Becoming Part of the Team: Female Student Athletes’ Engagement in Initiation Activities

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Chester
  • | 2 Liverpool Hope University
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The aim of this study was to explore female student athletes’ participation in initiation activities, specifically to examine whether activities in the United Kingdom followed trends similar to those reported elsewhere. A sample of 8 female athletes representing both traditional and nontraditional team and individual sports (M age = 20 yr 3 mo, SD = 1 yr 3 mo) who met inclusion criteria of having taken part in an initiation ceremony consented to participate in a semistructured interview. Thematic content analysis resulted in the emergence of 6 higher order themes represented by 2 general dimensions: the initiation event and initiation outcomes. Findings indicated that female student athletes’ initiation activities encompassed discrete stages as they moved from team newcomers to accepted team members. Of particular concern is the direct and indirect role of alcohol in these events and the health and behavioral risks.

Lafferty is with the Dept. of Psychology, University of Chester, Chester, United Kingdom. Wakefield is with the Dept. of Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Lafferty (m.lafferty@chester.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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