Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Suzanne Lease

Committee Member

Elin Ovrebo

Committee Member

Sara Bridges

Committee Member

Leigh Harrell-Williams


Transgender athletes face discrimination based on negative societal attitudes in many life arenas; they particularly confront prejudice in the arena of sport. This study examined the attitudes of some of the most influential people in an athlete’s life, coaches. The study examined coach gender, conformity to masculinity norms (particularly hegemonic masculinity norms of power over women and heterosexual self-presentation), and level of physical contact in sport as related to negative attitudes toward transgender athletes. In light of the recent spate of anti-transgender legislation focusing on transwomen athletes, attitudes toward directionality of transition within transgender athletes were also investigated. Data were obtained from 156 coaches across the United States, who coached a variety of sports at different levels of competition. The findings indicated that stronger adherence to masculine norms was associated with stronger negative attitudes toward transgender athletes. Male coaches were more likely than female coaches to have negative attitudes toward transgender athletes although this relationship was not moderated by adherence to hegemonic masculinity norms of power over women and heterosexual self-presentation. Coaches’ attitudes toward transgender athletes varied based on the direction of the transition, with transgender women athletes facing more prejudice. No difference was found between coaches of collision, contact, and non-contact sports on their attitudes toward transgender athletes. Implications from these results include using targeted interventions toward coaches and athletic administrators to reduce transgender athlete prejudice and promote inclusivity.


Data is provided by the student

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access