Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Department


First Advisor

Lindsay Hastings

Date of this Version

Summer 6-2022


Krimm, A. (2022). Gender role congruence and self-efficacy in emerging outdoor leaders [Master's thesis, University of Nebraska- Lincoln]. University of Nebraska- Lincoln Digital Commons.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Leadership Education, Under the Supervision of Professor Lindsay Hastings. Lincoln, Nebraska: June 2022

Copyright © 2022 Audrey B. Krimm


Being a leader in the outdoors requires the competence and confidence to act and make decisions in high-risk situations. However, female leaders may experience an incongruence between the assertive decision-making expected of their leadership role and the passivity expected of their gender role, which can impact their leadership self- efficacy. The purpose of this study was to explore how gender role congruence influences the self-efficacy of male and female emerging outdoor leaders. A convergent mixed- methods design was used by triangulating self-efficacy survey data with in-depth interviews, observations, and reflective drawings from eight student outdoor leaders at a large Midwestern university’s outdoor recreation program. Multiple themes emerged from this study, with the primary result being that participants had highest self-efficacy with gender role congruent behaviors. Both engrained perceptions of gender roles in outdoor leadership and prior experiences contributed to these feelings of self-efficacy. Additionally, the results of this study indicated that women experienced low self-efficacy more often than men and faced specific challenges leading in a male-dominated space. No other known study examining gender and self-efficacy in the outdoors has used such a design, so this research brings a novel contribution to the literature and to outdoor leadership development programs.

Advisor: Lindsay Hastings