Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Don't Mistake An Athlete For A 'Toxic Jock'

Date:
June 1, 2009
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
A rose by any other name is still a rose, but is an athlete by another name...a jock?

A rose by any other name is still a rose, but is an athlete by another name…a jock?

Related Articles


"The terms 'athlete' and 'jock' are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are really descriptions of two distinct sport-related identities," says University at Buffalo researcher Kathleen E. Miller, Ph.D. "In terms of goal orientations toward sports and conformity to gender norms, these two identities represent very different perspectives and may be associated with different behaviors."

Miller, a research scientist at UB's Research Institute on Addictions, explained that the differences between the jock identity and the athlete identity may have implications for health-risk behavior. To some extent at least, jocks may constitute a specialized -- and problematic -- subset of athletes. Research by Miller and others is exploring a "toxic jock" model that links involvement in high-status, high-profile sports with rigid adherence to stereotypical expectations of masculinity, a tolerance for risk and health-compromising behaviors such as substance use and unsafe sex.

The practical implications of these findings are clear: developing ways to help sports participants generate "athlete" (rather than "jock") identities could potentially help buffer adolescents and young adults against health-compromising behaviors.

Miller's Athletic Involvement Study surveyed 581 college students with histories of organized sports participation to rate how strongly they saw themselves (or believed others saw them) as athletes or as jocks. Only 18 percent of students strongly identified with the identity of "jock," while 55 percent strongly identified with the identity of "athlete." In fact, students were twice as likely to reject the jock label.

Self-identified athletes tended to be task-oriented; they defined sport success in terms of skills development and mastery and the pursuit of personal excellence, Miller found. Jocks were more ego-oriented; they defined sport success by comparing their own performance to that of others.

Endorsement of stereotypical masculine norms in the study was also stronger among jocks than among athletes. Students who identified strongly as jocks were likely to support "masculine" attitudes about violence, sex, winning, dominance and risk-taking; those who identified strongly as athletes supported some of these attitudes (commitment to winning) but actively rejected others ("playboy" attitudes about sex) and were neutral on the rest (propensity for violence, dominance and risk-taking).

Both sport-related identities were stronger among men than among women. Two thirds (68 percent) of men and 39 percent of women surveyed identified themselves as athletes. Twenty-five percent of men and only eight percent of women identified themselves as jocks.

These results were published in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of Sport Behavior.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "Don't Mistake An Athlete For A 'Toxic Jock'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601140928.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2009, June 1). Don't Mistake An Athlete For A 'Toxic Jock'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601140928.htm
University at Buffalo. "Don't Mistake An Athlete For A 'Toxic Jock'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601140928.htm (accessed April 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins