Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the role of gender -role orientation as a moderator between preferred fitness activity and motivation and self -concept
by Wallach, Gila I., Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology, 2008, 97; 3370894
Abstract (Summary)

Since the advent of the Title IX legislation, women have seen significant increases in opportunities to participate in sports at all levels. However, these opportunities are still not equal to those for men (National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, 2002). Subtle perceptions of self, and perceptions placed upon the individual by others, may hinder women from participating in certain atypical desired activities. This study explored the effect of gender-role orientation on motivation and self-concept in women who participate in two different fitness activities, one traditionally perceived as acceptable for women (working out in a gym), and one traditionally perceived as unacceptable for women (martial arts). This study explored differences of self-stereotyping and how these differences affect aspects of fitness participation.

By looking at specific activities, martial arts and gym, this study attempted to extend previous work which suggested differences in motivation (Koivula, 1999) and self-concept (Bowker, Gadbois, & Cornock, 2003) may be influenced by gender-role orientation.

This study explored whether differences in gender-role orientation existed between the two fitness groups, as well as how these potential differences in gender-role orientation may affect motivation style and self-concept. However, while simple comparisons showed similarities to previous research, further comparisons were impossible, because findings indicated that gender normed self descriptions, per the Bern Sex Role Inventory (BSRI), did not differ between groups. This calls into question whether self-stereotyping still exists, and if the manner in which it is frequently measured—with the BSRI—remains a valid method of measurement in this social climate.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schleser, Robert
School: Illinois Institute of Technology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Developmental psychology, Gender studies
Keywords: Feminism, Fitness, Gender role, Martial arts, Motivation, Self-concept
Publication Number: 3370894
ISBN: 9781109326451
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