Date of Graduation

12-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Recreation and Sport Management (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Merry Moiseichik

Committee Member

Leah Henry

Second Committee Member

Sarah Stokowski

Third Committee Member

Wen-Juo Lo

Keywords

Social sciences; Education; Athletic identity; Career maturity; College athletics; Student-athlete; Women's basketball

Abstract

This study explored the relationship between the athletic identity and career maturity of women’s basketball student-athletes. Differences in athletic identity and career maturity were also investigated based on a women’s basketball student-athlete’s level of competition, race, year in school, socioeconomic status, and professional athletic career aspirations. In order to examine the relationship between these variables, a convenience sample of 209 women’s basketball student-athletes from NCAA Division I (n = 62), NCAA Division II (n = 40), NCAA Division III (n = 50), and NAIA (n = 57) institutions located in the southeastern region of the United States participated in the study. Participants completed the Career Maturity Inventory-Revised Attitude Scale, the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale, and a demographic questionnaire. From the analyses, it was found that for women’s basketball student-athletes, stronger identification with the athletic role is associated with lower levels of career maturity. It was also found that NCAA Division I student-athletes had significantly higher levels of athletic identity and significantly lower levels of career maturity than Division II student-athletes. Likewise, student-athletes that planned to pursue a professional basketball career (n = 76) displayed significantly higher levels of athletic identity and significantly lower levels of career maturity than those that do not (n = 133). However, study results did not find any statistically significant differences in athletic identity or career maturity based on a women’s basketball student-athlete’s race, year in school, or socioeconomic status. Future research should explore an interaction of psychological variables that may affect the relationship of athletic identity and career maturity of women’s basketball student-athletes as well as investigate the athletic identity and career maturity of female student-athletes from other sports where there is a potential to compete professionally.

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