Socialization of Black and White High School Football Players in the Southeastern United States

Kyrstin Krist, Methodist University, USA

Theme: Social and cultural diversity

Poster Number: 140

Program ID: POS-2

Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Studies conducted on socialization into football have been with participants from White middle to upper SES backgrounds. Findings of the studies (Fredricks & Eccles, 2004; Greendorfer, 1992) suggest that parents, particularly the father, are the major socializers. The influence on decisions to participate in sport and resources provided for talent development will likely differ for Black athletes. The current study examined 201 Black and 43 White high school football players from the Southeast. All participants completed a survey regarding motives to participate in football, graduate from high school, attend college, and confidence to play at the college and professional levels. Questions were designed to determine the degree of influence of specific socializing agents. Separate 2 (race) x 2 (SES) MANOVA’s were conducted to determine statistical differences in motives for all the variables within the questionnaire. The alpha level was set conservatively at p < .01 due to the number of tests conducted. Univariate ANOVA’s were conducted to follow up significant results. Several racial differences emerged. For Black football players, the mother was the most important socializing agent, reason to graduate from high school, and aspire to attend college. Differences emerged regarding motives to participate in football, including pleasing parents, upward mobility, and staying out of trouble. Black players participated at almost double the rate of the White players in the community and school levels prior to high school. The confidence of the Black athletes to participate in football at the various levels (collegiate up to NFL) only decreased slightly as the level of competition increased; whereas, the confidence of the White athletes decreased as the level of competition increased. A significant difference was found for Black athletes and confidence to play in the NFL.

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