Socialization influences of collegiate female athletes: A tale of two decades

Maureen R. Weiss, Heather Barber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Over the past decade, sport participation opportunities for females have increased dramatically. The purposes of this study were to compare perceptions of encouragement and support from socializing agents for: (a) female collegiate volleyball players competing during the 1979 and 1989 seasons, and (b) female collegiate athletes and female and male nonathletes. Female athletes (n = 345), female nonathletes (n = 128), and male nonathletes (n = 88) completed a questionnaire to assess significant others' influence on sport involvement during childhood, adolescence, and college years. Results indicated that interest and encouragement by parents, older siblings, and friends significantly increased for female athletes over the past 10 years during one or more developmental period. Discriminant analyses revealed that female athletes perceived stronger influences from mother, siblings, friends, and coaches than did male and female nonathletes. These results demonstrate that female athletes received greater social support than their peers a decade earlier, and these influences were significantly different than male and female nonathletes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-140
Number of pages12
JournalSex Roles
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 1 1995


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