Athletes’ Attitudes Toward and Preferences for Male and Female Coaches

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 Springfield College Center for Performance Enhancement and Applied Research, Department of Psychology, Springfield College, Springfield, MA 01109, USA
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Opportunities for women in sport in the United States changed dramatically in the 1970s with the passage of Title IX. Researchers during the 1980s, however, indicated that negative attitudes toward female coaches remained. The purpose of this research was to assess current attitudes toward male and female coaches in two sports. In Study 1, 139 basketball players read scenarios and evaluated hypothetical coaches. Based upon the results, there were no overall differences in attitudes toward male and female coaches on the Attitudes of Athletes Toward Male versus Female Coaches (AAMFC-Q) questionnaire (Weinberg, Reveles, & Jackson, 1984). However, males expressed a significant preference for male coaches, t(78) = −8.84, p < .001. In Study 2, 129 volleyball players read scenarios and rated hypothetical coaches. In contrast to the basketball players, volleyball players showed no significant differences in their attitudes toward or preferences for a coach of a particular gender. Base upon the results of both studies we suggest that attitudes toward female coaches are changing, but preferences for male coaches may still exist, particularly for athletes involved in traditionally masculine sports.

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