Coach and athlete perceptions of ambiguous behaviors and sexual harassment: implications for coach education

Hassall, C.E., Bringer, J.D., Johnston, L.H. and Brackenridge, C.H. (2002) Coach and athlete perceptions of ambiguous behaviors and sexual harassment: implications for coach education. Journal of Sport Pedagogy, 8(2), pp. 1-21.

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The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of coaches and athletes of ambiguous behaviors (i.e. actions which may or may not be construed as sexual harassment) in order to inform curriculum development in coach education. This study replicates and extends a previous American study which examined perceptions and experiences of sexual harassment among 210 female college athletes in the USA (Volkwein, et al., 1997). The Americans’ research design was based on earlier work in education by Garlick (1994). The present study is the first, large-scale UK survey of sexual harassment among student athletes (n = 311) and coaches (n = 182). A sexual harassment questionnaire (Garlick, 1994) was adapted to a sport setting and UK context. The questionnaire contained statements regarding 19 ambiguous behaviors. Factor analysis identified four subcategories of the questionnaire: Invitations/1-to-1; Social enquiries; Invasion of personal space; Personal Enquiries. A 2 x 2 (Gender by Role) MANCOVA, with age as a covariate revealed no interaction effect (Wilk’s Λ= .99, F (4, 481) = 1.46, p > .05), but both main effects were significant (gender Wilk’s Λ= .93, F (4, 481) = 8.62, p < .001, role Wilk’s Λ= .956, F (4, 481) = 5.56, p < .001). Further analysis confirmed that athletes rated each of the four sub-scales as significantly more appropriate than coaches. Females rated social enquiries and invasion of personal space as more appropriate than males.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnston, Dr Lynne
Authors: Hassall, C.E., Bringer, J.D., Johnston, L.H., and Brackenridge, C.H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:Journal of Sport Pedagogy

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