Motivation and Attrition of Female Coaches: An Application of Social Exchange Theory

in The Sport Psychologist
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Studies examining the declining percentage of female coaches at the high school and collegiate levels have either been descriptive or sociological in nature. The present study was designed to explore this phenomenon from a psychological vantage, specifically using a social exchange theoretical perspective. Current (n = 99) and former (n = 54) coaches completed self-report measures that assessed benefits, costs, and satisfaction levels with overall coaching experiences and alternative activities. A discriminant function analysis revealed that current and former coaches could be distinguished on the basis of certain benefits, costs, and satisfaction levels. Current coaches assigned greater importance to benefits relating to program success and continuation of athletic experiences, costs relating to time demands and low perceived competence, and overall satisfaction with coaching. Moreover, 74.4% and 75.6% of current and former coaches, respectively, could be classified correctly to group membership based on scores on these variables. These results provide only partial support for social exchange theory predictions.

Maureen R. Weiss is with the Department of Exercise and Movement Science at the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403. Candie Stevens now resides in Missoula, MT.

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