Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Student-athletes' perceptions of their academic and athletic roles: Intersections amongst their athletic role, academic motivation, choice of major, and career decision making
by Mahoney, Michelle L., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2011, 222; 3483946
Abstract (Summary)

Student-athletes' academic and athletic roles both require commitment, time, energy, and effort. Managing and balancing these multiple roles not only impacts student-athletes' use of time, but also their overall college experience. The purpose of this study was to explore how collegiate student-athletes perceive their academic and athletic roles. This study gives voice to student-athletes' perceptions of their multiple roles, provides insight on how they navigate these roles, and examines the intersections between athletic role, academic motivation, choice of major, and career decision-making processes.

Qualitative interviews were conducted employing the constant comparative analytic method as a means to gain a meaningful understanding of how student-athletes perceive and experience their multiple roles. The study sample contained 18 (eight female and 10 male) student-athletes at Sunny Hills University (SHU), a large 4-year public university in Southern California. A purposeful sample technique was employed resulting in participants being either sophomore, junior, or seniors on the following SHU teams: Baseball, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Men's Golf, Women's Golf, Men's Outdoor Track, and Women's Outdoor Track.

Five overarching themes emerged from the data regarding how student-athletes perceive their academic and athletic roles: (1) Two interconnected roles; (2) Part of an elite group; (3) Athletic role is more reinforced than academic role; (4) Sensitivity to stereotypes; and (5) Career decisions: A backseat to athletics. Implications for developing a theoretical or conceptual understanding of how Role Theory and in particular role conflict, affects student-athlete and how participants' viewed their academic and athletic roles as interconnected are also highlighted. Recommendations are provided for the NCAA, academic counselors, Athletic Departments, coaches, and faculty members with the goal of encouraging these different constituencies to understand areas where their behaviors could change in order to assist student-athletes with managing the multiple responsibilities, demands, and expectations of their role.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Locks, Angela M.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 73/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Higher education
Keywords: Academic role, Athletic role, Career decisions, Motivation, Student-athletes
Publication Number: 3483946
ISBN: 978-1-124-99344-7
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