Homophobia and heterosexism in women’s collegiate athletics has been predominantly researched using qualitatively methodology (e.g., Blinde & Taub, 1992; Kauer & Krane, 2006; Krane 1996, 1997; Krane & Barber, 2003). Few researchers have examined the heterosexist attitudes from a quantitative perspective and few with a sport—specific questionnaire. The researcher examined whether on-going evidence of reliability and validity for the Heterosexist Attitudes in Sport—Lesbian scale (Mullin, 2013) questionnaire would be demonstrated. Female collegiate athletes (N = 239) from the mid-Atlantic region completed the HAS-L as well as a battery of questionnaires. Approximately 4 weeks later, participants completed the HAS-L again. The HAS-L was significantly related with the Attitudes toward Lesbians subscale of the Attitudes toward Lesbians and Gay Males—Short scale (Herek & McLemore, 2011) and other identified correlates of heterosexism, suggesting evidence of some criterion-related and convergent validity. Internal consistency and test-retest estimates ranged from .50–85 and .64–.91, respectively. The findings demonstrate good evidence of reliability and validity for the Cognitive/Affective subscale of the HAS-L. More research is necessary to better examine the behavioral subscales. Future researchers should consider making revisions of the Avoidance of the Lesbian Label subscale to achieve acceptable levels of reliability and validity.
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Leighton Jones, Jasmin C. Hutchinson, and Elizabeth M. Mullin
Positive affective responses to exercise have been linked to longer-term adherence. The dual-mode model indicates that affective responses during heavy exercise (between the ventilatory threshold and the respiratory compensation point) are subject to interindividual variability (zone of response variability). Participants (N = 48) completed measures to assess personal characteristics prior to a graded exercise test. Responses to the Feeling Scale were recorded during the graded exercise test and subsequently used to group participants as either negative responders or neutral/positive responders to heavy exercise. Discriminant function analysis was applied, and a significant weighted linear composite predicted affective response. Preference for exercise intensity and sex were significant predictors (p = .003). Negative responders had lower preference scores and were more likely to be men. The combination of these two variables successfully predicted group membership 71% of the time. Individual differences appear relevant when examining affective responses to heavy exercise.
Elizabeth M. Mullin, James E. Leone, and Suzanne Pottratz
A small but growing body of research has investigated the experience of gay male athletes “coming out” in sport, a historically homophobic environment. In this exploratory case study, the experiences of “Mark,” a male volleyball player who came out prior to a championship season, were examined using social identity perspective and athletic identity theory as the frameworks for analysis. Data sources included interviews with Mark, interviews with informants, and Mark’s social-media posts. A narrative of Mark’s coming-out experience was developed and explored in light of the theoretical frameworks, and 2 themes emerged from the data: gay athlete as a (dis)qualifier and “It’s not about the skills, it’s about the attitude,” which explores Mark’s psychological development and its relationship with athletic performance. Implications and strategies for sport psychology consultants working with gay male athletes are discussed.
Elizabeth M. Mullin, Anna Bottino, Danielle D. Wadsworth, Steven J. Petruzzello, and Tiffanye M. Vargas
While the negative psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been noted in the general population and among undergraduate students, little is known about the impact on graduate students. We surveyed kinesiology graduate students (N = 272) enrolled in American Kinesiology Association member institutions regarding their well-being. Overall, graduate students reported poor mental health and high perceived stress. Cisgender women reported worse outcomes than their counterparts. No significant differences were found among sexual orientation or racial and ethnic identity. In open-ended responses, graduate students identified both increased and decreased well-being and delineated methods that helped or would have helped their well-being during the pandemic. Faculty and administrators must put intentional effort into recognizing mental health disparities, provide open and clear communication, and increase access and visibility of resources to support the mental health and well-being of graduate students.
Erika D. Van Dyke, Judy L. Van Raalte, Elizabeth M. Mullin, and Britton W. Brewer
Little research has explored the relationship between highly skilled athletes’ self-talk and their competitive performance over the course of a season. For the current study, positive, negative, motivational, instructional, and functional dimensions of collegiate gymnasts’ (N = 141) self-talk were assessed. The gymnasts’ competitive balance beam performances in intercollegiate meets were also recorded. Multiple regression analysis revealed that positive self-talk significantly predicted balance beam performance and performance consistency. Significant positive correlations were found among key self-talk variables, except negative self-talk. Significant negative correlations were found between negative self-talk and self-talk functions (i.e., attention, cognitive and emotional control, and confidence). The results highlight the interrelationships among various types and functions of self-talk in competitive settings, and provide evidence for the ways in which self-talk is related to the performance of highly skilled athletes. Suggestions for how these findings might be applied by athletes, coaches, and sport psychology practitioners are provided.
Judy L. Van Raalte, Allen E. Cornelius, Elizabeth M. Mullin, Britton W. Brewer, Erika D. Van Dyke, Alicia J. Johnson, and Takehiro Iwatsuki
A series of studies was conducted by Senay et al. in 2010 to replicate and extend research indicating that self-posed questions have performance benefits. Studies 1–3 compared the effects of the self-posed interrogative question (“Will I?”) to declarative (“I will”) and control self-talk, and found no significant group differences in motivation, perceived exertion, or performance. In Studies 4–5, interrogative, declarative, and control self-talk primes were compared, and no outcome differences were found. In Study 6, the effects of self-talk on motivation, perceived exertion, and physical performance were assessed. The self-talk groups performed better and were more motivated than the control group, but declarative and interrogative groups did not differ from each other. Finally, meta-analyses of the six studies indicated no significant differences among conditions. These results highlight the value of replication and suggest that factors other than grammatical form of self-posed questions may drive the demonstrated relationships between self-talk and performance.