Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education in Recreation and Sport Management (MEd)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Sarah Stokowski

Committee Member

Stephen Dittmore

Second Committee Member

Heather Blunt-Vinti

Keywords

College Athletics, College Sports, College Student-Athletes, Discrimination, NCAA, Self-Perception

Abstract

Self-perception is the level of competency at which individuals evaluate themselves in certain areas or domains (Marsh & Shavelson, 1985). An individual’s self-perceptions contribute to their global self-worth, and even predict performance (Cuellar, 2014; Harter & Neemann, 2012). Self-perception is an increasingly popular area of study, and there is a gap in the research as it pertains to college student-athletes (Harter & Neemann, 2012). This study measures self- perception scores, as well as experiences with racial discrimination, of 306 NCAA Division I student-athletes using the Self-Perception Profile for College Students (Harter & Neemann, 2012). Scores are compared across race/ethnicity and gender. Findings suggest that White student-athletes have significantly higher self-perception scores than racial minorities, and recent discrimination (discrimination experiences within the last year) is a significant predictor of multiple areas of self-perception. Results also indicate significant gender differences exist in several areas of self-perception. The implications of this study prompt faculty, and other campus stakeholders to pursue positive relationships with the student-athletes they encounter. Positive relationships between student-athletes and faculty can help raise student-athlete self-perceptions, and in turn, performance in a variety of areas.

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