Elliot, D. L., Miller, K., Markel, G., Druschella, R., McGinnis, W., DeFrancesco, C., Sadler, D., Moe, E., Kuehl, K., & Goldberg, L. (2011). Female and male high-school athletes differ in their psychological profiles. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5). Supplement abstract 3238.

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This study compared the psychological profiles of female (N = 431; soccer, volleyball, cross-country) and male (N = 397; soccer, football, cross-country) high school athletes. A 45-minute anonymous survey using validated indices of psychological well-being was administered to female and male athletes from a range of sports across nine high schools.

Significant differences were observed for most psychological dimensions. Anxiety, home-stress, and peer-related stress were not different by gender. Males had significantly greater self-esteem, aggression, and a win-at-all-cost attitude than females. Female athletes had greater feelings of depression, disordered eating, fatigue, and stress due to lack of time.

Implication. Female and male high-school athletes differ in psychological profiles. Training programs with mixed genders most likely would compromise the quality of experience for athletes of both genders.

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