Psychological Gender and Emotional Intelligence in Youth Female Soccer Players

Open access


Many sports (for instance soccer) are stereotypically perceived as a male activity. Even so, more and more women decide to become competitive athletes. Since the theory of sport requires comprehensive explanations and the practice of sport needs clear guidelines, interdisciplinary studies into the nature of sport, including its psychological aspects, are necessary. Analysing the psychological profile of female soccer players, particularly those who are about to become professional athletes, can provide many interesting insights into the specific character of female youth sport and show where improvements can be made in athletic training programmes (especially in mental training). It is therefore important to study psychological gender that determines social behaviours and to analyse female athletes’ emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is defined as a set of emotional competencies that determine the effectiveness of human behaviours. Psychological gender and emotional intelligence have a significant effect on human adaptability and the efficiency of psychosocial functioning. This research was undertaken with the dual purpose of identifying the psychological gender and emotional intelligence of female soccer players. It involved 54 secondary-school girls, some of whom attended a sports class and others played on the Polish national team. The following tools were used to carry out the research: the Gender Assessment Inventory (IPP [This and the other acronyms derive from the Polish language]-developed by Kuczyńska) and the Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (INTE; created by Jaworowska and Matczak). As shown by the analysis of the results, most female soccer players in the study were androgynous and the level of their emotional intelligence was significantly higher than in other participants. This also seems to point to their significantly greater adaptability. At the same time, the level of emotional intelligence in many players was average or low, which seems insufficient and calls for adequate intervention measures to be taken.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Bem SL. The measurement of psychological androgyny. J Consult Clin Psych 1974; 42(2): 155-162

  • Bem SL. Gender schema theory: a cognitive account of sex typing. Psychol Rev 1981; 88(4): 354-364

  • Chan JT Mallett CJ. The value of emotional intelligence for high performance coaching. Int J Sport Sci & Coaching 2011; 6(3): 315-328

  • Goleman D. Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books; 1995

  • Guillet E Sarrazin P Fontayne P. If it contradicts my gender role I'll stop! Introducing survival analysis to study the effects of gender typing in the time of withdrawal from sport practice: a 3-year study. Eur Rev Appl Psychol 2000: 50(4): 417-421

  • Guillet E Sarrazin P Fontayne P Brustad RJ. Understanding female sport attrition in a stereotypical male sport within the framework of eccles’s expectancy – value model. Psychol Women Quart 2006; 30: 358-368

  • Hjelm J. The bad female football player: women’s football In Sweden. Soccer & Society 2011; 12(2): 143-158

  • Jaworowska A Matczak A. Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire INTE. Study book (in Polish). Warszawa: PTP; 2001

  • Jeanes R. I’m into high heels and make up but I still love football: exploring gender identity and football participation with preadolescent girls. Soccer & Society 2011; 12(3): 402-420

  • Koh E. Chains challenges and changes: the making of women’s football in Korea. Soccer & Society 2003; 1(6): 67-79

  • Kuczyńska A. Psychological Gender Inventory (in Polish). Warszawa: PTP; 1992

  • Lane AM Devonport TJ Soos I Karsai I Leibinger E Hamar P. Emotional intelligence and emotions associated with optimal and dysfunctional athletic performance. J Sport Sci & Med 2010; 9: 388-392

  • Meyer BB Fletcher TB. Emotional intelligence: a theoretical overview and implications for research and professional practice in sport psychology. J Appl Sport Psychol 2007; 19: 1-15

  • Mills A Butt J Maynard I Harwood Ch. Identifying factors perceived to influence the development of elite youth football academy players. J Sport Sci 2012; 30(15): 1593-1605

  • Milyak A College R. Coaching women. Additional curriculum is needed. Soccer Journal 2010; 1(3-4): 51

  • Mroczkowska H. Cultural gender schemes vs. emotional parameters of men and women functioning in professional athletics. Biol Sport 2005; 22(3): 271-279

  • Perets Sh Levy M Galily Y. National and gender identity perceptions among female football players in Israel. Soccer & Society 2011; 12(2): 228-248

  • Ratna A. Who wants to make aloo gobi when you can bend it like Beckham? British Asian females and their racialised experiences of gender and identity in women’s football. Soccer & Society 2011; 12(3): 382-401

  • Rutkowska K Gierczuk D. Selected cognitive and emotional resources of untrained youth and young wrestlers. Pol J Sport Tourism 2012; 19: 190-201

  • Sadri G. Improving emotional intelligence. Ind Manag 2013; 1: 18-22

  • Salovey P Mayer JD. Emotional intelligence. Imagination Cognition and Personality 1990; 9: 185-211

  • Schutte NS Malouff JM Hall LE Haggerty DJ Cooper JT Golden ChJ Dornheim L. Development and validation of a measure of emotional intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences 1998; 25: 167-177

  • Soroka A Bergier J. Sense of gender identity in women practicing football with consideration of the formation. Pol J Sport Tourism 2011; 18: 45-58

  • Stirling L Schulz J. Women’s Football: still in the hand of men. Sport Manag Int J 2011; 7(2): 53-78

  • Subotnik R Edmiston A Cook L Ross M. Mentoring for talent development creativity social skills and insider knowledge: The APA Catalyst Program. J Adv Acad 2010; 21(4): 714-739

  • Wiliński W. Gender identity in female football players. Hum Movement 2012; 13(1): 40-47

  • Zamanian F Haghighi M Forouzandeh E Sedighi Z Salehian MH. A comparison of emotional intelligence in elite student athletes and non-athletes. Ann of Biol Res 2011; 2(6): 179-183

Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.414
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.858

CiteScore 2018: 1.60

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.644
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.941

Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 379 171 6
PDF Downloads 253 126 4