The apparent lack of self-confidence in physical activity by females compared to males has been a recent concern of some researchers in sport psychology. Lenney (1977) suggested that females would be less confident than males when the task was male oriented or when the situation was competitive. This meta-analysis was conducted to examine the magnitude of gender differences in self-confidence in physical activity according to Lenney's assertions. An overall nonhomogeneous effect size of 0.40 favoring males was found. Although masculine tasks produced a larger effect-size difference than neutral tasks, it was also not homogeneous. Only one study employed a feminine task, resulting in a large effect size favoring females. However, the results of a regression analysis, which found that sex-type of task contributed to gender differences in self-confidence, did support Lenney's contention. Whether or not the task took place in a competitive situation did not differentially affect the magnitude of the gender differences. Age of subject and type of confidence measure employed are also discussed as possible variables contributing to gender differences in self-confidence.
Deborah L. Feltz, Cathy D. Lirgg and Richard R. Albrecht
Eighteen elite young distance runners were followed over a 5-year period and examined on their perceptions of parental involvement, commitment, anxiety, and sources of worry as these variables pertained to their competitive running. Results showed that the runners received good parental support and possessed a relatively high level of commitment to running, but that both parental involvement and commitment declined over the 5 years. Fathers were seen as being more involved in their children’s running than mothers were. Also, females were somewhat more committed to running than males were. Males and females exhibited similar anxiety scores and these scores did not increase significantly over time. There was no evidence that these runners suffered excessive anxiety.
Melissa A. Chase, Deborah L. Feltz and Cathy D. Lirgg
This study examined the relationship between coaches’ efficacy expectations for their teams, ratings of opponents’ ability, perceived control over outcome, perceived importance of success, and basketball performance. A second purpose was to identify sources of coaches’ team efficacy. Four collegiate women’s basketball coaches completed questionnaires prior to 10 basketball games (N = 40). Results indicated that coaches’ efficacy was significantly correlated with perceived control over the outcome (the higher their efficacy, the higher their perceived control). Regression analysis found that coaches’ efficacy was a significant predictor of making free throws and committing few turnovers and that perceived opponent ability was a significant predictor of coaches’ efficacy. An inductive content analysis of the sources of coaches’ efficacy beliefs identified sources of high and low efficacy for coaches (e.g., previous game performance, practice performance, comparison with opponent).
Cathy D. Lirgg, Ro Dibrezzo and Angie N. Smith
The decline in number of female coaches has been a serious concern of women in sport. This study investigated whether gender of coach would influence high school female basketball players specifically in relation to their future coaching self-efficacy, the level of competition at which they might choose to coach, and their ideas about the purposes of basketball. Results revealed that gender of coach did not influence self-efficacy for coaching but did influence level of competition. Perceived playing ability was found to be the strongest predictor of future coaching self-efficacy. In addition, some differences were found between male- and female-coached athletes and between male and female coaches concerning perceived purposes of basketball.