Event Title

Relationship between Strength of Student Athletes' Identity and Quality of Academic Experiences

Poster Number

18

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom

Start Date

24-4-2015 3:20 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 4:50 PM

Description

Being a student and athlete can create role conflict, with the demands of one role making it difficult to meet the demands of the other (Marx, Huffmon, & Doyle, 2008; Settles, Sellers, & Damas, 2002). We examined college student-athletes’ identities and their academic experiences. We hypothesized that a stronger athletic identity would result in poorer academic performance and that male athletes would have a stronger athletic identity than female athletes. Participants were 80 current Division One student-athletes who were equally divided between gender, race (African-American and Caucasian), and sports teams (basketball, soccer, and volleyball). These athletes responded to established scales related to their academic and athletic identities (i.e., Cieslak, 2004; Rivera, 2004). In general, our results revealed that athletes who felt positively about sports also felt more positively about their academic experiences. In addition, the more important athletes felt it was to perform well in school, the more academic support they felt they received from their teams. These findings may reflect the fact that success or stress in one arena is likely to have implications for the other arena. Gender emerged as an influential variable. Male athletes seemed to enjoy their sports and focus less on academics, while female athletes were more focused on academic performance and found less enjoyment from sports participation. One possible reason is the prestige that male athletes have on campus and their greater likelihood of continuing to play sports post-college. These data may be useful as athletes and coaches seek strategies to help student-athletes succeed.

Comments

Presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, March 2015

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Apr 24th, 3:20 PM Apr 24th, 4:50 PM

Relationship between Strength of Student Athletes' Identity and Quality of Academic Experiences

Richardson Ballroom

Being a student and athlete can create role conflict, with the demands of one role making it difficult to meet the demands of the other (Marx, Huffmon, & Doyle, 2008; Settles, Sellers, & Damas, 2002). We examined college student-athletes’ identities and their academic experiences. We hypothesized that a stronger athletic identity would result in poorer academic performance and that male athletes would have a stronger athletic identity than female athletes. Participants were 80 current Division One student-athletes who were equally divided between gender, race (African-American and Caucasian), and sports teams (basketball, soccer, and volleyball). These athletes responded to established scales related to their academic and athletic identities (i.e., Cieslak, 2004; Rivera, 2004). In general, our results revealed that athletes who felt positively about sports also felt more positively about their academic experiences. In addition, the more important athletes felt it was to perform well in school, the more academic support they felt they received from their teams. These findings may reflect the fact that success or stress in one arena is likely to have implications for the other arena. Gender emerged as an influential variable. Male athletes seemed to enjoy their sports and focus less on academics, while female athletes were more focused on academic performance and found less enjoyment from sports participation. One possible reason is the prestige that male athletes have on campus and their greater likelihood of continuing to play sports post-college. These data may be useful as athletes and coaches seek strategies to help student-athletes succeed.