An Analysis of Leadership Qualities That Influence Male and Female Athletes in Middle School Interscholastic Team Sports

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study was to determine what behavior styles of leadership male and female athletes in middle school interscholastic team sports prefer their coaches use. The study compares those behavior styles of leadership used by coaches on male and female athletes at three different middle schools. The study compares males and females to determine if the preferred behavior styles of leadership are similar.

Results of this study detected a statistically significant difference in the leadership behavior styles by male and female coaches among the middle schools between the following dimensions: (1) democratic behavior and training and instruction, (2) autocratic behavior and training and instruction, (3) social support and training and instruction, (4) positive feedback and democratic behavior, (5) positive feedback and autocratic behavior, (6) positive feedback and social support. The study did detect a statistically significant difference in the behavior styles of leadership used at the different middle schools in the dimensions of autocratic behavior, training and instruction, and positive feedback. This study did not reveal a statistically significant difference between the middle schools in the dimensions of democratic behavior and social support. Finally, the study detected the only statistically significant difference between male and female coaches in middle school interscholastic team sports in the five dimensions of leadership behavior was in training and instruction.

Results of this study indicate that male and female coaches use different leadership behavior styles to deal with male and female athletes in middle school interscholastic team sports. The study reveals that female coaches place more emphasis on the training and instruction behavior style of leadership than male coaches.

This study does not examine which behavior style of leadership is superior for the overall success of an interscholastic middle school athletic program. What follows is the basis for this study, procedures used to conduct the research, an analysis of the data, conclusions, and finally, recommendations for further research on this topic.

Research Questions

This research study entitled An Analysis of Leadership Qualities That Influence Male and Female Athletes in Middle School Interscholastic Team Sports was conducted to answer the following research questions:

1. Was there a difference in the median scores of the five Leadership Scale of Sports dimensions among eighth grade females in middle school interscholastic team sports?

2. Was there a difference in the median scores of the five Leadership Scale of Sports dimensions among eighth grade males in middle school interscholastic team sports?

3. Was there a difference between eighth grade males and eighth grade females who participate in middle school interscholastic team sports in the median scores of the five Leadership Scale of Sports dimensions?

4. Was there a difference among the three middle schools in the median scores of the five Leadership Scale of Sports dimensions?

Subjects

Subjects for this study were male and female athletes who participated in interscholastic team sports at their middle schools during their seventh and eighth grade years. The schools selected for this study were three different middle schools from Central Texas which include Bastrop, Cedar Creek, and Elgin middle schools.

Methods

Data for this study was collected using the Leadership Scale of Sports (LSS) questionnaire with the permission of Dr. Packianthan Chelladurai Ph.D at Ohio State University. Athletic coordinators at each school were given verbal directions in person prior to the questionnaires being mailed. The data was analyzed quantitatively using the 15.0 version of Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Several statistical tests were used to analyze the data. …