Beyond stereotypes: The role of exposure in reshaping Children's biases towards women as coaches in sports

Sambol, Stjepan ORCID: 0000-0002-1969-8192, Dadswell, Kara ORCID: 0000-0003-3192-7960 and Hanlon, Clare ORCID: 0000-0001-5547-5327 (2024) Beyond stereotypes: The role of exposure in reshaping Children's biases towards women as coaches in sports. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 73. p. 102634. ISSN 1469-0292 (In Press)


The underrepresentation of women in sports coaching, linked to discrimination and bias may, according to contact theory, be mitigated by increasing the visibility of women coaches, especially among children. Our study examined whether young athletes exposed to women coaches affected their explicit and implicit biases compared to unexposed peers. Seventy-five children aged between 4 and 17 years were evaluated using two explicit attitude measures and an Implicit Association Task. Results indicated that participants with women coach experience were more explicitly satisfied with woman coaches, preferred them more as potential coaches, and associated men with sports less than those without such exposure. Whilst exposure and implicit bias significantly predicted explicit satisfaction, exposure did not moderate the bias relationship. This suggests that exposure to women coaches reduces negative attitudes in young athletes but does not significantly affect the underlying influence of implicit biases, indicating a need for more comprehensive strategies to address gender inequalities in sports coaching.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.psychsport.2024.102634
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4207 Sports science and exercise
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords competition level, athlete, coaches’ competencies, stress, performance in sport
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