University Study Finds a Huge Gender Gap in Sports Psychology Research

New research from scholars at the Center for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne in Australia finds that large gender gaps persist in sports research. For example, the authors found that sport psychology research studies – which inform the strategies athletes use to reach peak performance – have predominantly used male participants.

In examining 600 sport psychology research papers between 2010 and 2020 on topics such as physical and mental health, personality and motivation, coaching and athlete development, leadership, and mental skills, researchers found that 62 percent of the nearly 260,000 participants in the studies were men and boys. Further, around 22 percent of the sport psychology studies examined had samples with only male participants. In contrast, this number was just 7 percent for women and girls. The findings showed that the likelihood of including male rather than female participants in sport psychology studies was almost four times as high as for exercise psychology.

The authors state that “women may experience sport and exercise differently from men. As in other areas of medicine, an evidence base that’s predominately informed by men’s experiences and bodies will lead to insufficient, ineffective outcomes and recommendations for women.”

Filed Under: Research/Study

RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply