Disconnected Dyads: the Distressed Dynamics of the Coach/Athlete Relationship in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Intercollegiate Athletes

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Date

2016-05-05

Authors

Miranda, Lauren

Advisors

Murphy, Karen
Long, Janie
Dale, Gregory Alan

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Abstract

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) athletes face a complex and heterosexist culture in athletics, maintained by stereotypes and harassment, that impacts them negatively: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Theories of social change suggest that their coaches can play an invaluable role in remedying this culture—starting with forging meaningful and supportive relationships with the athlete themselves. This study explored coach-athlete dynamics in various domains and in comparison to ideals as reported by a sample of LGB-identified, intercollegiate athletes using the Coach Athlete Relationship Questionnaire (CART-Q) and interview questions. It was hypothesized that the relationships between LGB-identified athletes and their coaches would be weakened and would show a significant disconnect between the athlete's reported ideal coaching relationship and their actual relationship. Results provide evidence to support these hypotheses, and show that LGB-identified athletes show weaker relationships with their coaches than other coach-athlete dyads. These athletes feel that they are missing various components of an ideal coach-athlete relationship as it pertains to trust, respect, and understanding of their identity. They suggest that this impacts their personal well-being, their performance as athletes, and their overall satisfaction on their team and in their sport. These findings imply that coaches need to take a more active role in creating an inclusive culture on their team through building more effective relationships and attempting to understand the different challenges that face their LGB-identified athletes.

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Citation

Miranda, Lauren (2016). Disconnected Dyads: the Distressed Dynamics of the Coach/Athlete Relationship in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Intercollegiate Athletes. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11976.


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