Title: An inquiry into the perceptions of leisure-work-family conflict among female Ironman participants

Authors: Marion E. Hambrick; Jason M. Simmons; Tara Q. Mahoney

Addresses: University of Louisville, 104 Studio Arts/HPES, Louisville, KY 40292, USA ' University of Tampa, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Box 18F, Tampa, FL 33606, USA ' State University of New York College at Cortland, Professional Studies Building, Room 1111, P.O. Box 2000, Cortland, NY 13045-0900, USA

Abstract: Triathlon is one of the fastest growing niche sports in the USA (USA Triathlon, 2012). Niche sports are often characterised as lifestyle sports (Miloch and Lambrecht, 2006; Puchan, 2005), and can create inter-role conflict as athletes balance their sport participation with the demands of potentially competing roles such as spouse, parent and employee (Greenhaus and Beutell, 1985). This study examined perceptions of inter-role conflict among leisure, work and family roles with niche sport athletes-specifically female Ironman participants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 women to identify factors influencing their perceptions of inter-role conflict and how they negotiated those factors. The athletes faced obstacles such as financial commitments, time restraints and gender stereotypes, and they used their support systems comprised of family members, friends and colleagues as well as role management strategies to navigate the obstacles. Theoretical and practical findings for employers and niche sport event organisers are discussed.

Keywords: niche sports; inter-role conflict; work-family conflict; serious leisure; support systems; role management; role involvement; Ironman triathlon; female participants; women; leisure role; work role; family role; financial commitments; time restraints; gender stereotypes; employers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2013.059719

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2013 Vol.13 No.3/4, pp.173 - 199

Available online: 07 Mar 2014 *

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