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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Jeffrey J. Martin


In this I dissertation examined the relationships among gender-typing of sports, perceptions of gender stereotypes, and gender and athletic identities of middle school, African-American (AA) girl athletes. Using Erikson’s identity theory (1980) and Tajfel’s (1981) social identity theory, I hypothesized that athletes who perceive their sport type as feminine, personally endorse gender stereotypes, and perceive that significant others personally endorse gender stereotypes will have a lower athletic identity and a more feminine gender identity than athletes who personally do not nor perceive that others endorse gender stereotypes. Using a convenience sample of athletes from sports programs hat primarily serve African American girls, questionnaires were distributed to approximately 200 participants. The questionnaire included demographic data items, a gender-typing of sport question, the Personal Endorsement of Gender Stereotypes Scale (PEGSS) (Bonnot & Croizet, 2007), Egan and Perry’s (2001) Gender Identity Scale, and the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS) (Brewer et al., 1993). To determine if gender typing of sport and gender stereotype perceptions based on self, parents, siblings, teammates and coaches can predict athletic and gender identities, I ran two standard multiple regression analyses; one for each identity. Results indicated that athletes who typed their sport as feminine had lower AI than athletes who typed their sport differently, F(3,187) = 2.71, p < .05, and athletes who perceived that their coaches personally endorsed gender sport stereotypes had a more feminine GI compared to athletes who did not perceive that their coaches personally endorsed stereotypes, F(10, 180) = 1.932, p < .05. This research adds to adolescent identity theory development, addresses research gaps for African American girls, and has practical application for youth sport leaders.

Keywords: African American girls, athletes, identity, gender, stereotypes

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