Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal

Official Journal of the Program for the Advancement of Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity

Indexed in: Scopus, ProQuest, EBSCOhost, EBSCO A-to-Z, Google Scholar

Online ISSN: 1938-1581


Watch the video abstract for "BLinG-Health: A Peer-Led Physical Activity Program for Black Adolescent Girls—A Pilot Study" and read the article below!

Volume 32 (2024): Issue 1 (Jan 2024)

Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal (WSPAJ) is the official journal of the Program for the Advancement of Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity, housed in the Center for Women's Health and Wellness at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Since 1992, WSPAJ has published articles related to women’s sport and physical activity across multiple disciplinary perspectives throughout the life span.

WSPAJ is a peer-reviewed, online-only journal consisting of original research using qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodologies, as well as theoretical papers, reviews, practical articles, book reviews, and commentaries. WSPAJ provides an international forum for scholars to address a variety of issues pertinent to women and their intersecting identities in sport and physical activity communities.

WSPAJ publishes continuously as of January 2024; it was a biannual journal (April and October) through 2023.


The mission of the Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal is to publish research from multiple disciplines that significantly advances understanding of girls and women in sport and physical activity settings.

The journal particularly encourages work that illuminates divergent and underexamined experiences among girls and women in longstanding as well as emergent contexts for sport and physical activity.


Publication Ethics

Duties of Editors

Editors are the stewards of journals. Most Editors provide direction for the journal and build a strong management team. They must consider and balance the interests of many constituents, including readers, authors, staff, publishers, and editorial board members. Editors have a responsibility to ensure an efficient, fair, and timely review process of manuscripts submitted for publication and to establish and maintain high standards of technical and professional quality.


An Editor's decision to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based on the paper’s importance, originality, and clarity, and the study’s relevance to the remit of the journal. Consideration should be given without regard to race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, seniority, citizenship, professional association, institutional affiliation, or political philosophy of the author(s).

All original studies should be peer reviewed before publication, taking into full account possible bias due to related or conflicting interests. This requires that the Editor seek advice from Associate Editors, the Editorial Board, or others who are experts in a specific area and will send manuscripts submitted for publication to reviewers chosen for their expertise and good judgment to referee the quality and reliability of manuscripts. Manuscripts may be rejected without review if considered inappropriate for the journal.

Editors must treat all submitted papers as confidential. The Editor and editorial staff shall disclose no information about a manuscript under consideration to anyone other than those from whom professional advice regarding the publication of the manuscript is sought. The Editors or editorial staff shall not release the names of reviewers.

Editors should consider manuscripts submitted for publication with all reasonable speed. Authors should be periodically informed of the status of the review process. In cases where reasonable speed cannot be accomplished because of unforeseen circumstances, the Editor has an obligation to withdraw himself/herself from the process in a timely manner to avoid unduly affecting the author’s pursuit of publication.

Where misconduct is suspected, the Editor must write to the authors first before contacting the head of the institution concerned.

Editors should ensure that the author submission guidelines for the journal specify that manuscripts must not be submitted to another journal at the same time. Guidelines should also outline the review process, including matters of confidentiality and time.

Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest arise when Editors have interests that are not fully apparent and that may influence their judgments on what is published.

Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest, including, but not limited to, handling papers from present and former students, from colleagues with whom the Editor has recently collaborated, and from those in the same institution.

Editors should disclose relevant conflicts of interest (of their own or those of the teams, editorial boards, managers, or publishers) to their readers, authors, and reviewers.

Peer Review

Editors and peer reviewers will follow the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.

Peer reviewers, who play an important role in ensuring the integrity of this scholarly journal, are external experts chosen by Editors to provide written opinions, with the aim of improving the works submitted for publication.

Suggestions from authors as to who might act as a reviewer are often useful, but there should be no obligation for Editors to use those suggested.

Editors and expert reviewers must maintain the duty of confidentiality in the assessment of a manuscript, and this extends to reviewers’ colleagues who give opinions on specific sections. There will be clear communication between the Editors and the reviewers to facilitate consistent, fair, and timely review. Editors will require that reviewers provide speedy, accurate, courteous, unbiased, and justifiable reports.

The submitted manuscript should not be retained or copied.

If reviewers suspect misconduct, they should write in confidence to the Editor.

Dealing With Misconduct

The general principle confirming misconduct is the intention to cause others to regard as true that which is not true. The examination of misconduct must, therefore, focus not only on the particular act or omission, but also on the intention of the researcher or author.

Editors should be alert to possible cases of plagiarism, duplication of previous published work, falsified data, misappropriation of intellectual property, duplicate submission of manuscripts, inappropriate attribution, or incorrect co-author listing.

In cases of other misconduct, such as redundant publication, deception over authorship, or failure to declare conflict of interest, Editors may judge what is necessary in regard to involving authors’ employers. Authors should be given the opportunity to respond to any charge of minor misconduct.

The following sanctions are ranked in approximate increasing order of severity:

  • A letter of explanation to the authors, where there appears to be a genuine misunderstanding of principles.
  • A letter of reprimand and warning as to future conduct.
  • A formal letter to the relevant head of the institution or funding body.
  • Refusal to accept future submissions from the individual, unit, or institution responsible for the misconduct, for a stated period.
  • Formal withdrawal or retraction of the paper from the scientific literature, informing other editors and the indexing authorities.


Donna Duffy
University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA

Associate Editor

Jacky Forsyth
Staffordshire University, UK

Methodological and Statistical Advisor

Yeongjun (YJ) Seo
University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA

Editors Emeriti

Marlene Adrian (1992–1995)
Pamela Beehler (1996–1999)
Phyllis Love (1999–2000)
Lynda Ransdell (2000–2001)
Virginia Overdorf (2002–2005)
Vikki Krane (2005–2007)
Darlene Kluka (2008–2009)
Joy De Sense (co-editor: 2009–2010)
Athena Yiamouyiannis (co-editor: 2009–2010)
Lynda Ransdell (co-editor: 2010–2011)
Ann Boyce (co-editor: 2010–2011)
Ann Boyce (2011–2012)
Diane Gill (2014–2017)
Lori Gano-Overway (2018–2022)

Editorial Board

Victoria Bacon, Bridgewater State University, USA

Claire Badenhorst, Massey University, New Zealand

Laura Burton, University of Connecticut, USA

Theodore Butryn, San Jose State University, USA

DeAnne Davis Brooks, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA

Yvette Figueroa, Sam Houston State University, USA

Leslee Fisher, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, USA

Diane L. Gill, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA

Christy Greenleaf, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA

Katherine M. Jamieson, California State University, Sacramento, USA 

Bobbi Knapp, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA

Nicole LaVoi, University of Minnesota, USA

Rita Liberti, California State University, USA

Melissa A. Mache, California State University, Chico, USA

Leilani Madrigal, California State University, Long Beach, USA

Jennifer McGarry, University of Connecticut, USA

Eva Monsma, University of South Carolina, USA

Elizabeth M. Mullin, Springfield College, USA

Barbara Osborne, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Justine Reel, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, USA

Erin J. Reifsteck, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA

Jaime Schultz, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Shannon R. Siegel, University of San Francisco, USA

Alicja B Stannard, Western Connecticut State University, USA

Ellen Staurowsky, Ithaca College, USA

Pamela D. Swan, Arizona State University, USA

Theresa Walton, Kent State University, USA

Laurie Wideman, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA

Jenny Withycombe, University of Colorado, USA

E. Missy Wright, California State University East Bay, USA

Tao Zhang, University of North Texas, USA

Social Media Manager

Iman Khan, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA

Human Kinetics Staff
Tammy Miller, Senior Journals Managing Editor

Prior to submission, please carefully read and follow the submission guidelines detailed below. Authors must submit their manuscripts through the journal’s ScholarOne online submission system. To submit, click the button below:

Submit a Manuscript


Authorship Guidelines

The Journals Division at Human Kinetics adheres to the criteria for authorship as outlined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors*:

Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to:

a. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
b. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
c. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
d. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Conditions a, b, c, and d must all be met. Individuals who do not meet the above criteria may be listed in the acknowledgments section of the manuscript. *http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html

Authors who use artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technologies (such as Large Language Models [LLMs], chatbots, or image creators) in their work must indicate how they were used in the cover letter and the work itself. These technologies cannot be listed as authors as they are unable to meet all the conditions above, particularly agreeing to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Open Access

Human Kinetics is pleased to allow our authors the option of having their articles published Open Access. In order for an article to be published Open Access, authors must complete and return the Request for Open Access form and provide payment for this option. To learn more and request Open Access, click here.

Manuscript Guidelines

All Human Kinetics journals require that authors follow our manuscript guidelines in regards to use of copyrighted material, human and animal rights, and conflicts of interest as specified in the following link: https://journals.humankinetics.com/page/author/authors

Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal (WSPAJ) is a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal devoted to advancing our understanding of women in sport and physical activity. WSPAJ publishes scholarly articles related to women’s sport and physical activity across the full range of disciplinary perspectives. Original research using varied methodologies as well as theoretical papers, reviews, practical articles, and commentaries will be considered for publication. These manuscript types are described below.

Manuscript Types

Original Research

Research manuscripts will report studies explaining the purpose, methodology, sample, results, and implications. A variety of research designs are welcomed and interdisciplinary work is encouraged.

Theoretical Papers and Reviews

Manuscripts will report a theoretical or conceptual framework or conduct a systematic review of research in a particular area of expertise.

Practical Articles

Manuscripts will report on an evidence-based practice applied in a sport or physical activity setting with women or girls.  The manuscripts will discuss the theoretical or conceptual basis for their applied work along with research supporting evidence-based practice followed by a description of the applied work and lessons learned through implementation.


Typically, manuscripts will report commentary or a response to an article recently published within WSPAJ, within the last year.  The blinded manuscript will not only be reviewed like typical manuscripts but also shared with the article authors.  If accepted, article authors will have the right to provide a counter response to the commentary.  However, a commentary can also include manuscripts that comment on the state of women in sport or physical activity.  Both types of commentary manuscripts are limited to 10 pages (all inclusive).

Book Reviews

Manuscripts will report a review of a recently published book, within the last year.  These manuscripts are limited to 10 pages (all inclusive).  Further details regarding submission guidelines for book reviews is provided below.

Style and Format

In preparing manuscripts for publication in WSPAJ, authors should carefully adhere to the guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed., 2020). Copies of the APA Publication Manual can be found in most university libraries or purchased online through the APA website.  Further, the manuscripts need to align with the APA Journal Article Report Standards (JARS) for Qualitative or Quantitative Research. Special attention should be given to the preparation and accuracy of references, and to the absence of sexist and biased language.

Manuscripts must not have been published elsewhere or be simultaneously submitted to another journal. The manuscript order should be as follows: (1) blind title page, (2) abstract (250 words or less), (3) manuscript text, (4) references, and (5) tables and figures. For studies involving human participants, the author(s) must include a statement in the manuscript that the research was approved by the appropriate institutional review board and informed consent was obtained.

The manuscript should be double-spaced, including the abstract, references, and any block quotations. Normally, papers should not exceed a total of 25 pages, including references, tables, and figures.

Artwork and Tables

All artwork must be professionally prepared, with clean, crisp lines. Graphics created on standard computer programs (and submitted in .tif or .jpg formats) will be accepted; freehand or typewritten lettering will not be accepted. If photos are used, they should be clear and show good contrast. Each figure and photo must be properly identified. In graphs, use black and white or gray shading only, no color. Keep labels proportionate with the size of the figures on the journal page. Digital images should be 300 dpi at full size for photos and 600 dpi for line art. See additional figure guidelines here. Format tables in the table function of your word-processing program rather than aligning columns in text with tabs and spaces or using text boxes. Any figures or photos from a source not original to the author must be accompanied by a statement from the copyright holder(s) giving the author permission to publish it; the source and copyright holder must be credited in the manuscript.

Key Points

Authors of research papers must also provide 2–3 key points that describe the novel results or highlights of their research in a separate Word file. The key points should be intended for a general audience, no more than 30 words, and in sentence format.


Video clips may be submitted to illustrate your manuscript. Upon submission, each digital video file should be designated and uploaded as a “supplementary file.” You also should indicate in the cover letter accompanying your submission that you have submitted a video file. Digital material from a source not original to you as the author must be accompanied by a statement from the copyright holder giving the author permission to publish it; the source and copyright holder must be credited in the manuscript.

Video should be submitted in MPEG-4 (.mp4), Quicktime (.m4v, .mov), or Windows Media (.wmv) format with standard frame sizes of 1920 x 1080 pixels (for high definition) or 720 x 480 pixels (for standard definition) and a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Human Kinetics will inspect all video submissions for quality and technical specifications, and we reserve the right to reject any video submission that does not meet quality standards and specifications.

Cover Letters

Authors must submit a separate cover letter that lists: (1) the title of the manuscript, (2) the date of submission, and (3) the full names of all the authors and their institutional or corporate affiliations. In addition to this essential information, a cover letter should be composed as described on pp. 382–383 of the Publication Manual of the APA (7th ed., 2020), and should include clear statements pertaining to potential fragmented publication, authorship, and other ethical considerations.

Specific Guidelines for Book Reviews

WSPAJ also publishes reviews of recent books related to women in sport and physical activity settings. Scholars who are interested in reviewing a book should contact the Editor.

Book Review Format

Book review authors should follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition, 2020) guidelines for journal article style. Keep references to a minimum. Check for the correct spelling of proper names. Check quotations for accuracy and make sure to provide page numbers for quotes. Reviews should be no more than 10 pages (including blinded title page, manuscript text, references). The text, including quotes and bibliographic information, should be double-spaced.

Bibliographic information for the book should be placed at the top of the review in the following format:

Title by Author(s). Publisher, year of publication, location of publisher.
Reviewed by: Reviewer, institutional affiliation, location.

The content of a good review provides description and analysis and attempts to situate a book in a larger context. You should describe the author’s central argument, intent, or goal and the author’s approach to the subject. Please avoid a chapter-by-chapter listing of themes. You might want to contextualize the text by situating it in relationship to the author’s previous works, to debates in the broader culture, or to relevant literature. Your analysis of the book could include a discussion of what makes it unique, its strengths and weaknesses, the implications of its arguments, and/or its relationship to other texts. You could also comment on the book’s potential impact on the field or on a specific area of study, theoretical approach, or methodology. Illustrate your points with examples from the text.

A 100-word biographical sketch of the reviewer is provided at the end of the review which documents their expertise for completing the review.

Review for Book Review

The submission of a review confirms that the review has not and will not appear elsewhere in published form. Book reviews will be received and reviewed by a member of the Editorial Board. Reviewers should note that submission of an unsolicited review does not guarantee publication in the journal. Reviewers may be asked to revise their reviews. The assigned Editorial Board member makes recommendations for acceptance of reviews to the Editor of the journal. The Editor makes all final decisions about what will appear in the journal.

Specific Guidelines for Special Issues

The following guidelines are intended to help scholars prepare a special issue proposal. In no more than four pages author(s) should address the following questions using the headings provided.

1. Synopsis

  • In 150 words or less, what is your special issue about? Important: Be sure to include its main themes and objectives.

2. Rationale

  • What are you proposing to do differently/more innovatively/better than has already been done on the topic (in WSPAJ specifically, as well as in the field more generally)?
  • Why is now the time for a special issue on this topic?
  • Why is WSPAJ the most appropriate venue for this topic?
  • What are the main competing works on the topic (e.g., edited books, other special issues)?

3. Qualifications

  • Why are you the right person(s) to edit a special issue on this topic? Why are you an expert in this area? What have you previously written on the topic?
  • Have you edited/co-edited a special issue before? If yes, please give the citation(s).
  • Have you edited/co-edited a book before? If yes, please give the citation(s).
  • Do you currently serve on any journal editorial boards? If yes, please list.
  • Please provide your vitae.

4. Timeline

  • Given that it takes approximately 12 months to complete a special issue, please provide a detailed timeline including estimated dates or time frames for the following steps: (a) Call for papers, (b) Submission deadline, (c) Review process, (d) Revision process, (e) Copyediting, (f) Final editing and approval from WSPAJ editor, (g) Completion and submission to Human Kinetics.

Manuscript Review

Please note that a blind review process is used to evaluate manuscripts. As such, any clues to the author’s identity should be eliminated from the manuscript. The first page of the manuscript must not include author names or affiliations, but it should include the title of the paper and the date of submission. Submissions that do not adhere to these guidelines may be returned to authors.

Manuscripts are read by two reviewers, with the review process taking 8–12 weeks. There are no page charges to contributors.

Please direct all correspondence concerning the journal and manuscript submissions to the WSPAJ editorial office: Christina Johnson, ChristinaJ@hkusa.com.

Desk Rejection Policy

Before full review, submissions are examined at the editorial level. If the Editor and an Editorial Board Member believe the submission has extensive flaws or is inconsistent with the mission and focus of the journal, the manuscript may receive a desk reject decision.

Submitting a Manuscript

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically via ScholarOne (see submission button at the top of this page). ScholarOne manages the electronic transfer of manuscripts throughout the article review process while providing step-by-step instructions and a user-friendly design. Please access the site and follow the directions for authors submitting manuscripts.

Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication must transfer copyright to Human Kinetics, Inc. Please visit ScholarOne to view the copyright form located under the "Instructions & Forms" link in the upper-right corner. You do not need an account to access this information. Any problems that may be encountered can be resolved easily by selecting "Help" in the upper-right corner of any ScholarOne screen.



Online Subscriptions

Individuals may purchase online-only subscriptions directly from this website. To order, click on an article and select the subscription option you desire for the journal of interest (individual or student, 1-year or 2-year), and then click Buy. Those purchasing student subscriptions must be prepared to provide proof of student status as a degree-seeking candidate at an accredited institution. Online-only subscriptions purchased via this website provide immediate access to all the journal's content, including all archives and Ahead of Print. Note that a subscription does not allow access to all the articles on this website, but only to those articles published in the journal you subscribe to. For step-by-step instructions to purchase online, click here.

Please note that this journal will be online only as of 2024.


Institution subscriptions must be placed directly with our customer service team. To review format options and pricing, visit our Librarian Resource Center. To place your order, contact us

Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal is pleased to present infographics inspired by research published in WSPAJ. To view an infographic at full-size, click on the thumbnail. When viewing the full-size version, then click on the graphic to link to the research that inspired the infographic. 


Infographic for "A peer-led physical activity program for Black adolescent girls—a pilot study."


Infographic for "Progress of Female Athlete Representation in Research Influencing International Conference on Concussion in Sport Consensus Statements."

Infographic for "Girls, Women, and Female Athletes in Sport Psychology: A Decade-Long Review of the Literature" summarizing the problem, aim, and key-findings of the review with images of women and girl athletes in action.

For the Love of Strength: Experiences of Female Strength and Conditioning Coaches. 19 female strength and conditioning (S&C) coaches pariciipated in interviews conducted by the researchers. 5 themes were identified: Entrance into the S&C field and navigating a male-dominated culture; Appearance and presentation; Pressure to hire women; Community and mentorship; Family. Figueroa & Roper, Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal. 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1123/wspaj.2022-0034

“The Caffeine Supplementation in a Moderate-Intensity Aerobic Exercise in Obese Asian Women” by Listiarini, Kushartanti, & Arovah. See https://doi.org/10.1123/wspaj.2022-0035 Click to view more.

“The Caffeine Supplementation in a Moderate-Intensity Aerobic Exercise in Obese Asian Women” by Listiarini, Kushartanti, & Arovah. See https://doi.org/10.1123/wspaj.2022-0035

Mechanisms Underlying Menstrual Cycle Effects on Exercise Performance: A Scoping Review. Image includes bullet points about how estrogen and progesterone affect exercise.

Infographic: Examining the Role of Physical Activity on Psychological Well-Being and Mental Health Postpartum.

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2022 Erin Reifsteck Student Paper of the Year Award, "An Internsectional Analysis of the Recruitment and Participation of Second-Generation African Canadian Adolescent Girls in a Community Basketball Program in Ottawa, Canada," by Amina Haggar & Audrey Giles. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1123/wspaj.2021-0083

2022 Diane Gill Paper of the Year, Presented to: Asmaa Ellandrawy, "Effect of Aerobic Walking Exercise on Stress Urinary Incontinence in Postmenopausal Women" with Sara G. Mahmoud, Mohamed F. AboElinin, and Amel M. Yousef.

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