Tucker Center Newsletter - 2012 Fall
Research Updates: Making a Difference: Research on Women Coaches
TC Associate Director Nicole M. LaVoi and Julia Dutove, Kinesiology doctoral student and TC research assistant, recently published an article titled, "Barriers and Support for Female Coaches: An Ecological Model" in the inaugural issue of Sports Coaching Review. In the paper, the barriers that affect females from seeking or remaining in a coaching position or those that negatively influence career trajectories were summarized, as well as those factors that help facilitate a career in coaching. All factors were organized using four levels of an ecological model—individual, interpersonal, organizational/structural, and sociocultural. This model helped to consolidate a vast literature on female coaches into a comprehensive understanding of a gender-related phenomenon—the statistical minority of female coaches. Based on the literature, there were, unfortunately, far more barriers than supports reported at each ecological level. In addition, gaps in the research were identified.
The goal of the paper is to create awareness of the complex factors that influence and shape the current low numbers of female coaches at all levels of competition, to help identify directions for future research, and to assist organizations in developing multi-level strategies that will help shift the percentage of female coaches upward.
During the fall semester of 2012, LaVoi, along with TC Affiliated Scholar Dr. Cindra Kamphoff (Minnesota State University—Mankato), will release a report, Women in High School Sport: A National Study, in which they document the percentage of women in positions of power in high school sport across the United States. This report, funded in part by a grant from AAHPERD, is meant to be the high school equivalent of the seminal work of Vivian Acosta and Linda Carpenter, who for 35 years have tracked the statistics for women in positions of power in intercollegiate sport. LaVoi and Kamphoff's report will be available online free of charge at www.womensportresearch.org.