Experiences of female basketball officials
Todey, Amy Kincaid
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Through a mixed methods design, this study examines discriminatory experiences encountered by female referees and the impact of these experiences on their emotions, cognition and performance. 102 female basketball officials across 18 U.S. states completed a survey via Survey Monkey. Participants' responses to select qualitative questions on the survey were grouped thematically. Principle Components Analyses were used reduce select quantitative items to a smaller number of factors which were used in subsequent ANOVA and correlation analyses. Findings indicate that up to 70 percent of female officials have experienced some type of gender discrimination and up to 50 percent noted that discrimination has some impact on aspects of their emotions, cognitive abilities and performance. Overall, less experienced officials and those who referee high school basketball were more prone to both experiencing discrimination and sustaining negative outcomes associated with stereotype threat. A majority of sample participants identified role models as helpful in offsetting negative impact of discrimination with lesbian officials reporting a significantly higher reliance on role models than heterosexual officials. This research implies that efforts to educate and mentor female officials are essential to their mental well-being and ability to progress within the officiating field.