Using social identity mapping to understand the implications of student-athlete group compatibility
Social Identity refers to the extent to which people define themselves based on the groups to which they belong (Tajfel, 1981). Despite an extensive body of literature spanning several fields of psychology, most research on social identity has involved membership with only one group. Considering that humans are a social species, often belonging to several groups concurrently, investigating implications for multiple memberships is warranted. The purpose of this study was to explore social identity compatibility in interuniversity athletes, with a specific interest in assessing associations with quality of life and academic and athletic performance. A total of 235 interuniversity athletes (57% female; Mage = 19.98 years; SD = 1.77) completed an online social identity mapping tool (oSIM; Cruwys et al., 2016), and questionnaires assessing the criterion variables. Results indicated that two mediation models were statistically significant. First, general health quality mediated the relationships between the proportion of very incompatible groups and individual perceived athletic performance. Second, a specific dimension within health quality, emotional health quality, also mediated the relationships between the proportion of very incompatible groups and perceived athletic performance. These results are discussed in terms of both their theoretical and practical implications within the thesis. However, as a generally summary, our findings suggest the importance of experiencing harmony among group memberships, and that this is particularly important in populations with overt group affiliations. Within the thesis, limitations are also acknowledged (i.e., cross-sectional research design) and suggestions are made to promote future research using the novel online oSIM tool in sport.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/26495
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