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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The intersection of athletic and racial identity of Black student -athletes at predominantly-White institutions
by Burroughs, Rahsaan, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2008, 174; 3296861
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between athletic identity and the racial identity of Black student-athletes at predominantly White institutions. The researcher set out to contribute to the gap in both the research and practitioner literature on the Black student-athlete experience. In addition, the author hoped to add to the literature on Black racial identity development by examining it in the context of athletic identity. Existing literature supports that the experience of Black college students is still different in relation to their majority group peers. Additionally, experts agree that the experiences of Division I student-athletes are vastly different than their nonathlete peers. The seminal work on Nigrescence theory, as well as successive updates to the theory by William Cross formed the theoretical foundation for the study. A diverse population of Division I student-athletes from eight universities formed the population for this study. The student-athletes represented both genders and a variety of years of participation, sizes of universities, and types of sports. The student-athletes were given two surveys that measured their Black racial identity and their athletic identity. The statistical analysis utilized did not support a relationship between the Black racial identity attitudes and athletic identity, years of participation and type of sports team across all three research questions, due in part to a trend in the data that reduced variation of responses within the population. However, when interpreted through the lens of Cross's theory of Nigrescence, there was a relationship between the two variables in the study.

The primary conclusion was, per Cross's theory of Nigrescence, the data appeared to demonstrate that athletic identity can serve the same function as an internalization stage Black racial identity. The secondary conclusion was the strength of the athletic reference group seemed to impact Black student-athletes, regardless of the degree of their athletic identity, and final conclusion was despite the potential lack of exploration of other forms of identity, a socialized athletic identity seemed to contribute to the psychosocial development of the Black student-athletes in this study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bridges, Brian
Commitee: Greenberg, Joseph, Konwerski, Peter, Walker, Michael, Yen, Cherng-Jyh
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Leadership and Administration
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 69/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Black studies, Educational administration
Keywords: Athletes, Athletic identity, Black student-athletes, Racial identity, Student development, Student-athletes
Publication Number: 3296861
ISBN: 978-0-549-42606-6
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