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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

The effect of sport participation on female adolescents' gender-role identity and self-concept: The role of motivation, ability, persistence, and team membership.

Author: Britsch, Brenda Marie
Author Background: U California, Santa Barbara, US
Date 7/2000
Type Dissertation
Journal Title: Dissertation-Abstracts-International:-Section-B:-The-Sciences-and-Engineering
Volume/Pages Vol 61(1-B): 560
Subject Matter Young Women, Research, Athletic Participation; Gender-Identity; Self-Concept; Sex-Role Attitudes
Abstract This study investigated the relationship between sport participation and gender-role identity and self-concept in female adolescents. In addition, the effect of motivation, ability, persistence, and team membership were considered. The 9th and 10th grade participants ( N = 14) were members of a high school basketball team. They completed a sport participation questionnaire to assess past sport experience, motivation, ability, and persistence. The participants completed the short form of the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) to assess gender-role identity and Harter's Self Perception Profile of Adolescents (SPPA) to assess self-concept. The participants were observed at practices and games throughout the season in which the study was conducted and were interviewed at the conclusion of the season. The majority of the participants scored above the mean on masculine gender-role identity and were categorized as androgynous or masculine in regard to gender-role identity. The majority of participants scored above the median on six of the eight domains of self-concept. The sport participation variables of ability and persistence were related to certain domains of self-concept, but not to gender-role identity. The sport participation experience was shown to affect the participants in a variety of ways. The players reported feeling stronger and better about themselves as a result of their participation. The players enjoyed the experience and felt they had improved significantly in the game of basketball. They also reported benefiting from being a part of a team and felt encouraged and supported by the other players and by the coach. Overall, the sport participation experience was a positive one for these female adolescents, and they all expressed a desire to continue participation. This study adds to the growing body of knowledge on female adolescents in general, and those who are sport participants specifically. This study includes both participants and methodology not well represented in previous research. The participants are ethnically diverse and are at an average level in regard to their basketball ability. The methodology incorporates quantitative and qualitative assessments which results in a more comprehensive description of the sport experience for this team. The findings are discussed in terms of the effects of sport participation on female adolescents and implications for designing sport programs for this population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2000 APA, all rights reserved)