“Mean Mugging”: Exploring Young Aboriginal Women’s Experiences of Bullying in Team Sport

  • Author / Creator
    Kentel, Jennifer L
  • Youth bullying is a global epidemic that has garnered recent interest among researchers (Dukes, Stein, & Zane, 2009; Espelage & Swearer, 2003; Murray-Harvey, Slee & Taki, 2010). Research (e.g., Carlyle & Steinman, 2007; Lemstra, Rogers, Redgate, Garner, & Moraros, 2011) suggests that Aboriginal youth are more likely to be bullied, and at a rate higher than that of the Canadian national average. Sport has been identified as a possible mechanism for decreasing the probability of bullying victimization (Collot D’Escury & Dudink, 2010), but few researchers have explored the experiences of bullying in sports, and therefore there is limited in-depth data to support such claims. Research suggests that Aboriginal youth stop participating in youth sport between junior high and high school (Schinke et al., 2010). Given the well-documented benefits of sport, it is critical to engage in sport research that has the potential to contribute to a body of literature that can enhance sport opportunities for Aboriginal youth. The purpose of this qualitative description study was to explore young Aboriginal women’s experiences of bullying in team sport. Eight young Aboriginal women, between fourteen and eighteen years old, were purposefully selected to participate. At the time of the study, they all had played a team sport within the last two years within a major urban centre in Alberta. Each participant engaged in an individual semi-structured interview, which was subsequently transcribed and analyzed by a content analysis. Participants then engaged in one-on-one interviews to confirm the research findings. The participants’ experiences of bullying are represented by five main themes: (1)“Mean Mugging,” (2) “No Passing”, (3) “Happens All the Time”, (4) “Stronger Together”, and (5) “Active Coaches”. The experiences shared by participants suggest that bullying occurs frequently within team sports, and their detailed descriptions shed light on a broad range of bullying experiences. Participants also described how team bonding and active coaches can serve as potential solutions to team bullying. Findings from this research highlight the voices of young Aboriginal women and subsequently contribute to the emerging bullying literature.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Janice Causgrove Dunn (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Christina Rinaldi (Educational Psychology)
    • McHugh, Tara-Leigh (Physical Education and Recreation)