This investigation examined the effect of model similarity on girls’ acquisition, retention, transfer, and transfer strategies of a novel motor task. Forty girls (mean age = 10 years) were randomly assigned to conditions in a 2 (model skill level) ✓ 2 (model sex) factorial design using four treatment groups: (a) male skilled, (b) male learning, (c) female skilled, and (d) female learning. Quantitative data were collected throughout all phases of the investigation. ANOVA results for transfer strategies revealed a significant main effect for model skill level and model sex. Participants observing a female model or a learning model transferred significantly more learning strategies than did participants observing a male or skilled model. After quantitative data collection, qualitative data were obtained via structured interviews and assessed through content analysis. Results from the interview analyses underscored the need to include models of similar sex, as well as learning models when instructing girls in motor skills.
The authors are with the Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences, Texas Tech University, Box 41121, Lubbock, TX 79409.