Two Butler University faculty received a grant to fund a 10-year study about mothers of high schoolers involved in extracurriculars.
Krista Cline, professor of sociology, says mothers are often the key people in students’ lives who make decisions about activities, including the money spent on them.
“So I think that us reaching out to this group, we're hoping to tell the story of tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of moms across the country, which I think is really, really important,” Cline says.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), a national organization that provides standards for high school sports and performing arts activities, awarded the grant of $361,007 and will use the data to improve communication to mothers.
Cline and Eileen Taylor, communication and media studies instructor, have already studied the role mothers serve in high school athletics in Indiana. This grant allows them to expand that research nationally and include more activities, including band and choir.
Taylor says the goal is to improve the partnerships between mothers and coaches or activity leaders.
“When their children are at home, either celebrating or complaining at the kitchen table about their activity, the mom could be there to say, this is really good. I'm glad you're involved. You're learning how to speak to other people, you're learning how to work with other people,” Taylor says.
Cline and Taylor plan to send out the research they’ve already done for publication this summer, but say that process can take as little as a couple of months to a couple of years. Once it’s published, it will be available through academics and libraries.