Social antecedents and consequences of gender-sport stereotypes during Adolescence

From Psychology of Women Quarterly

Adolescence is a key period with regard to choices involving both vocational orientations and extracurricular activities. Social psychologists advance that these decisions are partly influenced by stereotypes. More particularly, young women’s and men’s choices could be differentially encouraged by their parents depending on their sex. For instance, sport is conceived as a male arena in Western societies and the social environment, notably parents, is thought to play a key role in the transmission of such beliefs.

This paper presents three studies that examined gender stereotypes in the sport context. It explores how gender stereotype endorsement could impact self-perceptions of competence and value and, in turn, intentions to drop out from one’s activity (which ultimately may result in actual dropout behavior). Taken as a whole, the results of this set of studies suggest that gender sport stereotypes are conveyed from social environment to adolescents and that they can lead to drop out. The implications for parents and practitioners are discussed.

Abstract

Eccles et al.’s Expectancy-Value Model posits that the stereotypes endorsed by parents may influence their children’s participation in leisure-time activities. This influence is presumed to occur through the mediating role of children’s perceived competence and value given to the activity, predicting in turn drop out. Previous research is scarce relative to (a) the parent–child transmission of gender stereotypes and (b) the relationships among stereotypes, self-perceptions, and decision to drop out from an activity. We present three studies that examined gender stereotypes in the sport context to test these underexplored aspects of the model. Study 1 revealed significant links among perceived gender stereotypes in the social environment (i.e., general and parental beliefs), personal endorsement of stereotypes, and dropout behavior among 347 adolescents. Study 2 revealed no bound between stereotypes assessed among parents and 104 adolescent athletes. It further indicated that self-perceptions may mediate the relationship between 155 adolescents’ gender stereotypes and intentions to drop out from sport. Study 3 involved 23 parent–adolescent dyads and revealed that parents’ and adolescents’ endorsement of gender stereotypes were not significantly related when assessed with explicit measures, but significantly correlated when assessed through an implicit test. Taken as a whole, the results of this set of studies suggest that gender sport stereotypes are conveyed from social environment to adolescents and that they can lead to drop out. The implications for parents and practitioners are discussed.

 

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Article details
Julie Boiché, Mélissa Plaza, Aïna Chalabaev, Emma Guillet-Descas, and Philippe Sarrazin
Social Antecedents and Consequences of Gender-Sport Stereotypes During Adolescence Psychology of Women Quarterly 0361684313505844, first published on October 8, 2013 doi:10.1177/0361684313505844

 

     
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