Virginia Mercier

2022 Grimes Research Competition
HDFS student Virginia Mercier

Virginia Mercier '22, a Human Development and Family Studies major, is presenting her research at the 2022 Grimes Researc Competition.
Her research title is: CPYD (Critical Positive Youth Development) Focused Coach Education

Please describe your research in non-technical language. How did you become interested in your research subject?

My research is focused on understanding how youth sport coaches talk about and/or promote social justice themes and social justice life skills. I became interested in this subject by connecting with Dr. Newman and discussing the importance of sport as a means for critical positive youth development. As a Human Development and Family Studies major with an interest in youth development and social work, this project has given opportunities for me to better understand how community programs, such as sport, affect youth learning and development in the context of social justice themes.

What are the most interesting findings from your research?

The majority of the youth sport coaches I have interviewed state that they believe coaches have a significant responsibility to include exposure to social justice and social justice life skills in sport. Coaches have told me that they are more concerned with their athletes becoming more successful individuals than having the best sports team. It has been rather fascinating to learn more about how coaches consider youth development beyond the rules and skills of a sport itself.

Has this work been published anywhere? If so, please describe.

Newman, T., Santos, F., Piece, S., Collins, K., Barcelona, R., & Mercier, V. (2022). Scholars’ perspectives of positive youth development in coach education for high school sports. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy. This manuscript laid some of the foundation for our current research study.