Recent Research

Women in the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Here we provide an evidence-based look at what is known about women’s leadership and participation in the Bejing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, along with an examination of media coverage. This is the eigth report in the series that follows the progress of women in the Olympic and Paralympic movement.

Women in the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games: An Analysis of Participation, Leadership and Media Coverage

50 Years of Title IX: We’re Not Done Yet

This report is grounded in the rich history of Title IX and takes a multi-dimensional look at its impact. The report is based on a rigorous literature review and original research using publicly available data sets. The focus is primarily on the enforcement of Title IX in athletics and the three major areas that should be reviewed in ongoing and regular Title IX audits: athletic participation opportunities, allocation of athletic scholarship funding, and allocation of resources in operational areas. The report examines Title IX through the lens of intersectionality, explores emerging issues, and looks ahead to what is needed to accelerate the pace of change for the next 50 years.

50 Years of Title IX: We’re Not Done Yet Executive Summary

Title IX Fast Facts

50 Years of Title IX: We're Not Done Yet

Women in the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Here we provide an evidence-based look at what is known about women’s leadership and participation in the Toyko 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games (held in Summer 2021), along with an examination of media coverage. This is the seventh report in the series that follows the progress of women in the Olympic and Paralympic movement.

Women in the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games: An Analysis of Participation, Leadership and Media Coverage

Coaching Through a Gender Lens

A breakthrough study that examines the intersection of girls’ sports development with their “current day” experiences and the impact of coaches, through the voices of girls, their parents, and experts in girls’ development and sports.

In partnership with Nike’s Social & Community Impact division, Coaching through a Gender Lens examines girls’ own personal experiences in sport and the degree to which specific coaching practices/experiences impact their participation, motivation, and retention. The findings also highlight the major cultural, environmental, and policy-based barriers that contribute to the gender gap in sport, and the ways in which youth sports organizations serving girls can successfully meet their needs and foster their continued engagement in sport.

Coaching Through a Gender Lens Executive Summary
Power of Parents Research Brief
Coaching Through a Gender Lens Official Press Release here.
Coaching Through a Gender Lens Key Findings Illustration
Coaching Through a Gender Lens Infographic

Coaching Through a Gender Lens Report .pdf (2mb)

How Tennis Influences Youth Development

How Tennis Influences Youth Development builds on two previous research projects — More Than a Sport: Tennis, Education & Health (2013) and Teen Sport in America: Why Participation Matters (2018) — that view teen sports as an educational tool and public health asset.

Deborah Slaner Larkin, through the MARGARET Fund at the WSF commissioned the WSF to update the data from More Than a Sport and, as it specifically relates to tennis, build on the findings of the Teen Sport Report by examining participation and retention levels as well as what combination of sports is associated with the best academic, social, health, and behavioral outcomes among adolescents.

Tennis Report Executive Summary

Tennis Report Fact Sheet

Full Report

Women in the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

Here we provide an evidence-based look at what is known about women’s leadership and participation in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This is the sixth report in the series that follows the progress of women in the Olympic and Paralympic movement.

2018 Olympic and Paralympic Report Executive Summary

2018 Olympic and Paralympic Report Fact Sheet

Women in the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games: An Analysis of Participation, Leadership and Media Coverage

Teen Sport in America

The Women’s Sports Foundation commissioned the Teen Sport in America: Why Participation Matters report to better understand the impact of sports participation on teen health, well-being and academic achievement.

WSF offers a “Teen Sport in America” toolkit to help organizations utilize this data to communicate the importance of youth sports participation. To request a copy, contact Kristen Gowdy.

Teen Sport in America Executive Summary.
Teen Sport in America Fact Sheet.

Teen Sport in America: Why Participation Matters Full Report

Her Life Depends On It III

Her Life Depends On It III is the Women’s Sports Foundation’s comprehensive report that reviews existing and emerging research on the links between participation in sport and physical activity and the health and wellbeing of American girls and women. As with the previous editions in 2004 and 2009, this study also confirms that physical activity and sport provides the critical foundation, in no small part, that allows girls and women to lead healthy, strong, and fulfilled lives. Ten years since its first publication, the updated Her Life Depends On It provides an even more comprehensive review of the ever-expanding body of research that demonstrates how important it is for girls and women to participate in sport and physical activity. The report’s contents reflect the review of 1,500 studies, nearly 400 covered since the previous edition.

Read the Her Life Depends On It III Executive Summary here.
Read the Her Life Depends On It III Official Press Release here.

 

To assist readers who have specific interests, the WSF has created a series of Research Briefs from Her Life Depends On It III on the following topics:

Academic Progress and Sports and Physical Activity
Collegiate Coaching and Athletic Administration
Concussions
Female Athletes and Knee Injuries
Female Athlete Triad
Girls and Women of Color in Sports and Physical Activity
Health Factors Impacted by Sports and Physical Activity
Women in Sports Leadership

Her Life Depends On It III Full Report (PDF 1540k)