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Date of Award
Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Retirement from competitive collegiate athletics can create a unique challenge for student-athletes. Throughout sport participation, student-athletes are not able to devote as much time and energy to developing interpersonal, academic, and life skills outside of their sport. Individuals with a one-dimensional self-identity as an athlete are at higher risk of struggling to transition out of sport, especially if they are separated from participation due to non-normative causes such as injury, academic reasons, or being cut from the team. The purpose of the study is to evaluate whether retiring student-athletes experience decreased life satisfaction due to the cause of retirement from sport and perceived organizational support from their academic institution. A nationwide sample included 71 participants from all three National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) divisions. Student-Athletes that have retired in the past 12 months provided demographic information and responded to surveys detailing their utilization of support services, athletic self-appraisal (ASAS), athletic identity (AIMS), satisfaction with life (SWLS), perceived organizational support (SPOS), and significant life events (LESCA). The results indicated significant SPOS score differences between student-athletes that utilized support services (career services, meeting with coaches, counseling services, sport psychology consulting, lecture on student-athlete retirement, or group meeting with other retiring student-athletes) versus those who did not utilize support services. Student-athletes noted an increased need for support services to help them transition out of sport indicating greatest interest in: career planning (54%), meeting with retiring student-athletes (51%), sport psychology services (39%), and class/lecture on student-athlete retirement (38%). No significant differences were found between scholarship status (full/partial or none), Division (I, II, or III), or sport (volleyball, track/cross-country, or swimming/diving) on the ASAS, AIMS, SWLS, SPOS, or LESCA. Limitations to the present study are discussed and suggestions for future research are provided.
Knackstedt, Paul T. (2015). Perceived organizational support of collegiate student-athletes transitioning out of sport and the influence on life satisfaction (Doctoral dissertation, Pacific University). Retrieved from: