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ERIC Number: ED513650
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 163
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-8250-5
A Study of the Experiences of Black College Female Student Athletes at a Predominantly White Institution
Harmon, Noel Suzanne
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Iowa
The purpose of this study was to gather descriptive data on the experiences of Black female student athletes. A better understanding of the experiences of Black female student athletes as students, as athletes, and as developing young women may help student affairs practitioners better understand their collegiate experience; provide them with information to make decisions about student affairs programs, policies, services, and practices; and offer a subgroup of students who have historically been underrepresented in research an opportunity to share their stories. The study addressed the following research question: What are the college experiences of Black female student athletes during athletic eligibility at a large, predominantly White, Division I, Midwestern, public university? Eight Black female eligible college student athletes were purposefully selected to participate in the qualitative study. Participants' ages ranged from 18-23 years and they self-identified as Black (n = 3), Caribbean (n = 3), and West Indian (n = 2). The women participated in both individual and team sports. Participants participated in two hour-long interviews. Data were coded and analyzed into categories. A process analysis enabled the key themes from the findings to be identified. Credibility and dependability were accounted through member checks and the use of three outside auditors. Four major themes emerged: unfulfilled expectations during the college experience as an athlete, student, and developing young person; perceptions of being treated differently than her White female peers; complex relationships that deeply impacted participants' experiences in college both positively and negatively; and positive and negative forms of resistance in which participants' engaged in response to experiences during college. Five implications for student affairs practiced were introduced: cultural competence, validating experiences of racism, collaboration with athletics, climate issues at PWIs, and Black female role models. Four programming considerations were also discussed: Afrocentric models of development, race- and gender-specific programming, cross-racial and intra-relationship building, and broadened involvement. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A