreation settings. Past projects have been directed at the psychosocial outcomes of parents’ participation in their children’s youth sports, the role of youth sport participation on family relationships and parent-child interaction, and the effectors of parent support and pressure in youth and adolescent sport contexts. In addressing these areas, I have employed interview, observational, and journal data longitudinally to illuminate multiple person- and context-related processes that shape youth sport parenting over time. I have also used in situ audio data to address the link between parents’ goals for their children in sport and parents’ verbal sideline behavior in youth sport contexts. Past findings have been used by youth sport leagues, administrators, and parents to construct more developmentally appropriate youth sport contexts and to evaluate the role of parent involvement in organized youth sport.

My present research is targeted at investigating the behavioral outcomes and psychosocial development that occurs as a result of family participation in sport, physical activity, and recreation settings. My primary goal over the immediate future is to further develop my research program by seeking interdisciplinary partnerships across campus and in the community. The role of parents in youth sport was recognized in 2004 as a critical issue by the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, and I expect research addressing the links between parent and child involvement in sport, physical activity, and recreational settings will thrive at Utah State University

In building my research program, I am eager to work with students who share my interest in how families operate in sport, physical activity, and recreation settings. I believe that these contexts are important to the development of individuals and families and that they provide a unique lens through which to view parent-child interaction and human development.


FCHD 1500: Lifespan Development
HPER 6810: Research Methods in Health Sciences