Athletic Identity Transformation: A Qualitative Drawing Analysis of Implicit Constructions of Athletes, Girls, and the Self

Alaina C. Zanin, Summer L. Preston, Elissa Adame

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


This study utilizes a drawing analysis to elicit identity constructions of two groups of youth in a large metropolitan area located in the Southwestern United States. These two groups were girls, aged 8–12, who either (a) enrolled and participated in a sports program or (b) did not enroll in the program and did not participate in sports (N = 25). Participants were asked to draw images of an athlete, a girl, and themselves, then explain the images to interviewers. A drawing analysis (i.e., an iterative content analysis of participant drawings) revealed differences in implicit notions of what identity characteristics each group of participants attributed to athletes and girls. Analysis also revealed group differences in either similarity or divergence among the three drawings, indicating higher or lower levels of identification with athletes and gender among groups. Implications for the relationship between athletic and feminine identification and girls’ participation in youth sport are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCommunication and Sport
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • communication theory of identity
  • drawing analysis
  • gender disparities
  • identification
  • youth sport participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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