The role of gender identities and stereotype salience with the academic performance of male and female college athletes

Keith C. Harrison, Jeff Stone, Jenessa Shapiro, Sharon Yee, Jean A. Boyd, Vashti Rullan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

An experiment was conducted to examine factors that moderate the experience of academic identity threat among college athletes who represent a stigmatized group on most college campuses (Yopyk & Prentice, 2005). It was hypothesized that because they are more engaged in academics, female college athletes would be especially threatened by the prospect of confirming the "dumb-jock" stereotype. As predicted, female college athletes performed more poorly when their athletic and academic identities were explicitly linked, but only on moderately difficult test items. The results also revealed that male college athletes performed significantly better (see stereotype reactance and self-affirmation) on more difficult test items when only their athletic identity was primed prior to the test. This is an important finding as there is little research on the impact of positive stereotypes on performance. The discussion focuses on the different motivational processes (i.e. self-affirmation) that impact the academic performance of male and female college athletes when aspects of their campus identity are primed within a classroom context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-96
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sport and Social Issues
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Academic performance
  • Athletics
  • Identity
  • Self-affirmation
  • Stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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