Date of Award


Document Type

USM Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Goryunova

Second Advisor

Jennifer Mull-Brooks


LOS, Leadership Studies, Team Participation, Peer Motivation, Female Athletes, Women's Sports


The research investigates the impact of athletics and the leadership development of female athletes in comparison to female non-athletes. The study provides information on leadership traits and qualities female athletes gain from participating in a team sport and how these behaviors aid them in other aspects outside the athletic realm. The study follows a qualitative approach to gain insight into the individual experiences of both female athletes and non-athletes, then compare responses to draw conclusions and interpret the information collected. This research adds to pre-existing literature on leadership in athletics from the perspective of the participants themselves and not from a coach or athletic director’s standpoint. The study’s objective is to gain perspective from athletes on their leadership abilities and the influence they have on their team to understand how leadership presents itself amongst a team and how this environment impacts athletes outside of their sport. Keywords: female athlete, female non-athlete, athletics, team sports, leadership development, traits, qualities, behaviors.