Heterosexist Attitudes and Team Cohesion in Women’s Collegiate Athletics


  • Elizabeth M. Mullin Springfield College




homophobia, homonegativism, group dynamics, sport


The purpose of the current study was to establish the nature of the quantitative relationship between heterosexist attitudes and team cohesion. The researcher also examined how individual factors of the multidimensional constructs of heterosexist attitudes and team cohesion substantiate that association using the Social Identity Approach (Abrams & Hogg, 2004; Hogg & Abrams, 1988) as the theoretical framework. A canonical correlational analysis revealed a significant negative correlation between the four subscales of the Heterosexist Attitudes in Sport—Lesbian scale (Mullin, 2013) and the four subscales of the Group Environment Questionnaire (Carron, Widmeyer, & Brawley, 1985) in a national sample (N = 621) of female collegiate student-athletes, Λ = .91, p < .001, η2 = .07. As heterosexist attitudes increased, perception of team cohesion decreased. The Language Behaviors and Inclusion Behaviors subscales of the HAS-L and the task components of the GEQ were the strongest contributors to the relationship among the constructs. By developing and supporting inclusive environments, coaches and administrators may be reducing harmful heterosexist attitudes that are disruptive to achieving the team’s objective.


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Author Biography

  • Elizabeth M. Mullin, Springfield College
    The author is with the Department of Physical Education and Health Education, Springfield College, Springfield, MA.




How to Cite

Mullin, E. M. (2016). Heterosexist Attitudes and Team Cohesion in Women’s Collegiate Athletics. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 9(1), 90-105. https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.2015-0009