Reference: Higginbotham, G. (2021). Can I belong in school and sports?: The intersectional value of athletic identity in high school and across the college transition. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 27(4), 613–629. https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000478
Abstract: This study investigates whether being identified with both school and sports affords benefits for Black male and female students in high school and across the transition to college. Given gendered concerns about being academically identified and cultural associations of athletics with Black masculinity, being both academically and athletically identified is expected to play a larger role in the sociocultural and academic experiences of Black male students. Method: Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen (NLSF), Study 1 (N = 1,011) employs a cross-sectional analysis of Wave 1 and Study 2 (N = 822) employs a longitudinal analysis of Waves 1–3 to test these hypotheses. Results: Identifying with athletics in high school is found to afford sociocultural benefits for academically identified Black male, but not Black female, students in the short-term and longitudinally across the college transition. In high school, Black male students identified with both academics and athletics reported greater identification with other young Black men compared to those identified with academics only (Study 1). Longitudinally, identification with athletics in high school was positively associated with sociocultural adjustment in the first year of college (e.g., interdependent studying behaviors), explained through this increased identification with young Black men (Study 2). Conclusions: Athletics is found to serve as a culturally valued identity with important benefits for Black male students’ experiences in secondary and postsecondary contexts. Although centered on athletics, these findings more broadly point to the importance of academically engaged Black students, across gender identities, being able to feel secure in their intersectional identities.
Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000478