Male and female adolescents, Observation and interviews, Psychological and fitness components, Soccer, Tactical, Technical


The history of association soccer dates back to the 1800's, and all indications are that prospects for the female athlete was scarce in all sports. The researcher has arranged an environment where young females can train with males in a soccer setting that has all the necessary elements for the athletes to learn, improve and compete with their own gender as well as opposite gender. The female group has been noticeable underachievers in this sport and is not aware of their potential. The research methodology is ethnographic in nature and study could easily be related to a traditional way to learn and develop in this sport. The method stresses the importance of reproducing procedures that were taught to the researcher. The employment of this method was to provide motivation and additional teaching resources to assist and enhance development of the research participant's potential. This was an ethnographic endeavor that accumulated several sources of data on 13 elite male and female athletes. Based on the data collected interpretations were made regarding their perceptions of the opposite gender. Ethnography was combined with descriptive statistics and employed to elicit and compile the data in the soccer specific testing components and the interviews. Merging techniques of observation (participant observation), field notes, video analysis, individual and group interviews were the sources of rich information for the researcher. This was a practical approach to bring out or discover any overt or covert trends, and to determine what possible barriers to learning would limit and reduce participation in the sport of soccer. The theoretical nature of the research, formal sociology is very much related to observational methods, choosing to gather data in a controlled and organized approach. The researcher's decision to tape the interview process and his preference to videotape events would thereby collect a complete and accurate account of the training progression subject matter. The results in the soccer specific testing indicated that the males were generally faster on sprint runs and had more endurance on the distance runs. However, a few of the females did better some of the males' scores in the aerobic and anaerobic events. The technical and tactical data indicated a slight improvement for the females when comparing pre and posttest results. Once more, the males were more advanced than the females. The psychological data showed the females progressed on the posttest scores. However, there was no overall male domination on the 20 categories. There are different areas on the inventory where females scored higher and other areas where the males would top the females. The interviews provided some enlightening information that confirmed aspects of male domination exist in sport and the feminist's role in sport as bringing attention to many gender issues, the positive and negative aspects of education and sport, the goals and motivation to participate in sport. Finally, the contrasting viewpoints between the American adolescent in this study and the English adolescent in Flintoff's (1993) dissertation and Flintoff and Scraton's (2001) study on physical education and gender issues. The most important finding was that learning had occurred in the training milieu. Learning was accomplished through the males' ability to facilitate the dynamics of attention and discipline required throughout the training sessions that were offered. The soccer specific test results indicated a much more motivated female group and the females' spring season was very successful; the team went undefeated in all competitions. The males in the study began to shed the superior attitude to one of more respect and tolerance of their female counterparts. The female differs emotionally from the male as the interview data illustrated and the co-education environment was both positive and productive, but there are limits to the inclusion of the female gender in the male training sessions. More planning would be necessary to assure that both groups develop. The study not only provided training and testing, but also made the participants more aware of many gender issues and how the research attempted to bridge the gap in sport between the sexes. If adopted, the psychological data could mean major benefits for the player who wants to know exactly what their strengths and weaknesses are; and when actions of strength are required and the capacity to work on weaknesses.


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Graduation Date





Rohter, Frank D.


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education


Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction








Release Date

May 2004

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic