Akilah R. Carter-Francique
The purpose of this article is to encourage administrators, faculty, and staff to foster a sense of belonging for students of color in kinesiology and affiliated academic units at institutions of higher education. Kinesiology is vast and has a range of corresponding workforce careers; however, despite equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts, people of color still lag behind in representation. Acknowledging the current social and legislative climate that seeks to dismantle equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts, the American Kinesiology Association as a leadership-driven membership has the opportunity to further its stance and governance through amplifying the sense of belonging as a social justice practice. Fostering a holistic sense of belonging for students of color beyond the conventional classroom can promote successful student outcomes with increased academic engagement and use of support services, increased personal self-concept and mental health and wellness, and an overall satisfaction with the college experience.
Ketra L. Armstrong
People have an innate and fundamental need to belong (i.e., to establish and maintain high-quality and enriching relationships with others). Belonging is important to our personal and professional lives, and culture is often the conduit filtering our sense of belonging. Some organizations are culturally inclusive wherein a culturally diverse array of individuals feel connected and have a sense of belonging. In contrast, others are marred by cultural exclusion, leaving some individuals culturally disconnected, culturally disengaged, and lacking a sense of belonging. This article posits cultural belonging as the “impoverishing errand” that kinesiology must accomplish. It discusses personal and positional culture, organizational culture, and the leadership needed in kinesiology to create institutional environments that support and sustain inclusive cultures of belonging for faculty, staff, and students. In so doing, it illustrates the need for the philosophical/ideological and managerial focus on people-centered leadership that normalizes cultural inclusion.
K. Michael Rowley, M.P. Jenny O, and E. Missy Wright
Faculty with personal and professional identities that are marginalized in higher education experience identity taxation, which is the experience of greater physical, mental, emotional, or psychological labor beyond what is experienced by faculty members with dominant-group identities. Inequities in service work contribute substantially to this taxation. Here, we describe persistent inequities in service work in academia, the impacts and consequences of those inequities, and strategies from the literature and our own experiences to make service work more equitable. We then detail two case examples for how we implemented some of these strategies in our kinesiology department, including (a) adopting an equity-based model of service work for required department and college service committees and (b) applying an equity lens to a faculty search committee. Finally, we reflect on our successes and areas for improvement.
Ting Liu, Michelle Hamilton, and YuChun Chen
Over the past decade, enrollment in the exercise science graduate program at Texas State University has shown consistent growth. However, the program’s level of diversity has been low, as indicated by the college’s equity audit report. In response to the imperative of social justice and equity in the field of kinesiology, this article presents one recruitment strategy and two retention strategies aimed at fostering inclusivity in the graduate program. The recruitment strategy describes the steps to establish a partnership with Huston-Tillotson University (a historically Black university). This partnership serves as a means to create a pathway for underrepresented students to pursue graduate studies in exercise science. The two retention strategies explain how a peer-mentoring program and alumni connect can be used to foster an inclusive experience for current students and recent graduates and to promote student success and retention. The benefits of each strategy and suggestions to implement the strategies are also described.
DeAnne Davis Brooks, Lauren D. Griffin, Teah Rawlings, Rennae W. Stowe, and Dawn Norwood
Kinesiology programs seeking to prepare an inclusive workforce are committed to recruiting and retaining graduate students who represent the demographic diversity of our country, communities, and undergraduate universities. Plans for enhancing diversity, including partnerships between historically Black undergraduate institutions and graduate programs located on predominantly White campuses, must incorporate equity-focused strategies. In this article, four Black women with various experiences as students and faculty at predominantly White institutions and historically Black colleges and universities offer their advice on equity-focused approaches to graduate student recruitment and retention. This article is meant to provide nuanced understandings of the benefits and challenges of such approaches for students and faculty of color.
Sydney Klein, Colin A. Zestcott, and Alaina Brenick
Throughout the course of ballet dance history, White ballerinas have maintained the spotlight—subsequently leaving limited representation of Black ballerinas. However, other forms of dance, such as hip-hop, may yield greater representation of Black dancers due to hip-hop’s origins during the Harlem Renaissance. The current work examined if perceivers stereotype ballet and hip-hop as dance forms more suited for White or Black dancers, respectively. Two hundred sixty-eight online participants completed explicit and implicit (implicit association test) stereotyping measures examining endorsement of the ballet = White and hip-hop = Black stereotypes. In step with predictions, results showed that individuals were more likely to explicitly and implicitly endorse White women as ballerinas and Black women as hip-hop dancers. In addition, participants with ballet and hip-hop dance experience were less likely to endorse the stereotype that ballet dancers are White and hip-hop dancers are Black. Moreover, less stereotype endorsement also predicted greater likelihood of seeing a ballet or hip-hop performance in the future. These findings suggest that perceivers hold expectations about racial identities of dancers in ballet and hip-hop dance. Future directions regarding the role of race and stereotyping in the world of dance and the performing arts are discussed.
Emma S. Cowley, Sam R. Moore, Alyssa A. Olenick, and Kelly L. McNulty
Objectives: Women are underrepresented as participants in sport and exercise science research, and most of the research is of low quality. To reduce the gender data gap, it is imperative to understand where this bias originates. The purpose of this study was (a) to evaluate the proportion of first and last author, and editorial board gender, and (b) to explore the association between gender and quality of female-specific research methods. Method: Studies exclusively investigating female participants (2014–2021) were extracted from a larger data set and updated through 2022. First author, last author, and editorial board gender were determined (e.g., from gender pronouns on institutional profiles, Google Scholar, and ResearchGate). Where applicable, study methodology was assessed by giving each study a quality score (0–1) based on key methodological considerations. Descriptive statistics were used to describe author and editorial board gender frequencies. Analyses of variance were used to investigate the associations between gender and female-specific methodological quality. Results: Within 438 female-only studies, data revealed a greater proportion of women first authors (55%) and men last authors (62%). There was an association between women authors (first, last, and both) and higher quality score for female-specific methods across all journals (p = .00–.04). The two lowest-ranked journals for quality score demonstrated worse gender parity within their editorial board (0%–12% women). Conclusions: The results from this study show that most female-only studies were senior authored by men. However, studies led by women had higher quality of female-specific methods. Future research is needed to explore gender distribution of senior academics.
Eimear Kelly, Katie Liston, Kieran Dowd, and Aoife Lane
There is a lack of evidence of on the impact of how sporting role models (SRM) influence adolescent physical activity (PA) and/or sport participation (SP) levels. The main aim of this review was to identify SRM-led interventions and highlight the evidence of impact of SRMs on female adolescents’ participation in PA and/or SP. A systematic review of peer-reviewed literature using key search terms was completed using electronic databases (APA PsycInfo, SPORTDiscus, and PubMed). The inclusion criteria were as follows: (a) Participants were ≤18 years old, (b) results were reported for female participants, (c) the study included an intervention arm/element, (d) an SRM or equivalent terminology was used as part of the intervention, (e) PA levels and/or SP was evaluated, and (f) peer-reviewed articles published in English. A total of 7,169 peer-reviewed articles were identified and screened. A systematic review of grey literature to identify SRM programs was also carried out through Google search engine, direct contact with relevant sporting organizations, and with authors who had written about role models, and 45 programs were identified. Identified documents were screened using the same inclusion criteria as described above. The results identified one peer-reviewed and 15 grey literature programs, all of which were deemed to be of poor quality. The programs revealed a lack of theoretical base and rigor in methodology, no objective PA or SP assessment, poor demographic context of participants and role models, and lack of evaluation.
Rachel Keane and Mandy Ruddock-Hudson
The purpose of this study was to qualitatively investigate the impact of restrictions in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on team sport engagement from the perspectives of Victorian adolescent females. In 2022, 10 female athletes aged between 14 and 17 years, recruited via snowball sampling, took part in semistructured interviews exploring their experiences and perceptions during the pandemic. Three higher order themes emerged: (a) team sport barriers during COVID-19, (b) emotional responses of athletes during COVID-19, and (c) behavioral reactions of athletes during COVID-19. Findings indicated that athletes reported harsh restrictions, a lack of social interaction, and resources severely impacted training, ultimately resulting in poor motivation, lowered mood, and decreased sport enjoyment. Athletes also expressed concern in relation to spreading the virus, adhering to restrictions, and discovering lost skills and ability postlockdown. Guided by the self-determination theory, the perceived reduction in motivation and sport engagement for Victorian female athletes during COVID-19 was a result of the added depletion of autonomy, relatedness, and competence during the strictest lockdowns worldwide. The practical implications of this research offered new qualitative insights into how extended lockdowns and limited sport engagement impacted participation of female youth athletes who resided in the most locked-down state in the world. It also provided a strong foundation to enhance female motivation and sport engagement through addressing athletes’ self-efficacy levels and encouraging enjoyable and socially simulating sporting contexts following the COVID-19 pandemic.