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1 INFLUENCES IN THE CAREER DEVELO PMENT OF FEMALE STUDENT-ATHLETES PURSUING A CAREER IN COLLEGIATE ATHLETICS By CLAIRE SMITH A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORI DA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010
2 2010 Claire Smith
3 To all the women of the University Athletic As sociation, for their daily perseverance as role models for the next generation of women in collegiate athletics
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank m y chair and my committee for guiding me through this process, the participants for their time and openness, and th e University Athletic Associati on for their support. I also want to express my gratitude for all individuals who provided guidance and words of wisdom.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................8ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... ...............9CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................. 11Employment Trends of Women in the NCAA ....................................................................... 11Statement of Purpose ..............................................................................................................12Conceptual Framework .......................................................................................................... .13Definitions ..............................................................................................................................14Delimitations ................................................................................................................. ..........15Significance of Study ..............................................................................................................152 REVIEW OF LITERATURE .................................................................................................16Impact of Title IX on Employment Practices in Intercollegiate Athletics ............................. 16Barriers to Entry .....................................................................................................................19Homologous Reproduction .............................................................................................. 20Gender Discrimination and Stereotyping ........................................................................ 22Work Commitment vs. Family Commitment and Imposed Gender Roles ..................... 27Factors Influencing Job Attainment and Re tention in Intercollegiate Athletics ..................... 29General Career Development Theories .................................................................................. 33Womens Career Development Theories ................................................................................ 36Social Cognitive Career Theory ............................................................................................. 39Womens Career Development and SCCT ...................................................................... 40Limitations of SCCT ....................................................................................................... 42Student-Athlete Car eer Development ..................................................................................... 42Summary ....................................................................................................................... ..........433 METHOD ........................................................................................................................ .......45Focus Group Research Design ................................................................................................ 45Limitations to the Focus Group Method ......................................................................... 46Advantages to the Focus Group Method ......................................................................... 46Participant Selection ...............................................................................................................47Procedures .................................................................................................................... ...........49Instruments ................................................................................................................... ..........50Review of Instruments ......................................................................................................... ...51Data Analysis ..........................................................................................................................52
6 4 RESULTS ....................................................................................................................... ........53Demographics of Sample ........................................................................................................53Demographics of Participants .................................................................................................55Findings ...................................................................................................................... ............58Experiences in Sport ........................................................................................................ 58Familiarity ................................................................................................................... ....60Social Networks ............................................................................................................... 61Role Models .....................................................................................................................63Delay of Entry into the Field ........................................................................................... 64Comparisons with the Pilot Study .......................................................................................... 65Similarities .................................................................................................................. .....65Differences ................................................................................................................... ...665 CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................................................... .68Common Factors of Influence ................................................................................................ 68Role Models and Mentors ...............................................................................................68Interactions with the Of fice of Student Life ....................................................................70Common Formative Experiences ........................................................................................... 71Student-Athlete Experience ............................................................................................. 71Delayed and Limited Career Development .....................................................................72Applications to the SCCT .......................................................................................................73Self Efficacy ....................................................................................................................73Outcome Expectations ..................................................................................................... 74Personal Goals .................................................................................................................76Assessment of Career Development ................................................................................ 77Implications for the Field .................................................................................................... ....77Career Development Programs at the Institutional Level ............................................... 78Building Social Networks at the Institutional Level .......................................................80NCAA Initiatives .............................................................................................................81Limitations ................................................................................................................... ...........83Recommendations for Future Research ..................................................................................84Summary ....................................................................................................................... ..........85APPENDIX A REQUEST FOR PARTICIPATION ...................................................................................... 87B INITIAL QUESTIONNAIRE ................................................................................................88C FOLLOW UP RECRUIT MENT LETTER ............................................................................89D INFORMED CONSENT ........................................................................................................90E FOCUS GROUP FACILITATOR TRANSCRIPT ................................................................ 91F DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE ..................................................................................93
7 G FOCUS GROUP FOLLOW-UP INFORMATION ................................................................ 94LIST OF REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................95BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................166H101
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Distribution of respondents by sport .................................................................................. 544-2 Distribution of respondents by college .............................................................................. 544-3 Distribution of participants by sport ..................................................................................564-4 Distribution of participants by college ...............................................................................564-5 Responses of participants to initial questionnaire. .............................................................574-6 Responses of participants to demographic questionnaire. ................................................. 58
9 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science INFLUENCES IN THE CAREER DEVELO PMENT OF FEMALE STUDENT-ATHLETES PURSUING A CAREER IN COLLEGIATE ATHLETICS By Claire Smith May 2010 Chair: May Kim Major: Sport Management Since the passage of Title IX, collegiate athl etics has experienced a sizable increase in female student-athlete particip ation and a disproportionate lo w number of females entering leadership positions in coaching and administra tion. Past research has documented the possible barriers preventing females from entering the field and negative factors leading to exit. The significance of this research was to provide ne w data on the positive factors of influence which may lead to entry. The purpose of this study was to explore factors of influence leading current female student-athletes to pursue future careers in collegiate athletics. An online request for participation was distributed to (N=262) current female student-a thletes at the University of Florida. There were a total of (N=45) initial responses and (N=12) participants in this study. Qualitative data was gathered using open-ende d questions in video-recorded focus group sessions. Five common themes emerged from the re sponses of the participants; experiences in sport, familiarity, social networks, role models, and delay of entry into the field. Conclusions of this study were derived within the key concepts of the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and personal goa ls for in-depth analysis of the career development of the participants. Recommendati ons stemming from the results of this study include introducing career development pr ograms designed for student-athletes at the
10 institutional level, focusing on building student -athletes social networks within collegiate athletics, and promoting the current initiatives sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Future resear ch is warranted using an older sample of participants already established in entry level positions (i.e. graduate assistantships and internships) in collegiate athletics.
11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Employment Trends of Women in the NCAA Prior to the implem entation of Title IX, 90% of all women's sports were coached by females. In 2006, there was a historic low of 42.4% of female coaches leading women's collegiate sports teams. The total number of fe male head coaches of intercollegiate athletics teams is currently 20.6% (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008). This underrepresentation of female head coaches in the National Collegiate Athletic Asso ciation (NCAA) has prompted researchers to investigate potential causes (Demers, 2004; Dr ago, Hennighausen, Rogers, Vescio, & Stauffer, 2005; Lough, 2001; Lovett & Lowry, 1994). The decrease in female coaches is of particular interest because the participation of females in collegiate athletics has increased exponentially with the implementation of Title IX. Since 1970, the average number of women's athletics teams per institution has increased from 2.5 to 8.65 for a total of 9,101 womens collegiate teams. In 1968, there were an estimated 16,000 female coll ege athletes compared to over 180,000 female college athletes in 2008 (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008). Researchers have suggested that those enteri ng collegiate athletics, especially coaching, should be representative of the student-athle tes who participate in the sport (Everhart & Chelladurai, 1998; Sagas, Cunningham & Teed, 2006) However, at this time of increasing female participation, there is a contrasting d ecrease in the proportion of females entering the field professionally (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008) Females are well represented as studentathletes, but not as coaches or administrators in leadership po sitions within the NCAA (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008; Lough; 2001; Rhode & Walker, 2008) Before measures can be taken to work toward gender equity, research must explore fact ors influencing successful entry into the field by female student-athletes. A pa rticipant in Rhode a nd Walkers study (2008) perhaps confronted
12 the issue most accurately: There is plenty of focus on development of female players but not much in terms of developing female coaches. [Female athletes and young assistant coaches] are not seeing enough encouragement to continue (p. 18). Statement of Purpose This study intended to explore why fem ale st udent-athletes initially pursue a career in athletics. A large portion of re search has focused on the barr iers preventing females from entering the field and even challenges keeping fe males from advancing in their career (NCAA Study 1989, 2007; Acosta & Carpenter, 1988; Drago, et al., 2005; Everhart & Chelladurai, 1998; Pastore, Inglis & Danylchuk, 1996; Sagas & Cunn ingham, 2004). However, few studies attempt to identify common factors of influence leading females to enter the field. Accordingly, researchers have documented that the majority of women assuming leadership positions Senior Woman Administrators (SWA) and Division I or II athletic directors began their careers as coaches. Also, of the identified female leaders in athletics, most were former high school and collegiate student-athletes (Teel, 2005). Thus, there is a need to sample female student-athletes, the ideal population to recruit fo r careers in collegiate athlet ics. The NCAA has examined the female student-athlete population with regard to their career in terests. Yet, this study offers mostly quantitative data as results are limited to survey responses (NCAA Study 1989; 2007). There is still a need to examine the career pathwa ys of female student-athletes as it relates to their personal, social, and envi ronmental influences. By employing qualitative methods, such as a focus group, this study partly fulfills this need for more in-depth qualitative information about the decision-making process of the subjects pursui ng a career in athletics. Once common factors of influence are identified, practit ioners may have a better unde rstanding of how to encourage and develop initial career pursuits of female student-athletes, whic h may translate into promotion to leadership positions.
13 Dena Evans, former Stanford cross count ry head coach who led her 2003 team to a national championship, perhaps best explains the experience of be ing a female student-athlete who later pursued a ca reer in coaching: I remain convinced that among the hundreds of student-athletes I have met over the course of my journey in coaching, many woul d be brilliant coaches, daily mentors, teachers, of sport and lifeWho among them will end up not making a difference in her sphere of influence because no one thought to give her the keys of access? Which student-athletes will miss out on a fantastic coach because that potential coach never thought of the profession as an appealing career direction? (2007) This study sought to identify those keys of access or the influences that current female studentathletes identify as instrumental in their decisions to pursue careers in collegiate athletics. The following research questions served as a guide for conducting this study: 1. What are common factors of influence in fe male student-athletes decision to pursue careers in collegiate athletics? 2. What formative experiences influence the proj ected career paths of current female studentathletes pursuing collegiate athletics? 3. What are the implications for collegiate athl etics to encourage cu rrent female studentathletes to pursue careers in the field? Conceptual Framework Responses of the focus group were interpre ted through the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT). As Merriam (2001) states, a central characteristic of qualitat ive research is that individuals construct reality in interaction with their social worlds (p. 37). Thus, SCCT considers personal, social, and environmental factors of infl uence emphasizing self-efficacy, outcome expectations, perceived consequences of behavior, coping mechanisms to overcome barriers, and the ability to set goals (Fitzgera ld, Fassinger, & Betz, 1995; Hackett & Byars, 1996; Lent & Brown, 1996; Stitt-Gohdes, 1997). Traditional theories of career developm ent (Holland, 1959; Parsons, 1909; Super, 1957) do not directly address career decisi ons of females, as these theories primarily relate to males.
14 Further, these theories may not relate to the at hletic population of this study. The SCCT provides a unique perspective for in-depth exploration of the career pathways of female student-athletes. This study framed the focus group questions within the key concepts of SCCT; self efficacy, outcome expectations, and estab lishing personal goals, to allow for later analysis within this frame (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1996). Definitions 1. Title IX: An educational am en dment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which stated no one, on the basis of sex, should be denied access to any educational program or activity that receives federal financial funds. This law has been extended to college athletics as many of these sponsoring institutions are federally funded. 2. National Collegiate Athletic Association (N CAA): A voluntary association with over 1,200 college and university members that organizes athletic programs 3. Homologous Reproduction: Kanters (1977) theory that the dominant group in the work force will hire individuals with similar qualities to create a predictable working environment. 4. Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT): The theory of career development created by Brown and Lent that accounts for gender, race and ethnicity influences There are three key concepts to SCCT: self efficacy, outco me expectations and personal goals. a. Self efficacy ones belief about his or her ability to succeed. Self efficacy is built through performance and accomplishm ent, physiological states, social persuasion, and vica rious learning b. Outcome expectations ones belief about the result of specific behaviors c. Personal goals the resolve to engage in a particular activity to affect an outcome 5. Interpretive Qualitative Resear ch Design: Collecting, analyz ing, and interpreting data by observing the acts of people or wh at they say. This type of res earch is subjective and refers to meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, and descriptions. The most common research designs for interpretive qualitative re search include interviews and focus groups. 6. Traditional Single Category Design: A type of focus group method in which multiple sessions are held with a targ et population to gather data The number of focus group sessions depends on when theore tical saturation is reached. 7. Theoretical saturation the point at which no new information is discovered during a focus group
15 Delimitations The subjec ts for this study were delimited to the University of Florida female student-athlete population. Significance of Study This study proposed to gain insight into the career developm ent process of those who are pursuing jobs within collegiate athletics. Such knowledge has practical implications, as the results of this study can be an educational oppo rtunity for institutions and the NCAA to better understand how to recruit female student-athletes in collegia te coaching and administration. Recruitment of females into the field is an impor tant issue, as research has illustrated increasing gender inequities (Acosta & Carp enter, 2008). At a time when fema le participation in collegiate athletics is increasing, there is a greater need fo r female representation in leadership positions. Furthermore, female student-athletes should be considered a primary source of candidates for future careers in collegiate athletics. This study also has potential implications for research, as it may lead to more longitudinal studies tracking career progression from current student-athletes to those with established careers in athletics. Although this pr oposed research can only give insight into the influences and pr ocesses in use at the University of Florida, it provides a starting point for comparisons and furthe r research to be conducted.
16 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE The purpose of this study was to gather qualitative and explorative data about why fem ale student-athletes intend to pursue a career in collegiate athletics. Females are well represented as student-athletes in the NCAA but are underrepr esented in coaching and administration. A multitude of data focuses on the barriers preventing females from entering the field and reasons why females leave the field (NCAA Study 1989, 2007; Acosta & Carpenter, 1988; Drago et al., 2005; Everhart & Chelladurai 1998; Pastore et al., 1996; Sagas & Cunningham, 2004). This chapter reviews key literature related to females employed in collegiate athletics and female student-athletes career development in this field. The first se ction reviews continuing trends of females employed as coaches or athletic administrators in the NCAA. In the second section, potential barriers to females entering the field are explored. These barriers are categorized into three subgr oups: homologous reproduction, gende r discrimination stereotyping, and work commitment versus family commitment and imposed gender roles. Next, this study explores the characteristics of females who have successfully ente red the field and maintained a career in NCAA athletics. The last two sections compile literature about career development theories, with the former focusing on general career development theories while the latter narrows its focus to the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT). Impact of Title IX on Employment Pr actices in Intercollegiate Athletics Title IX of the Education Am endments of 1972 established that all individuals, regardless of sex, have the right to partic ipate in educational programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance (Whisenant, 2003, p. 179). T itle IX, for the purpose of this research, required that both men and women have equal oppor tunity to participate in collegiate sports. Since the passing of such legislation, collegiate athletics has experienced a large increase in the
17 number of female participants (Acosta & Ca rpenter, 2008; Hart, Ha sbrook, & Mathes, 1986; Hasbrook, 1988). Since 1970, the average number of women's athletics teams per institution has increased from 2.5 to 8.65, for a total of 9,101 wome ns athletics teams (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008). Bray (2002) found that the number of female student-ath letes has increased from 24.2% in 1981 to 41.9% (as cited in Whisenant, 2003). However, the opportunities for employment of females in the field do not mirror the increase in participation opportunities for females (Rhode & Walker, 2008). Prior to the implementation of Title IX, 90% of all women's sports were coached by females. Since the record low of 42.4% in 2006, the percentage of female coaches of womens teams has increased only slightly to 42.8%. The percentage of female head coaches of intercollegiate athletic te ams has improved from 17.7% in 2006 to 20.6% in 2008. Yet, consistently over the years only 2-3% of all me ns intercollegiate teams are under the direction of a female head coach (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008). Before the 1980s, womens athletics was governed by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), while mens athletics was governed by the NCAA (Pederse n & Whisenant, 2005). In the 1981-1982 academic year the National Collegiate Athletic Associat ion (NCAA) held its first national championship for women and the AIAW folded soon after (Dra go et al., 2005; Pedersen & Whisenant, 2005). After the integration of the AIAW into the NC AA, research shows a noted decline of womens leadership roles within women s athletics (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008; Pedersen & Whisenant, 2005); however, the involvement of the NCAA in this decline is complex (Drago et al., 2005). The NCAA, as a governing body, has overseen intercollegiate athletic s during the largest decline of womens teams coached by women (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008). Although the number of participation opportunities fo r females has increased to a r ecord high of 9,101 womens teams,
18 the proportion of female coaches has not shown the same rate of growth, as research indicates that only 20.6% of all interc ollegiate teams are coaches by fe males (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008). Similarly, prior to the merger with the NCAA women held administration positions only for female athletics as structured by the AIAW (Pedersen & Whisenan t, 2005). The merger resulted in a dramatic reduction of upper management pos itions available to females within collegiate athletics. For example, the most recent data i ndicates 21.3% of collegiat e athletic departments operate under a female athletic director. Howeve r, this is misleading, as only 8.4% of Division I athletic directors are female. Furthermore, 11.6% of all intercollegiate athletics administrative structures have no women employed (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008). The year 2008 marks the highest number of women employed in intercollegiate athletics, 14,742, in positions as athletic directors, assistant a nd associate athletic dir ectors, head coaches, paid assistant coaches, head athletic trainers and head sports information directors. On the surface, this increase demonstrates progress towa rd gender equity in the field; however, roughly 42.8% of the 14,742 women employed are paid assi stant coaches and only 1.5% are employed as athletics directors. These per centages demonstrate that the ma jority of women employed in intercollegiate athletics hold jobs in lower ma nagement positions. In fact, because nearly all womens athletic departments have merged with mens, less than one-fifth of top management positions are held by women (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008). In response to the decrease in women employe d in intercollegiate athletics, researchers have sought to identify a cause. Early research suggest s that the underrepresentation of females was caused by women leaving the field and the vacant and new positions being filled by men (Hart et al., 1986; Hasbrook, 1988). More specifically, with the enforcement of Title IX and incorporation into the NCAA, womens athletics garnered greater financial support increasing
19 the attractiveness of coaching and administra tive positions (Cunningham & Sagas, 2002; Rhode & Walker, 2008). At the same time, this restructuring led to the creation of full-time positions with greater demands of time and more responsibilities. In turn, there was an increase in male applicants and a decrease in female applicants for these positions w ithin womens athletics (Cunningham & Sagas, 2002). As such, more male s have entered womens intercollegiate athletics then females, as reflected in the wo rk of Acosta and Carpenters longitudinal study. Within the two year span from 1998 to 2000, 543 new jobs became available within intercollegiate athletics. Of those, 80% or 427 were filled by males (Cunningham & Sagas, 2002). Although this research cannot distinguish the number of female applicants, it does reflect that males are entering the field at a much fast er rate than females. Furthermore, Wolverton (2006) identifies that mens teams have approximately one and a half times as many coaches as womens teams. With such a low percentage of females coaching mens teams, 2-3% as identified by Acosta and Carpenter, this may e xplain some of the gender inequity in collegiate athletics (2008). Barriers to Entry Building up on the premise that males are more successful at entry into collegiate athletic careers, researchers have focused their studies on potential barriers to women. Barriers, as defined by Swanson and Woitke (1997), are events or conditions whether within the person or in his environment, that make career progress difficult (p. 443). Ever hart and Chelladurai (1998) suggest that the reasons for the underrep resentation of women in the coaching ranks do not reside in the women themselves (p. 197). Sp ecific reasons identified in research are as follows: perceptions of the success of the old boys club (Acosta & Ca rpenter, 1988; Lovett & Lowry, 1994; Wicker, 2008), a lack of female applicants for coachi ng and administrative positions (Acosta & Carpenter, 1988), conflict w ith family obligations (Acosta & Carpenter,
20 1988; Drago et al., 2005), athletes preferences for male coaches (NCAA Study 1989, 2007; Weinberg, Revels & Jackson, 1984), homol ogous reproduction by men (Lovett & Lowry, 1994; Sagas et al., 2006; Stangl & Kane 1991;), long work hours (NCAA Study 1989, 2007; Drago et al., 2005), and a lack of success experien ced by women (Hart, et al., 1986). Demers (2004) summarizes the barriers not ed throughout literature as including male control of the sport, the lack of role models for girls and women, the success enjoyed by old boys networks, the lack of time due to family responsibilities, stereotypes and preconceived ideas about women as coaches, employers reluctant to run the risk of hiring a female coach, and the lack of careful career pl anning by female coaches themselves (Choosing coaching as a career section, 2). Of these multiple barriers, prominent groups emerge in which the aforementioned barriers can be categorized. In the Coaching and Gender E quity (CAGE) project, Drago et al. (2005) classified their findings of identified ba rriers into four groups: sex discrimination, extreme workloads, family-unfrie ndly jobs, and the fact that race and sexual orientation remain salient. Rhode and Walker (2008) attributed the underrepresentation of females to unconscious biases, exclusionary recruiting networks, and inflexible working structures (p. 8). For purposes of this literat ure review the aforementioned barriers to entering collegiate athletics have been narrowed into three categories: (a) hom ologous reproduction, (b) gender discrimination and stereotyping (c) work commitment versus family commitment and gender roles. Homologous Reproduction Research has docum ented a connection between the gender of athletic administrators responsible for hiring and th e gender of those hired (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008). Some researchers have identified this strength of a good old boys club and weakness of a good old girls club as a perceived cause for both women leaving the coach ing field and the increase in
21 males entering the field (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008; Lovett & Lowry, 1994; Rhode & Walker, 2008; Wicker, 2008). Researchers Lovett and Lowry (1994) studied the admi nistrative structure of 1,106 public secondary schools in Texas, tes ting Kanters theory of homologous reproduction in building and sustaining a good old boys club in athletics. Kanter (197 7) explains that the dominant group will systematically hire individu als of the same qualities in order to create predictable working environments (as cited in Lovett & Lowry, 1994; Sagas et al., 2006). Thus, the practice of homologous reproduction can become a structural barrier that prevents the advancement of women in many occupationswhe n men are over-represented (Sagas et al., 2006). In their study, Lovett and Lowry (1994) found that the opportunity for homologous reproduction on the part of males is much more pr evalent than for females (p. 32). Participants in Rhode and Walkers study also expressed the control of a good old boys club in a written survey, through open-ended questio ns (2008). These participants emphasized that there are too few women in leadership positions to build a strong network among females in the profession. These findings, supporting the effectiveness of the good old boys or the good old girls club, are concurrent with the statistical data of Acosta and Carpenters longitudinal study. Their study has documented that the percentage of to tal female coaches hired is lower when the athletic administration is compos ed only of males. In fact, in 2008, an average 30.6% of the coaching staff was comprised of female coaches at Di vision I NCAA institutions with a male athletic director and an all ma le administration. This figure co mpares to 50.0% of the coaching staff comprised of females under a female athletic director (Acosta & Carpenter, 2008). This data marks a continuous trend, as a previous study by Stangl and Kane documented the same findings significantly more women are hired under female athletic directors versus male (1991). Individuals in the field have sp eculated that women find difficulty in gaining positions of power,
22 such as athletic director, as men are fearful to lose the power in their networks (Rhode & Walker, 2008). Sagas et al. (2006) also investigated the influence of homologous reproduction at the collegiate coaching level. The researchers conc luded that the gender of the head coach does impact the gender composition of the assistant coaching staff. In an examination of the coaching staff of four womens sports basketball, so ccer, softball and volleyball the researchers found female head coaches were much more likely to hi re female assistants than male head coaches were to hire male assistant coaches (p. 508). Th is finding contradicts th at of Lovett and Lowry (1994) who argued the good old boys club to be stronger than that of th e good old girls club. However, the researchers offered three explanations for these results: (1) the belief by male head coaches that they need a female assistant to identify with their players; (2) female head coaches, aware of the lack of females employed in intercollegiate athlet ics, make a conscious decision to hire female assistant coaches in an effort to improve gender equity; and (3) male coaches do not feel a need to reproduce themselv es in their assistant coaching staff because of the likely benefit of having a male athletic director (p. 508). Gender Discrimination and Stereotyping Everhart and Chelladurai (1998), in an effort to explain why gender inequity occurred in NCAA coaching positions, explored gender diffe rences in attitudes toward coaching. The researchers found that fem ales who had a female h ead coach expressed more desire to become a head coach themselves. Interestingly, the resear chers also stated that females who had a male head coach perceived gender discrimination as a gr eater barrier to entering the field. As Fasting and Pfister (2000) expressed, spor t is a stage where masculinity is produced and demonstrated (p. 92). In NCAA programs, Cunningham a nd Sagas (2002) found evidence of sex discrimination at the level of assistant coach in intercollegiate basketball programs. Their study showed that, of the current male and female assistant coaches on average females had
23 significantly greater playing experience and recei ved more honors as a result of their playing excellence than their male count erparts (p. 492). Even with th ese greater qualifications women are the less represented gender in the field and ex press less desire to become a head coach (p. 493). Kane (2001) found similar results in that fe male coaches demonstrate greater experience, training and achievement than comparable ma le coaches. Rhode and Walker (2008), through their written survey of 462 collegiate coaches, found females to have better athletic resumes then their male counterparts. The same coaches respo nded that female coaches had to be twice as hardworking or twice as successful than males in the profession to garner the same level of respect and recognition. From these data it can be concluded that female coaches are held to higher standards in the hiring process and perceive that there are fewer gains to be made in their coaching career than male coaches. This discrimination in the coaching field is best illustrated by benchmarks at the high school and professional level. In 2001, Fuhr v. Hazel Park sparked national attention in the U.S. federal courts as Geraldine Furh sued Hazel Park high school on the basis of sex discrimination in the hiring process of the boys varsity head coach. Furh, the varsity gi rls head coach of 10 years and varsity boys team assistant coach of 9 years, was passed over for the job, which was given to a less experienced male coach. The cour ts ruling in favor of Fuhr strengthened Title VII of 1964, which prohibits hiring and firing on the basis of gender. At the professional level, Stephanie Ready became the first woman in history to coach a professional mens sports team in the United States in 2002. But, her role was as an assistant coach under a head male coach (Wilson, 2002). Strong coaching characteristics are more likely to be associated with masculine traits. For example, the CAGE project reported that student -athletes more often associated authoritarian
24 leadership characteristics with male coaches versus female coaches (Drago et al., 2005). Researchers have also noted athletes pr eference for male coaches (NCAA Study 1989, 2007; Frey, Czech, Kent & Johnson, 2006; Weinberg et al., 1984). The 1989 study executed by the NCAA documented that the female student-athletes surveyed based their preference for a male coach on gender stereotypes. The female student -athletes explained that women hold grudges and tend to be petty and very m oody, whereas men seem to have better discipline of teams, and they also retain a better professional distan ce from the players. The results of the study by Weinberg et al. (1984) varied in that researchers found males to exhibit more negative attitudes to female coaches than their female counterparts. In the 1989 NCAA study, 46.7% of female stude nt-athletes surveyed answered that stereotyping or misconceptions might be perceive d as a barrier in attracting/retaining women in athletics careers (p. 5). The Womens Sports Foundation addre sses these stereotypes that perpetuate sex discrimination in sports. First, the ability of female co aches is often judged by their winning records. Few female coaches have won national championships, thus it is reasoned that males must be better suited for coaching. However, there are a greater number of male coaches and, following the laws of probability, it makes sense that a majority of national championships in all sports have been won under a male coach (Womens Sports Foundation, 2000). Further, research has shown females to be most underrepresented in sports that are recognized as the most competitive programs. Th is denies female coaches access to resources and the most talented athletes, thereby hinde ring their success (Rhode & Walker, 2008). Second, women are characterized as being less intens e, not as demanding, and not strong enough for coaching when compared to men (Frey et al., 20 06). This belief does not hold up, as attributing characteristics across a group does not accurately describe individuals. Third, it is commonly
25 thought that women (and men) take instruction and critic ism better from men. This stereotype is embedded in the traditional gender roles of soci ety as men are thought to be the dominant gender (Women Sports Foundation, 2000). Interestingly, the CAGE report found that a significant proportion of female studentathletes hold firm and often stereotypical views regarding coaching a nd gender (Drago et al., 2005, p. 29). The majority of sampled female stud ent-athletes responded that males are more capable of commanding respect, a positive trait in coaching associated with strong leadership skills. Similarly, those sampled associated authorit arian leadership with male coaches more often than with female coaches. Other characteristics fe male student-athletes identified as qualities of a successful coach included the ability to establish hierarchies, maintain professionalism, direct criticism or praise, and creat e a clear separation between coaching and personal life. These qualities of leadership ar e often associated with masculinity, and the researchers documented that the majority of female student-athletes stated a preference for a male coach above a female coach (Drago et al., 2005). Rhode and Walker (2008) documented similar findings from the coaches perspectives. Of the sampled collegiate coaches, 90% agreed that male athletes prefer male coaches and two-thirds disagreed that male athletes would be accepting of female coaches. When asked about the preferences of fe male athletes, two-thirds of th e coaches believed that female athletes prefer female coaches. However, nearly a ll indicated that they believed female athletes would be accepting of a male coach. Scott and Brown (2006) also established th e existence of gender bias in assigning leadership based on preexisting st ereotypes. Some athl etes attribute this preference for male coaches to past experiences. Th e 1989 NCAA study found that, of the female athletes surveyed, those who expressed a preference for either a male or female coach often cited past experiences
26 with a particular sex shaped th eir preference. The study also conc luded that a number of female athletes preferences were based on gender stereotypes. Evidence of what is perceived to be gendered coaching styles at the elite playing level has also been documented. Fasting and Pfister (2000), in a cross-national study of elite female soccer players, found that most of the athletes prefer red a female coach. Although this result may seem promising for future status improvement of female coaches, the researcher s stated: results can be interpreted as mirroring the old fashioned gender stereo types where women are nurturing, emotional, while the men are aggressive and rough. But at the same time it mirrors the traditional gender order, where women are looked upon as th e weaker sex (p. 104) For instance, the sampled athletes preferred the female styl e of communication, which is described as understanding and caring (p. 96). They also indicated that fema les are better psychologists than male coaches. These beliefs uphold traditional gendered stereo types, foster discrimination in the hiring process, and become a barrier to women seeki ng to obtain coaching positions. There are a few success stories in the forward progression of perc eptions of female coaches. Dr. Marty Ewing of Michigan State University has sampled more than 30,000 youth athletes aged six to 18 years about coaching preferences. Her overall conclusion was that athletes were not particular about the gender of the coach but more concerned ab out the competency of the coach (Wilson, 2002). Advances have also been made in collegiate co aching. In 1998, San Jose State University hired Nancy Lewis as the mens and womens golf coac h. Then freshman John Witherall vocalized the concerns that many of the player s were having: I didnt think it would work out with a female coach. I had never heard of a female coaching a mens team in golf (Jacobson, 2001, p. 2). Yet, the male athletes adjusted according to Chuck Be ll, the Director of Athletics, who witnessed
27 male athletes respect Coach Lewis for her past a ccomplishments in the spor t and her expertise in coaching. Within her first year as head coach, Le wis received the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year award (Wilson, 2002). Work Commitment vs. Family Commitment and Imposed Gender Roles While hom ologous reproduction and hegemonic masculinity may contribute to hiring discrimination and the exclusion of women from entering the colleg iate athletics field, research has also studied exclusion from the field due to the required level of commitment and imposed gender roles. In a study by Demers (2004), female athletes recognized th e demanding nature of the job and its likely interferen ce with a personal life as reason s for not entering the coaching field. Athletes acknowledged that th ey would be less hesitant to choose a coaching career if it allowed for a full personal and family lif e. A study conducted in 2007 by the NCAA found similar results. Of the 3,764 Division I female student-athletes surveyed, 60% responded that they were planning to pursue a career outside of athletics. Twelve percent indicated plans to pursue a career in intercollegiat e athletics. Of this 12%, most indicated aspirations to coach. Participants were also asked to rank the importa nce of various reasons for not choosing a career in athletics. The top three reasons cited as bei ng the most important in deciding to not pursue a career in athletics were the desire for a higher salary, time requirements, and preference for a 9 to 5 job (NCAA Study, 2007). These sentiments have proven to be a continuous trend, as a previous study conducted by the NCAA in 1989 resulted in the same findings Only 5.3% of 1,577 sampled female studentathletes expressed future plans to seek a position in intercollegiat e athletics. Over 75% indicated that a career offering higher aver age salary influenced their decision to look outside the realm of intercollegiate athletics for employme nt (p. 1). The second most cited reason (65.2%) for not pursuing a career in intercollegiate athletic s was the appeal of a 9 to 5 job with nights and
28 weekends available for family or personal time. The female student-athletes who participated in the 1989 NCAA survey verbalized: My father is a coach, and I grew up more or less without him, and without a lot of things! I feel that it would be very difficult to start a family (w hich is hopefully part of my future plans) because of the time demanded as a coach, AD, etc. I love athletics, but it takes too much time, and I wish to have a family and also a more office-type business job. Research by Drago et al. (2005) concurs with the findings of the 1989 and 2007 NCAA Survey of Perceived Barriers. The authors noted th at a majority of participants indicated that women must choose between a coaching career and having a family, and that a balance of the two, especially at the Division I le vel, is viewed as impossible. The same is true when sampling female coaches and athletic administrators. Thos e sampled did not view collegiate coaching as a viable career path because their personal priori ties placed family ahead of career (Drago et al., 2005, p. 36). The CAGE project found that the extreme workload a nd the family-unfriendly commitment to the job were the largest deterren t for females in the field. Coaches of both sexes have voiced concerns about their commitment to coaching leaving little or no time for their personal life, especially with regard to raising a family. On average, female coaches work 2400 hours per year and male coaches work 2600 hours, both above the national average (Rhode & Walker, 2008). This above average work load ca n result in a work-family conflict which Dixon and Bruening (2005) define as a type of inte r-role conflict wherein at least some work and family responsibilities are not compatible and have resultant effects on each domain (p. 228). For example, Drago et al. (2005), in reference to data from the 2000 Census stated men in coaching were just as likely as other men to be married, [but] women were far less likely (only
29 29.8%) than other full-time employed women ( 55.3%) to be married (p. 5). These numbers seem even worse when examining how many women in the field of coaching are likely to raise children compared to other full time employed women; 17.8% versus 44.6% respectively. In the study by Rhode and Walker (2008), over half of th e sampled females identified themselves as single and only one quarter reporte d having children. These statistic s were reversed for the males sampled, as one quarter indicated being single an d one half reported having children. The same participants acknowledged the de manding schedules of athletic competition as a major deterrent for women with children. Rhode and Walker (2008) explored current pr ofessionals perspectives on potential gender biases in college coaching. Some sampled cited a lack of interest by women as the true cause for gender inequity and not gender biases. Others cited the need to shift cultural attitudes and societal views of womens roles in family stru ctures. Respondents also elaborated that women had the added challenge of overcoming the ster eotypes and stigma [of being] a mother, as motherhood is often perceived to be a negative in fluence on job competency and longevity in the field of athletics. For example, one participant, when asked how to lessen work/family conflicts for female coaches, stated find coaches who dont want children because when you get right down to it the mother is more likely to want to be home once she has children. Thus, collegiate coaching can be discriminatory against women entering the field, as too often women must choose between a career in coll egiate athletics and a family. Discouraged by the demanding and resultant discriminatory nature of coaching, wome n seek better pay options and more reasonable working hours in jobs outside of collegiate athletics. Factors Influencing Job Attainment and Retention in Intercollegia te Athletics Although the majority of research has focuse d on influences that exclude women, a few have studied women who successfully enter a car eer in athletics. Pastore (1992) examined the
30 reasons males and females entered into coaching at two-year institutions. The findings indicated no difference between the two genders when enteri ng coaching except the reason to help female athletes reach their pot ential (p 186). Female coaches ra ted this reason as the second most important, whereas their male counterparts ra ted it fourth. Danylc huk and Pastore (1996) examined the factors influencing job attainment in the coaching field. Their sample of athletic administrators and coaches of collegiate athle tic programs responded that perceived networking with administrators of the same gender was an im portant factor in job at tainment. This result suggests that those in the fiel d believe a good old boys club or a good old girls club is influential in hiring decisions. In a similar study, Demers (2004) noted the subtle positive impact a female role model has on female student-ath letes wanting to pursue a career in coaching. Participants responded that female coaches served as better role models than male coaches and this seems to play a role in the recruitment of future female coach es (Impact of having a female coach section, 2). Demers also stated the need for further res earch to understand how a greater number of female role models influen ce the female applicant pool for coaching positions (2004). Pastore and Meacci (1994) studied factors of recruiting, selecting and retaining females in coaching positions, compared with those of ma les across four womens sports basketball, softball, tennis and volleyball. The study identifi ed five employment fact ors Organizational Policies, Candidates Experien ce, Formal Recruiting, Informal Recruiting, and Candidates Credentials. Interestingly, female coaches rated each of these five factors significantly higher in importance than male coaches. Both genders ra ted Candidates Credentials as the most important and the most used employment factor Coaches rated Organiz ational Policies of greater importance than athletic administrators, indicating a need to place greater importance on
31 salaries and equitable program support to recruit female co aches. Consistently, Formal Recruiting was rated lowest in importance which suggests alte rnative methods of recruiting should be used when targeting female coaches (Pastore & Meacci, 1994). Similarly Rhode and Walker (2008) sampled current professionals to discover the factors of importance when recruiting females to a career in athletics. Respondents identified the need for mentorship/professional development of prospe ctive female coaches an d institutional support of prospective female coaches as the greatest areas needing improvement. Pastore, Inglis and Danylc huk (1996) studied gender and power as they relate to developing strategies to retain females in the co llegiate workforce. The researchers sought to establish a conceptual framework to identify va riables related to the retention of coaches and athletic administrators. Their model included th ree constructs: Work Balance and Conditions, Recognition and Collegial Support, and Inclusivity. The first construct Work Balance and Conditions focuses on the demand of time, as well as conditions of th e job (i.e. adequate support, sensitivity to family responsibilities, et c.). Recognition and Collegial Support refers to the status of the job and the pub lics recognition of the position. Lastly, Inclusivity rates the workplace based on the presence of harassment, discrimination or gender equity. Therefore, the researchers sought to examine the importance of all three constructs for retaining coaches and athletic administrators. Results were compared according to gende r, job position and country. The sample included individuals from Canada and the Big Ten athletic confer ence. Notable in this study are the differences found across gender. Research revealed a significan t difference for Inclusivity, as females rated it of greater importance then the males did. And, alt hough not a significant finding, females rated Inclusivity as being less fulfilled than th e males rated it. In fact, the
32 male participants found Inclusivity to be more fulfilled then its rating of importance. The findings as a whole indicated that Work Bala nce and Conditions was considered the most important to coaches and athletic administrators. Furthermore, this concept was found to be unfulfilled in the sample participants cu rrent positions. The Recognition and Collegial Support concept was also found to have higher ratings of importance when compared to the ratings of fulfillment. Thus, to improve the retention of coaches and athletic administrators, athletic institutions should improve factors related to W ork Balance and Conditions and Recognition and Collegial S upport (Pastore, et al., 1996). Pastore (1993), in a study of NCAA Division I, II and III coaches of womens basketball, softball, tennis and volleyball revealed no significant difference in overall job satisfaction between male and female coaches. However, the st udy did find that the type of sport coached did affect job satisfaction in re lation to supervisory support (i.e. support from athletic administration). Coaches of womens tennis rated the supervision facet of job satisfaction lower in comparison to coaches of the other sports. Therefore, Pastores fi ndings suggest that the decline in number of female coaches is not caused by low job satisfaction when compared with males. However, Pastore did find a significant di fference between genders in citing potential reasons to leave the profession (1992). Females in the sample were significantly more likely to rate administrative duties and i ntensity of recruitment as reasons more than males would. Interestingly, the male coaches rated decrease in time spent with the family and friends higher than the female coaches as a potential reason for leaving the profession. However, this difference was not found to be significant. The male coaches we re also more likely to rate lack of financial incentive higher than their female counterpart s (p. 185). Although, again, this difference was
33 not found to be significant. It is important to not e that Pastores study only asked participants to speculate as to why they might potentially leave the field of coaching at a two-year institution. The author does note, as supported by Hart et al. (1986), that these pote ntial reasons may differ from reasons cited for actual the withdrawal from coaching. General Career Development Theories Classical th eories of career development define career choi ce as a process influenced by personality, aptitudes and abiliti es. Early career development theory began with Parsons argument that those more engaged in the car eer choice process have a higher degree of satisfaction with their careers (Brown & Brooks, 1996). In his 1909 book, Choosing a Vocation, he identified a framework of three factors that influence successful car eer development: (1) an understanding of ones own aptitudes, skills, and interests, (2) knowledge of the job requirements and the advantages and disadvantages, and (3) the ability to recognize how one s skills interplays with the job requirements (F itzgerald et al., 1995). By the 1950s, career development theory of Ginzberg, Ginsburg, Axelrad and Herma identified career choice as a process beginning in ones pret een years and concluding in young adulthood. In these years, an individual was recognized as developing through three stages fantasy, tentative and realistic. In the last stage, realistic, an in dividual progressed through exploration (discovery of ones own likes, skills and abilities), crystallization (choosing a career path), and specification (taking steps to achieve the career choice made in crystallization). Throughout the career development pr ocess, this theory reasoned th at individuals are influenced by a reality factor, educational processes, an emotional factor, and ones own values. This traditional career development theory cannot be applied to the proposed researched, as it does not allow for consideration of gender, race and so cial class in occupationa l choice (Stitt-Gohdes, 1997).
34 Shortly after, in 1953, Super combined Parsons original theory with the work of Ginzberg and colleagues to identify the ten propositions of career development. His work emphasized two major tenets of career development: (1) career development as a lifelong process and (2) selfconcept as an influence on behavior. He partic ularly emphasized that self-concept, which can further be divided into persona l and social self-concept, is ever changing as a result of experience. These tenets supported his 1954 Theory of Vocational Choice which identified six stages Crystallization, Specification, Impl ementation, Stabilization, Consolidation and Readiness for Retirement. Later, Super merged his idea of self-concept with his life span theory to accommodate for hetereogeneity and fluidity in adult career developm ent, (Niles & Herr, 2001, p. 15) by creating his Life Span Life Space Th eory. Super identified five stages in which distinct career choices and development are made Growth, Exploration, Establishment, Maintenance and Decline. He acknowledged that different people may fluctuate between different life spaces due to personal factors (needs, values, interests and aptitudes) and situational factors (family, community, culture, economic infl uences, and gender or r acial biases). Super also maintained that progression through the stages is flexible (non-linea r) and that individuals may repeat stages multiple times before moving on to the next (Niles & Herr, 2001). To coincide with his theory, Super went on to develop a Life Career Rainbow which illustrated the interaction of life roles and life stag es in a typical life span from the role of student to pensioner (Fitzgerald et al., 1995). His theories also went as far as identifying the role of homemaker in defining womens participa tion in the labor force. Super (1957) described womens life and career patterns in the following categories: homemakers; conventional careers after college but before marriage; women who did not marry but worked throughout their life spans; women who held work and family roles simultaneously; women who returned to work
35 after having children; an unstable career pattern in and out of the workforce; or a multiple-trial career pattern. Supers early work has often been credited as being the first to document theory in the career development of women. Because of his theory, researchers have addressed the need for more flexibility within life roles and a strong er focus on contextual factors that influences these roles, especially culture. Many of his tenets of career development theory have been further developed by researchers, resulti ng in more applicable theories fo r present use (Fitzgerald et al., 1995). In 1959, Holland identified six personality traits related to occupational environments realistic, investigative, artisti c, social, enterprising and conve ntional. According to Hollands Career Typology, these different personality type s revealed information about a persons career choice. For example, he believed that ones car eer developmental process is established through ones genetic predisposition and ones reactions to environmental demands. In simpler terms, Holland thought that individuals are attracted to certain careers that meet their personal needs and give them satisfaction. However, his work, is limited, as it is based on four assumptions. First, there are only six modal environments realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. Second, all people can be ca tegorized into one of these environments. Hollands third assumption is that pe ople will search for career environments that will aid them in using their skills and abilities, as well as allow for expressing their attitudes and values. The fourth assumption of Hollands theory is that be havior is determined by an interaction between personality and environment. Beyond these assumptions, strong gender bias can be found within Hollands Career Typology, wh ich makes using such theory as a framework for this study not ideal. Specifically, females tend to score as artistic, so cial and conventional as their three strongest codes. Holland himself acknow ledged that such results are a reflection of
36 society channeling females into traditionally female-dominated occupations (Holland, 1959). Thus, since this research will focus on a nontradi tional field for females, this study will not use Hollands Career Typology. These aforementioned traditional career develo pment theories cannot be applied to todays workforce (Brown & Brooks, 1996; Stitt-Gohdes, 1997) and therefore cannot be applied in this study. Furthermore, these theories cannot be a pplied to diverse populatio ns, as critics have claimed such classical theories center around white, middle class men (Leong, 1995). Thus, such theories would be inappropriate for this study as this purposeful sample is constructed of young women. As stated by Stitt-Gohdes (1997), classical career devel opment theories reflect the dominant make-up of the professional work fo rce 20-30 years ago: whit e, middle-class males. Indeed, women, people of color and the poor have been methodically omitted from career development research (p. 13). Womens career de velopment is different from that of men, as womens gender roles, especially those in a family structure, influence this process (Fitzgerald et al., 1995). As a womans role varies, so does her career pattern. Hence, th e traditional theories which identify career development as linear and predictable cannot be applied, as the career pattern for women is more interrupted, nonlinear and unplanned (Morrisey, 2003, p. 21). Therefore, researchers have recognized the need for theory that accommodates womens multiple and changing roles in society and identify all fact ors, positive and negative, which impact career development (Bierema, 1998; Lent & Brown 1996; Stitt-Gohdes, 1997). Womens Career Development Theories The 1970s and 1980s brought a shift in career developm ent theory by applying Banduras Social Learning Theory. The shift also incl uded a focus on womens career development. Fitzgerald and colleagues captured this shift with a summary of the past 25 years of history in the study of womens career development (1995). Thei r summary began with the pre-theoretical
37 stage of womens career development, which focu sed on identifying factors of influence that led women to pursue careers outside of the home. Ne xt, research and theory focused on motivational factors influencing womens career development. Such factors examined include education level, importance of family and specific personality trai ts. In the mid 1970s, theorists began identifying the barriers of womens career development including gender roles, discrimination, and financial resources. By the 1980s, womens career development theo ry examined gender differences and was based on social learning and cogni tive theories. Such theories included Gottfredsons theory of circumscription and compromise; Hackett and Betzs self efficacy theory; Astins sociopsychological model; and Farmers mode l of career motivation. In the early 1980s, Gottfredsons theory argued that career development began as early as th e age of six with the gender socialization process. With gender social ization, individuals eliminate future careers based on imposed limitations from society, specifica lly gender roles and perceived prestige. For example, females learn to eliminate careers typica lly held by men, such as collegiate athletics. Acknowledging the influence of gender socializa tion is Gottfredons grea test contribution to career development theory. Howeve r, his theory fails to include influences in adult career development such as family, career changes, an d retirement (Fitzgerald et al., 1995; Wicker, 2008). Hackett and Betz (1981) were the first to ap ply Banduras concept of self-efficacy to the career development process of women. As Bandura es tablished, self-efficacy or self-belief, is built from four sources: performance, vicari ous learning, verbal persuasion, and physiological arousal. Self-efficacy also varied with environmen tal and contextual factors, interaction with people, and the difficulty of the task (Bandura, 1986). Hackett and Betz expanded on Banduras
38 work by comparing the self-efficacy expectations of men and women in regard to careers traditionally held by men and those traditiona lly held by women. Results indicated that differences in self-efficacy between genders coul d be contributed to gender socialization (1981). Similar to Gottfredsons work, gender socializati on and its consequential impact on self-efficacy led individuals to alter their ca reer choice (Fitzgerald et al., 1996) Hackett and Betzs theory is limited, as it does not include the reasons that wo men exit and reenter the workforce, nor does it account for the barriers which exclude women from developing careers through advancement (Wicker, 2008). Astins sociopsychological model expanded on Banduras Social Learning Theory by including personal characteristic s and social influences. In pa rticular, Astin focused on the differential effects of socializa tion experiences that shaped women and mens career aspirations based on four major constructs: motivation, exp ectations, gender role socialization, and the structure of opportunity (Wicker, 2008, p. 23). In short, career choices began with the socialization process and opportunities presented ear ly in ones life. Specifically, Astin theorized that women pursued non-traditional career c hoices only when exposed to a variety of opportunities and having built confid ence in their achievement (Fit zgerald et al., 1996). Use of Astins sociopsychological model in further research has been limited, as the concepts are general in nature. In speaking of Astins model, Fitzgerald et al, (1996) stated, it has not proven heuristic, perhaps because the broad generality of its constructs do not lend themselves easily to operationalization (p. 85). Farmer, in her 1985 model, identified the strongest predictors of career aspirations to be personal characteristics, background factors, and e nvironmental variables. Farmers model also emphasized the dynamic process of behavioral, c ognitive and environmental influences in career
39 choice. Specifically, Farmer mentions the importan ce of role models in non-traditional careers to increase career motivation. In her ten year longitudinal study, Farmer concluded career aspirations and achievement motivation are strongly related to environmental support for women (Wicker, 2008). These models of career developm ent for women influenced the conception of the Social Cognitive Career Theory and further, its application to women. Social Cognitive Career Theory The Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) originated with the work of Lent and colleagues (1996), which combined Banduras c oncept of self-efficacy with Krumboltz and colleagues social learning theory of career de cision making. SCCT examines the processes that individuals develop when seeki ng a career (Wicker, 2008). This theory of career development argues that personal goal setting can shape ones behavior in conjuncti on with responses to environmental and personal influences (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1996). Accordingly, Lent and Brown (1996) stated, this model holds that persona l attributes, external environmental factors, and overt behavior each operate in interactive sets of variab les and mutually influence one another (p. 312). SCCT also takes into account the influence of perceived barriers during the career development process. In recent years, the SCCT has be en widely used in career development research (Swanson & Gore, 2000). The key constructs of SCCT are self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and establishing personal goals (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1996). As mentioned, self efficacy is built through the interaction of performance accomplishments, vicarious learning, verbal persuasion, and physiological arousal. These four sources of self-e fficacy interact to create a self-belief that is specific to people, behavior, environment, and contextual factors (Wicker, 2008, p. 27). Outcome expectations are the believed result of a particular behavior. Expected positive outcomes serve as motivational factors whereas expected negative outcomes can deter an
40 individual from pursuing certain actions (Len t & Brown, 1996). Setting personal goals is the third core aspect of the SCCT theory. The practic e of setting goals is influenced by self-efficacy and outcome expectations. As an individual build s self-efficacy in a pa rticular area and has positive outcome expectations, he or she is more likely to set and achieve personal goals (Lent & Brown, 1996). The exploration of issues such as gender, external and internal f actors, and barriers on career choice have also been an integral part of SCCT (W icker, 2008, p. 28). SCCT considers such influences, external and internal, as obj ective and perceived. The way in which objective influences are perceived may be of greater im portance to an individua ls career development. These external or environmental influences ar e then related to the career decision making process through classification as ei ther distal or proximal factors. Distal factors include role models; opportunities to gain expe riences or skills in a particul ar field, academic profile, support systems, and gender-role socialization. Proxima l factors are more closely associated with influences of the active career se arching stage. Such factors in clude job opportunities, informal networks, financial position, and discriminato ry hiring processes (Lent & Brown, 1996). By categorizing environmental influences into thes e two categories, distal and proximal, SCCT addresses how perceived barriers affect careers and studies how women and other minority groups cope with these factors throughout their career paths (Wicker, 2008, p. 30). In other words, individuals with greater coping efficacy can better manage perceived barriers. Womens Career Development and SCCT Greater focus on self efficacy, outcome e xpectations, personal goals and perceived barriers has been demonstrated in the amount of research that applie s the SCCT to womens career development. In those st udies focusing on career self-effi cacy, many have researched the importance and impact of role models (Scherer Brodzinksi, & Wiebe, 1991; Nauta, Epperson &
41 Kahn, 1998). Scherer et al. (1991) found that female students who observed successful role models have greater believe of th eir own potential success in same field. Research by Nauta et al. (1998) found higher levels of caree r aspirations of females in nontraditional fields with the presence of a role model. Gates further studied womens career decisions based on traditional versus nontraditional fields. Wome n in both fields identified th eir mothers as having a large influence in career choice. Those in non-traditional fiel ds identified fewer female role models, were less likely to consider alternative career paths, and were more likely to identify their fathers as a role model (as cited in Wicker, 2008). Other research using SCCT explores percei ved barriers and the impact on the career decision process. Perceived barrie rs identified by researchers in clude family roles versus work commitment, limited role models, and discrimi nation and inequities based on gender (Leong, 1995; Wicker, 2008). Coleman sampled female ad ministrators in education, business, and government to research perceptions of discri mination based on race and gender. Group barriers included stereotyping, lack of so cial support, and exclusion from informal or formal networks (as cited in Wicker, 2008, p. 34) Some of the or ganizational barriers iden tified were exclusion from the old boys network, and negative attitudes toward women in administration (as cited in Wicker, 2008, p. 34). These are identical to many perceived barriers identified in research among professionals within collegiate athletic s (NCAA Study 1989, 2007; Cunningham & Sagas, 2002; Drago et al., 2005; Lovett & Lowry, 1994; Scott & Brown, 2006; Weinberg et al., 1984). SCCT takes into account the greater influen ce perceived barriers may have in career choices in comparison to skills and abilities. These barriers, which often reduce career selfefficacy, may include a lack of access to developmental opportunitie s, absence of role models, and even discrimination. The application of SCCT to womens career s sustains the idea that the
42 career development process is complex and takes into account the interactive influences of behavior, environment, and cogni tion to explain career choice and behavior (Wicker, 2008, p. 36). Limitations of SCCT One lim itation of SCCT is its re lative youth as a theory in ca reer development (Fitzgerald et al., 1995). More research is needed that app lies SCCT to women and minorities, in order to understand the complexity of the variables which influence career development for these populations. Further, SCCT does not take into account all of the effects of gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status associated with career choice. There is also a need for research that uses SCCT to explore the pathways of current female administrators, especially those administrators who participated in collegiate athletics (Wicker, 2008). Student-Athlete Career Development Student-athletes, especially those at Divisi on I institutions, have a less developed career path post graduation than their peers. Research has hypothesized that this lower level of career development is caused by time constraints, athletic identity, sport commitment, and not being fully integrated into campus (Martens & Lee, 1998). In general, Mart ens and Lee recommend implementing an intervention model with the student-athlete populati on to promote career development. Such program activities include aw areness of institutional resources (i.e. career centers), the initiation of the self reflection of values and goals, education about possible internships and job opportunities and, finally, a focus on de veloping practical skills for employment. According to the researchers, taking such a holistic approach to career development for student-athletes is needed to overcome the lim iting factors inherent in participating as an athlete (Martens & Lee, 1998). If their argument for using an intervention model is valid, then
43 participants in this proposed study should identify some of the suggested program activities as influencing factors in their pa th of career development. The 2007 NCAA Study also offers insight of in fluencing factors in choosing collegiate athletics as a career. Female student-athletes w ho reported higher levels of agreement with the statement, I would still comp ete if I had it to do over were significantly more likely than female student-athletes with lower levels of agreement to report that their career will likely involve athletics or exercise sc ience. Also, those athletes who reported their career will likely involve athletics or exercise scie nce were more likely to report their roster spot as first team. Thus, there is some preliminary data correlati ng satisfaction with participation in collegiate athletics and the pursuit of a career in athletics or exercise science. Nonetheless, more focused research must be conducted to speci fy other influencing factors. Personal stories come the closest to id entifying those influences. Dena Evans, former NCAA cross country athlete, speaks of how she became Stanfords head coach: For me, access was the most obvious and valuable currency I enjoyed. I had access to some of the nations finest high school athletes in our recruiting pool, access to an assistantship in a storied program, a nd a virtuoso mentor in my head coach. After first convincing me to try coaching, he gave me sound athletic templates from which to learn, meaningful roles on the staff, and space to gain credibility with the athletes. He forced me to involve myself within the coaching communityI had an athletic director who w holeheartedly supported my promotionand whose door had always been open to me since I was a studentI was not only given an entry level opportunity, but was groomed speci fically for a position at the most prestigious level. (2007) Summary The purpose of this study was to explore the process of female stude nt-athletes decisions to pursue careers in collegiate athletics. Past re search has focused on infl uences that discourage female student-athletes from pursuing these career tracks (NCAA Study 2007; Acosta & Carpenter, 1988; Lovett & Lowry, 1995; Rhode & Walker, 2008; Sagas et al., 2006; Stangl &
44 Kane, 1991). These studies and others have sample d current intercollegiat e coaches and athletics administrators, documenting possibl e barriers that prevent females from entering the field. This study intended to build on such previous rese arch by asking about the influences on female student-athletes to choose to pursu e a career in intercollegiate athlet ics. The general goals of this study were: (1) to determine the in fluencing factors in female student-athletes intentions to pursue careers in collegiate athletics and (2) to explore the process of fe male student-athletes career choices in collegiate athletics. This research is unique in that the focus is on the positive influences. The research questions this study intended to answer were: 1. What are common factors of influence in fe male student-athletes decision to pursue careers in collegiate athletics? 2. What formative experiences influence the proj ected career paths of current female studentathletes pursuing collegiate athletics? 3. What are the implications for collegiate athl etics to encourage cu rrent female studentathletes to pursue careers in the field?
45 CHAPTER 3 METHOD The purpose of this study was to gather qualitative and explorative data about fem ale student-athletes who intend to pursue a career in NCAA athletics. Research in this area is needed, as females are well represented as student-athletes in the NCAA but are underrepresented in coaching and administration. A multitude of data focuses on the barriers preventing females from entering the field a nd reasons why females leave the field (NCAA Study 1989, 2007; Acosta & Carpenter, 1988; Drago et al., 2005; Everhart & Chelladurai, 1998; Pastore et al., 1996; Sagas & Cunningham, 2004), but li ttle research explores the positive reasons for entry. This chapter reviews the methodology used to gather data. Focus Group Research Design This study used an interpre tative, qualita tive research design by conducting focus groups to gather data. As Krueger and Casey (2000) stat e, focus group interviews should be considered whenthe purpose is to uncover fa ctors that influence opinions, be havior or motivation (p. 24). In this study, a traditi onal single category design was used to target information rich individuals. This design is best, as this study collected data from a sp ecific population and looked for commonalities. Thus, multiple focus group sessio ns of the same target population were conducted until no new information was divulged. At this point, saturation was reached (Krueger & Casey, 2000). As expected, three focus groups we re held with a total of 12 participants to reach saturation (Morgan, 1997). Individual interviews were considered for this study, as an interview method allows for greater control by the researcher and more inform ation from each participant. However, a focus group method offered greater advantages in collecting data for this particular research. First, as stated by Krueger and Casey (2000), the focus gr oup presents a more natural environment than
46 that of an individual interview because participants are influenc ing and influenced by others just as they are in life (p. 11). Thus, one advantage is that the focus group allowed for observation of interaction on the topic. Also, the group environmen t allowed for direct evidence about of similarities and differences in experiences. These relationships were more evident in the focus group method, rather than completing post hoc analyses of individual interviews. Lastly, because the researcher has less control of th e dialogue during a focus group, more unexpected information is likely to be revealed than if indi vidual interviews were completed. This ability to give the group control over the direction of the interview is especially useful in exploratory research (Morgan, 1997, p. 11). Thus, due to the exploratory nature of the study, a focus group method was chosen. Limitations to the Focus Group Method There are lim itations to using focus groups fo r this study. First, a ll data was collected through verbal behavior only. The researcher did not witness behaviors bu t rather analyzed the verbal responses of the participant. Second, gr oup interaction may have influenced responses. Participants may have felt pressure to exagge rate how much career development and planning they have engaged in up to the point of this study. The group envi ronment also has the potential to lead to a groupthink mentality, in which all pa rticipants agree with each other. Third, a group environment may have limited the responses of some, resulting in less depth from any one participant. Finally, the environment in which da ta is collected was managed and controlled by the researcher (Morgan, 1997). Advantages to the Focus Group Method In spite of several limitati ons, the focus group method best suited the purpose of this study for several reasons. First, it enabled the research er in-depth explora tion in an area with little research. Second, a focus group was more bene ficial for exposing complex data, such as the
47 dynamics of multiple influences. Third, the discussion produced in a focus group was better for exposing common trends among individuals with commonalities. Lastly, communication face-toface had the advantage of gaining more info rmation when compared to a survey method. Specifically, participants were asked to furthe r explain or elaborate on responses given to provide more information (Krueg er & Casey, 2000; Morgan 1997). Participant Selection This study used a purposeful sam ple. Female student-athletes, who are intending to pursue a career in collegiate at hletics, were selected from the University of Florida. Patton (2002) describes purposeful sampling as selecting information rich cases to yield insights and in-depth understanding rather than empirical generalizations (p. 230). Such a sample has the potential to provide in-depth qual itative data about the influences guiding them in their career decision making process. Based on data from the 2007 NCAA Study, 12% of the Division I female student-athlete population identified collegiate athl etics as a possible career track. Applying this research to the estimated female student-athlete population at the University of Flor ida, approximately 31 individuals were hypothesized to be eligible to participate in th is study. The participants for the focus groups were selected based on the following: 1. Is the respondent female? 2. Is the respondent en rolled at the University of Florida (UF)? 3. Is the respondent a cu rrent student-athlete? The definition of a current student-athlete incl udes those who may have exhausted eligibility but remained at the University of Florida to finish their degree in a ninth semester. 4. Does the respondents future career plans in clude working within collegiate athletics? A list of all current female stud ent-athletes enrolled at UF, al ong with their contact information, was available through the University Athletic Association. An initia l email was sent as a request for participation, informing potential subjects of the nature of the study (see Appendix A). The
48 email asked potential participants to complete an initial questionnaire via an internet survey (see Appendix B). Respondents who expressed intent to pursue a career in collegiate athletics, based upon four Likert scale statements, were selected fo r participation in a focus group. The Likert scale statements were as follows: 1. After graduation I plan to pursue a career in sports other than as a professional athlete. 2. After graduation I plan to pursue a career in collegiate athletics. 3. After graduation I plan to pursu e a career outside of sports. 4. In 5 to 10 years I can see myself working in collegiate athletics. Respondents were also asked fo r permission for further contac t about participation in a focus group. Those who expressed any level of agr eement with the second and fourth statements, and agreed to further particip ation in the study, were contacted via email through a Follow-Up Recruitment Letter (see Appendix C). Responde nts who did not qualify for the study were thanked for their interest, but de nied participation in the study. Those who gave no response after the initial email were sent a reminder e-mail one week after the original. After an additional one week, a follow-up e-mail was made to all potential participants as identified by their academic counselor who was aware of the stud ent-athletes career interests. Nineteen female student-athletes were selected to participate in a focus group. Respondents were then grouped together according to their level of agreement to the second and fourth Likert scale statements. Those respondent s who indicated a higher level of agreement, completely agree or mostly agree were pl aced in one focus group, followed by moderate agreement, a mix of mostly agree and sligh tly agree in responses, and finally those who showed minimal agreement in responses, sli ghtly agree. After ini tial placement to a group, respondents were given flexibility in scheduling to accommodate their schedules and as a result some adjustments were made in which indivi duals switched groups. Th e initial Request for
49 Participation (see Appendix A) explained that participation in the st udy was voluntary. A formal Letter of Consent was given to th e participants at the focus group session to be signed (see Appendix D). Demographic informa tion about the participants was collected at the conclusion of each focus group session (see Appendix F). A total of twelve of the nineteen eligible respondents participated in a focus group. Procedures This study used a focus group format to colle ct qualitative data about female studentathletes choice of pursuing a career in coaching or athletic administration in collegiate athletics. After selection, each participan t was emailed the date, time and location of the focus group session, along with a request to confirm their pa rticipation. All focus group sessions were held on campus at the University of Florida. The time of each session was scheduled around the participants class and practice schedules. Participants were sent an email as a reminder of the scheduled focus group one week in advance and again three days in advance. The day before the scheduled session, participants we re contacted via phone to rec onfirm their attendance at the session. Three focus group sessions were held with a combined to tal of 12 participants. The sessions were conducted using a facilitator transc ript that was modified from the CAGE report (Drago et al., 2005) and within the constructs of the SCCT (see Appendix E). Each session was video recorded for later analys is. The researcher led the focus group; however, moderators provided independent review of the focus gr oup sessions. One moderator was responsible for operating the video recording, taking detailed notes during the session, and providing a summary of the discussion at the conclusion of each session. A second moderator was used to review the taped sessions and draw independent conclusions about the sessions themes. Specific instructions for completing each of these responsibi lities was given by the re searcher prior to the
50 sessions. Each focus group session was limited to one hour. At the conclusion of each focus group session, participants were given a demographic questionnaire (Appendix F) to complete as well as follow-up information about the st udy (Appendix G). The follow-up information included a debriefing with more detailed information about the study as well as contact information for the researcher should pa rticipants have had further questions. Instruments The facilitator transcript for the focus gr oups was modified from the CAGE project by Drago et al. (2005). The questions were altered to reflect the specific topic of the study and to repeat the key constructs of the SCCT self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and the establishment of personal goals. The sequence of the questions was also reviewed within the recommendations of Krueger and Casey ( 2000) for a clear progr ession through opening, introductory, transition, key and ending questi ons to guide the group through a complete dialogue. The opening questions intended to make participants comfortable with divulging information in a group setting by asking a question to reveal commonalities. These questions were easy to answer to build confidence. Introdu ctory questions, which give insight to the topic of interest, encouraged conversation through an op en ended format. Transition questions directed the conversation to the key questions in the study. These transition questions allowed for participants to gain insight into others views on the particular subject. Key questions made up the largest segment of the focus group and the great est amount of time was spent on this type of question. These key questions also reflected the c onstructs of the SCCT. Ending questions closed the focus group and help participants reflect on the comments of the group and clarify any previous comments. This study used a final su mmary question in which the facilitator and moderator gave a short oral summary of the disc ussion, as related to the key questions, and asked
51 participants if the summary wa s accurate and adequate. This fi nal summary question was used for later analysis of the results. Review of Instruments The facilitator transcript was reviewed by a panel of academicians a nd practitioners in the field to, first evaluate each question individually, and second, eval uate the questions in relation to each other. When reviewing each question indi vidually, the panel evaluated if the questions were clear, sounded conversational, were eas y to say, short in le ngth, open-ended and one dimensional. When reviewing the questions in re lation to each other, the panel judged the flow of the transcript. Specifically, the panel was asked if the questi ons were easy in the beginning, follow a reasonable progression, and moved from general to specific. The members of the supervisory committee, also reviewed the facilitator transcript in relation to the key constructs of the SCCT. A pilot focus group was conducted prior to the study with three form er University of Florida female student-athlete s. Those selected for the p ilot study were recruited by the researcher. All three participants had exhausted their eligibility as a student-athlete, and therefore did not meet the criteria of the subjects in this study, but were pursuing a career in collegiate athletics through internships with the University Athl etic Association. The pilot focus group was conducted using the exact procedures of this study. The purpose of c onducting a pilot study was twofold. First, the pilot study serv ed as a practice for the resear cher in executing the focus group. Feedback was given from the moderators and part icipants regarding the researchers role in facilitating the session and the structure of the questions as ked during the session. Second, the data collected during the pilot study was us ed as comparison data for this study.
52 Data Analysis All data analysis was exploratory in nature, and sought to find them es in the process of choosing to pursue a career in coaching or athletics administration in collegiate athletics. Analysis began with participant selection through the Initial Questionnaire (see Appendix B) and continued concurrently with da ta collection. Notes were take n during each focus group session and a summary of the groups discussions was provided at the conclusion to allow for verification by participants. Furthe r, the researcher and moderator present for the session briefly analyzed after each session to improve upon subsequent sessions. The completion of a demographic questionnaire (see Appendix F) was the last method employed to gather data. This study used abridged transcripts for c ontent analysis. The video recording of each session were used by the researcher to write the abridged transcripts. The transcripts were then confirmed by the two moderators. The video record ings were used for clarification as needed. Once complete, the abridged transcripts were ex amined for common themes. All responses were grouped according to the question they addre ss. Once appropriately categorized, a brief description of the responses to the question was written. These summaries were then analyzed for common themes that occur throughout the re sponses. The final report was written structured around these themes as they related to the purpos e of this study. This final report included a narrative of the focus groups. La stly, interpretations and reco mmendations of the study were given.
53 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This qualitative study explored the career developm ent path of female student-athletes at the University of Florida intending to pursue career s in collegiate athletics. The data collected in this study attempted to address the need for more focused research on the positive influences leading current female student-athletes to enter the field. This chapter discusses the results of the study in three sections. The first section desc ribes the participants in the study. The second section presents the common them es uncovered in the focus groups The third section discusses similarities and differences of th e sample with the pilot study. Demographics of Sample Using Qualtrics Survey Software 262 current University of Fl orida fem ale student-athletes were distributed the Request for Participation su rvey (see Appendix A). A total of 45 responses were gathered for a response rate of seventeen percent (17%, n=45). Of the respondents, the largest proportion were freshm en (36%, n=16) followed by seni ors (31%, n=14), sophomores (18%, n=8), juniors (9%, n=4) and graduate students (7%, n=3). The womens sport with the largest responses rate was tr ack and field (33.33%, n=15). Ot her womens sports were as follows: lacrosse and swimming (15.56%, n=7), gymnastics, soccer, softball and volleyball (6.67%, n=3), and basketball and golf (4.44%, n=2). No responses were received from tennis. The distribution of respondents by sport is shown in Table 4-1. The largest percentage of respondents were completing their degree from the College of Health and Human Performance (31.11%, n=14) fo llowed by Liberal Arts and Sciences (22.22%, n=10), Warrington College of Business Administ ration (15.56%, n=7), Ag ricultural and Life Science (13.33, n=6), Journalism and Communications (8.89%, n=4) and Design, Construction
54 and Planning, Education, Nursing, and Public H ealth and Health Professions (2.22%, n=1). The distribution of respondents by coll ege is shown in Table 4-2. Table 4-1. Distribution of respondents by sport Sport Frequency Percent % Basketball 2 4.44% Golf 2 4.44% Gymnastics 3 6.67% Lacrosse 7 15.56% Soccer 3 6.67% Softball 3 6.67% Swimming 7 15.56% Tennis 0 0.00% Track & Field 15 33.33% Volleyball 3 6.67% Total 45 100.00% Table 4-2. Distribution of respondents by college College FrequencyPercent % Agricultural and Life Sciences 613.33% Business Administration 715.56% Design, Construction and Planning 12.22% Education 12.22% Health and Human Performance 1431.11% Journalism and Communications 48.89% Liberal Arts & Sciences 1022.22% Nursing 12.22% Public Health and Health Professions 12.22% Total 45100.00% The initial questionnaire used four Likert scale questions to determine whether the respondents future career plans included working in collegiate athletics. Sixty-nine percent (69%, n=31) of the respondents indicated some level of agreement to the statement After graduation I plan to pursue a career in sports other than as a pr ofessional athlete. Interestingly, the same percentage, (69%, n=31) showed agreemen t with the statement After graduation I plan to pursue a career outside of s ports. Slightly less, (51%, n=23) showed agreement with the statement, After graduation I plan to pursue a ca reer in collegiate athletics. The majority of
55 these respondents, (33%, n=15), selected slightly agree the lowest level of agreement and only one respondent selected completely agree. Howe ver, respondents showed an increase in the level of agreement (57%, n=26) to the statement In 5 to 10 years I can see myself working in collegiate athletics. The respondents also showed a more even distributi on between the level of agreement as 29% (n=13) slightly agreed, 24% (n=11) mostly agreed and 4% (n=2) completely agreed with the statement. Sixty pe rcent, (69%, n=27) agre ed to further contact about participating in a focus group on the topic. Of those, 19 respondents met the criteria to participate. The criteria for se lection were set as follows: 1. Any level of agreement with the statement, I n 5 to 10 years, I can see myself working in collegiate athletics 2. Any level of agreement with the statement, Aft er graduation I plan to pursue a career in collegiate athletics Demographics of Participants Three focus group sessions were held with a combined total of 12 participants. Of those who partic ipated the majority were freshme n (50%, n=6) with equal representation of sophomores, juniors, and seniors (16.67%, n=2). Participants aver aged 19.42 years in age. Four participants (33.33%, n=4) iden tified their race as black or African American, and eight participants (66.67%, n=8) identified their race as white or Caucasian. Track and Field was the most represented sport with six (50%, n=6) pa rticipants and the following sports all had one participant (8.33%, n=1); golf, gymnastics, lacros se, soccer, softball and volleyball. There were no participants from basketball, swimming or tennis. Table 4-3 show s the distri bution of participants by sport. The largest percentage of participants were s eeking degrees from the College of Health and Human Performance (33.33%, n=4) followed by an e qual distribution of pa rticipants seeking degrees in Agricultural and Life Science (16.67%, n=2), Warrington College of Business
56 Administration (16.67%, n=2), J ournalism and Communications ( 16.67%, n=2), and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (16.67% n=2). Table 4-4 shows the di stribution of participants by college. Table 4-3. Distribution of participants by sport Sport Frequency Percent % Basketball 0 0.00% Golf 1 8.33% Gymnastics 1 8.33% Lacrosse 1 8.33% Soccer 1 8.33% Softball 1 8.33% Swimming 0 0.00% Tennis 0 0.00% Track & Field 6 50.00% Volleyball 1 8.33% Total 12 100.00% Table 4-4. Distribution of participants by college College FrequencyPercent % Agricultural and Life Sciences 216.67% Business Administration 216.67% Health and Human Performance 433.33% Journalism and Communications 216.67% Liberal Arts & Sciences 216.67% Total 12100.00% All participants showed a change in response to at least one st atement of the four screening Likert scale statements used in the initial questionnaire (see A ppendix A) when completed after the focus group session (see Demographic Questionna ire, Appendix F). Three participants (25%, n=3) demonstrated a change in response to all four statements. These changes also showed that the participants had a higher level of agreement to pursuing a career in collegiate athletics after participating in the focus group discussion as determined by their response to the two statements used as selection criteria fo r participation. Prior to partic ipating in the focus group, ten
57 respondents (n=10) indicated some level of agreement with the statement, After graduation I plan to pursue a career in colle giate athletics. However, seven respondents (n=7) selected the lowest level of agreement slightly agree. Table 4-5 shows all responses of the participants to the Likert scale statements on the initial questionnaire. Table 4-5. Responses of particip ants to initia l questionnaire. Completely Agree Mostly Agree Slightly Agree Completely Disagree Mostly Disagree Slightly Disagree After graduation I plan to pursue a career in sports other than as a professional athlete: 6 3 2 1 0 0 After graduation I plan to pursue a career in collegiate athletics: 1 2 7 0 2 0 After graduation I plan to pursue a career outside of sports: 1 5 3 0 0 3 In 5 to 10 years, I can see myself working in collegiate athletics: 1 3 6 0 0 2 After participating in a focus group, eleven pa rticipants (n=11) showed agreement to the statement, After graduation I plan to pursue a ca reer in collegiate athletics. The majority of responses (n=6) still reflected th e lowest level of agreement, s lightly agree, but the responses mostly agree and completely agree both showed an increase by one response (n=3, n=2). Similar findings occurred with the statement I n 5 to 10 years I can se e myself working in collegiate athletics. Again, in itially only ten res pondents (n=10) showed some level of agreement with the majority of responses (n=6) being slightly agree. After participating in a focus group, eleven respondents showed some level of agreement, this time with the majority (n=5) selecting mostly agree and the respons e completely agree increasing by one (n=2). Table 4-6 shows responses to the demographic questionnaire after participating in a focus group.
58 Table 4-6. Responses of participan ts to demographic questionnaire. Completely Agree Mostly Agree Slightly Agree Completely Disagree Mostly Disagree Slightly Disagree After graduation I plan to pursue a career in sports other than as a professional athlete: 3 2 6 0 1 0 After graduation I plan to pursue a career in collegiate athletics: 2 3 6 0 1 0 After graduation I plan to pursue a career outside of sports: 3 2 3 0 1 3 In 5 to 10 years, I can see myself working in collegiate athletics: 2 5 4 0 0 1 Findings The following them es emerged from the thr ee focus groups held with current female student-athletes at the University of Florida: (1 ) Experiences in Sport; (2 ) Familiarity; (3) Social Networks; (4) Role Models; (5) Delay of Entry into the Field. Experiences in Sport Experience and involvem ent as a student-athle te at the University of Florida raised individuals level of awareness to the different career opportuniti es in collegiate athletics. Coaching was the most identified career; however advisors and any job with an athletic association were the second most identified po sitions. When asked how they learned about the specific jobs within colle giate athletics some identified just the experience of being around it. Others expressed the idea that the environment was unique at the University of Florida. Being here in this scale of an envi ronment kind of opens your eyes to how many different careers you can have being involved with the University Athletic Association. One participant acknowledged observing these different positions began as early as her recruiting trip. When I first took my visit [I] got to meet everyone a nd realized there is someone for every specific thing.
59 There was a mix between recognizing only traditi onal jobs within colleg iate athletics (i.e. coaches and athletic directors) and recognizing a variety of very specific positions. On average, the younger participants were limited in their awar eness to coaching. Specifically, in one focus group of five participants (which included thr ee freshmen), four answered coaching when asked to pick an ideal career in collegiate athletics. This limite d perception of collegiate athletic careers was exemplified by one participate sta ting, Coaching. Its th e only thing I know. The older participants were able to verbalize sp ecific positions in multiple departments. One department in particular, the Office of Student Life (OSL) which provides academic support for student athletes, was identified as influential in increasing awar eness of different careers in collegiate athletics. When asked, How did you lear n about careers in collegiate athletics? one participant responded, I guess just the OSL in general because we are always interacting Later in the discussion when asked the question, When did you identify colleg iate athletics as a potential career path? one participant responded: I guess when I got here and actually s eeing what the OSL does, and all the interactions that you get with everyone it seems like it would be a cool job because I always wantedto do something with sports but I didnt know exactly what role in sports. Interestingly, some participants were not ab le to identify specific titles but could name individuals working within the University At hletic Association (UAA) This could indicate student-athletes were aware of these individuals and the role they played even without know specific titles, something that could be unique to UF. You could be Jeremy Foleyor writing the news on like Gatorzone or something. In one case, the career path was specifically shaped by a definite experience rather than general experiences as a student athlete. One participant experienced surgery over a summer and was intro duced to the physicians assistant that worked for an orthopedic surgeon. It was really this past summer that nailed it down [working in
60 collegiate athletics]. Afte r going through surgery and just to sp end time with him and I just asked him a lot of questions. The experience of an athletic injury in tu rn impacted her career development. Familiarity Fam iliarity with sports gave participants conf idence that if pursued, they could experience a successful career in co llegiate athletics. Ill probably be more familiar with it than anything. Ive been in sports since I was eightand then being here, in teracting with everyone and seeing what they do, its a way of lifeit is something that I will do because it is all I know. Comfortable. This familiarity led one participant to major in Sport Management, I am used to being around athletes and working with them. So its familiar. However, this familiarity also contributed to a narrowed perspective of the possible different car eer tracks within athletics. The majority of participants responded that coaching would be th e position they would pur sue within collegiate athletics and they would feel mo st comfortable in this positio n. When asked about past work experiences in the field of athletics, nearly all had participated in a co aching role while only two of the twelve participants had se rved in another role in athletic s. This limited work experience, while giving the participants confidence for pursuit of coaching, may contribute to the limited career aspirations in athletics. One participant recognized this as she advised fellow female student-athletes to explore the different options th at there are because its so easy to think of just being involved in coachingth ere are so many more options. One participant was unique in that her fa miliarity with sport and coaching began long before her experience as an athlete. Thats all Ive really known though. My parents played volleyball and coach volleyball and even when I wasnt playing I was always around it. So I cant really imagine leaving it behind complete ly. Similarly, participants indicated their experience as leaders on their teams gave them th e confidence to pursue a career in athletics.
61 One participant spoke of being a captain on her high school team and learning to coach her teammates as well as practice on her own. Anothe r mentioned completing leadership training as part of her athletic experience in college. Both of these experiences helped to generate familiarity with the sport and coaching that built their confid ence in obtaining a successful future career in athletics. Social Networks Participants social netw orks had an influe nce in two areas of career development: (1) choosing an academic major and (2) identifying co llegiate athletics as a potential career path. Participants social networks of family member s or high school environm ent had an influence on choice of major. One participant, a finance major who verbalized plans of using her degree in the field of collegiate athletics, said she picked her major due to her membership in a finance academy at her high school. I went in it because my brother was in it. And it just kind of clicked and I like it. So my major in business is focu sing on finance. Another participant acknowledged she chose environmental sciences because my middle school was more conscious of environmental issues than the typical school. These responses may indicate that the choice of college major is greatly influenced by earlier educational experiences in high school and middle school. However, in the discussion of choosing an academic major, it became evident that participants experienced a change in social ne twork around the same time period that influenced choice of major. For example, one participant relayed this story: I came in my freshman year and wanted to be pre-med but I decided the sciences were not for me. It was because my mo m worked in the hospital and I grew up around that. But I took a course in economics and business was more of my thing. Thats why I decided to do Bu siness and then Marketing. Recognition of collegiate athletics as a potenti al career path began as early as high school for at least one participant. She credits her hi gh school social network an d interactions with a
62 high school coaches for generating her awareness of collegiate co aches. I knew if you could be a high school coach you could be a college coach And my coaches from high school talked about the different high school coaches that got promoted to college. Another participant credited her larger social network of her hometown as influencing her decision to work in collegiate athletics. Im just a big sports fan. I grew up here so Im a big Gator fan. In Gainesville, there is not that much to do except to go to Gator sporting events. Family member comprises the third segment of a so cial network that influenced pa rticipants to pursue a career in collegiate athletics. One particip ant stated, My moms been a coach for 13 years of my life. She would pick me up from school a nd we would go on the bus with he r middle school and I was just around watching her coach her teams. Another c ontributed, My relative is a manager of the Padres so I talked to him about a career in spor ts and he talked about how collegiate athletics is booming more than professional sports with job opportunities. Participants were able to identify the impor tance of building a strong social network in whatever field an individual has an interest in advancing in as a career. When asked, What advice would you give a fellow female student-athlet e who wants to pursue a career in collegiate athletics? many answers revolv ed around building your social network. Responses included: You just got to talk to people Asking your coach about it Tell them to ask questions and talk to people in the field Know people, thats a big one Yet these answers were limited as they did not indicate who should be included in your social network in order to pursue colleg iate athletics. Rather participan ts reverted to just the general people and only one mentioned a specific person, your coach.
63 Role Models Few role m odels were identified by participants but they were influential to the studentathletes recognition of collegiat e athletics as a potential care er path. The younger participants were more likely to identify role models from high school, especially coaches. One participant, speaking of her high school coaches, said, They told me the blunt truth that the pay is not that good, but most coaches just have a true passion for it and if you want to be around athletics it is a good way to go. Another participant answered, Just being around different coaches opens your eyes to good and bad things. For these two pa rticipants there was no one individual coach identified as a role model, ra ther those who held the position of coach were perceived as a generic role model. Only two part icipants were able to identify specific individuals who directly impacted their career path, guiding them to consider collegiate athletics. One participant, a senior, identified speci fic people working within the UAA; Lynda Tealer, the Senior Woman Administrator, and Je remy Foley, the Athletic Director. When asked, How did you learn about careers in collegiate athletics? she answ ered, I guess here at least, Jeremy Foley is very interactive and he knows us and is always talking with us. Furthermore, she knew the career path of the Athletic Director when refere ncing the importance of getting involved even if its just an in ternship. Think about where Jeremy Foley started. He was in the ticket office and he worked his way up and look how successful he is now. He is the best AD in the country. The same participant, when asked Are there any individuals who helped you in your decision to pursue collegiate athletics as a career? responded I really love what Lynda Tealer does, shes the AD of all the womens sports and so she has been one of the influences in my potential decision to work in athletics. When prompted, And how has she influenced you specifically? she stated, Just th e way that she does her job. I see what she does, and who she works with and what she gets to do and it seems really rewarding.
64 The second participant identified he r high school athletic director. I was working with her since I was a fr eshman and up until I graduated. I pretty much went wherever she went, traveled w ith the football team and basketball team. I worked hands on with all the sports She was a major influence on me. This unique experience of working with a hi gh school athletic director influenced the participants choice of major, she wants to pursue Sport Management, and it strengthened her resolve to work in athletics. When I first got to [high school] I didnt know much about sports, or football. I didnt think that I would have an opportunity to travel with [the football team] and be able to see what they are experiencing just by being her assistant. It was a good experience for me and it made me want to he lp them and have a future job in that position. Delay of Entry into the Field Many of the participants ha d post graduation plans for pursuing careers outside of colleg iate athletics. However, most participants never discredited athletics as a possible career path. When asked, When did you identify collegiate athletics as a potenti al career path? one participant answered, I dont want to pursue collegiate athletic s at the moment but maybe down the road. Some participants expressed a need to find other strengths besides athletics and then perhaps return to working within sports. One part icipant related this to her team environment and wanting to function as an indi vidual outside of a team. When I leave I want to kind of be my ow n person for the first time in four years. Like Ill have been part of something, something special, but still I want to do something special on my own. And Ill probably miss being part of that type of community that type of family which is the primary reason I think Ill be coming back. Another participant noted that student-athletes might feel a loss of identify with graduation and leaving their sport. I think when people get out of their sport and they gradua te they think, What am I going to do now? Its all Ive done my w hole life. I havent done a lot with collegiate athletics but I have pursued a lot of other things.I have just done more
65 random things to broaden my horizons and learn more than just the sport I have been playing my whole life. So my jobs, I havent really pursued within lacrosse because I just want to make sure that I can do something else too. This participant was the only one who voiced deliberately working outside of athletics to explore other interests. Some participan ts responded they would advise fe llow female student-athletes to Just make sure its what you want to do when pursuing a career in colleg iate athletics. Another participant, a senior, advised it s really important to find out th e things that you dont want to do because it may lead you to discover what you do want to do. Her statement, especially as a participant farther along in the care er development process, reiterates this theme of delay of entry into the field. The participants, although interest ed in a career in college athletics, were not actively pursuing this career track as they still demonstrated uncerta inty in their career interests. This uncertainty can be attributed to their limited experience in areas outside of athletics in part caused by the time demands of being an athlete. As one participant explained in detailing her post-graduation plans, Its time to get an internship just because I havent really been able to with training. Comparisons with the Pilot Study The pilot study was conducted with the purpose of refining the focus group questions, crea ting additional probing questions, and fine-tuning the process. However, it also served a secondary purpose of collecting comparison data as the older age group provided greater insight into influences on their career paths. The focu s group consisted of three former University of Florida female student-athletes all employed in entry level positions within the University Athletic Association. Similarities Participan ts of the pilot study were able to identify similar job positions within collegiate athletics and also contributed their awareness of such positions to just being around athletics as a
66 student-athlete at the University of Florida. They identified so me of the same role models in Lynda Tealer and Jeremy Foley. Two of the participants directly contributed their decision to pursue collegiate athletics to interactions with Lynda Tealer duri ng their undergraduate experience. Both identified becoming a Senior Woman Administrator as the future role they intend to pursue in collegiate athletics. The th ird participant noted two different male role models, her academic advisor and high school athlet ic director. This participant was less decided in her future career path noting she would like to remain in contact with the student-athletes but not sure of a specific role. These resu lts coincide with those of the focus groups. Individuals who identified a female role model that played a significan t role or was highly visible, indicated stronger intere st in pursuing a career in colleg iate athletics measured by higher levels of agreement with the tw o statements: After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in athletics and In 5 to 10 years I can see myself working in collegiate athletics. Interestingly, up until their current positions in internships or pos t graduate assistantships, the participants had only worked as an age group coach or summer camp coach in the fiel d of athletics. The participants in the focus groups he ld similar working backgrounds. Differences The greatest difference in the pilot study was the further developed career paths of the participan ts. For example, one participant in pa rticular elaborated on her plan to eventually become an SWA. She clearly identified her goals and specific tasks to achieve this career track. Her advanced career development, in comparison to the focus groups participants, could possibly be attributed to the ol der age of the pilot study. However, other influences may have contributed. Specifically, this participant mentione d an advisor that guided her in exploring the past career tracks of SWAs at other institutio ns. This advisor had an impact on her career development. Another difference documented in the pilot study was particip ants desire to give
67 back and influence people as a re ason for entry into a career in collegiate athletics. Only one participant of twelve in the focus group sample ve rbalized this idea of giving back. Lastly, role models had a much larger influence on participants in the pilot study as these role models often acted more as mentors. In particular, the particip ants spoke at length abou t the personal influence Lynda Tealer and Jeremy Foley had on their career development. The participants of this study had not experienced such a personal impact from these two athletic administrators quite like those of the pilot study.
68 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS This chapter interprets the findings of the study in two parts. First, th is chapter relates the findings to the general goals and research quest ions posed by this study. Second, the themes as discussed in the previous chapter are applied to the theoretical framework of the SCCT. This research is unique in that the focus is on the positive influences. The research questions this study intended to answer were: 1. What are common factors of influence in fe male student-athletes decision to pursue careers in collegiate athletics? 2. What formative experiences influence the proj ected career paths of current female studentathletes pursuing collegiate athletics? 3. What are the implications for the field of co llegiate athletics to encourage current female student-athletes to pursue careers in athletics? Common Factors of Influence This sec tion will review the common factors of influence in the participants decision to pursue careers in collegiate athletic s. The findings of this study i ndicate that the primary factors of influence were role models and mentors and the interactions the sample had with the Office of Student Life at the University of Florida. Role Models and Mentors Participants in the study expresse d role m odels had influenced th eir interest in a career in collegiate athletics. However, only two provide d in-depth information about how these role models affected their career development. There is still little research i ndicating the magnitude of impact role models may have on female student-athlete pursuing a career in collegiate athletics (Demers, 2004). The findings of this study indica te that although role models, like coaches, sparked interest in a ca reer in collegiate athle tics, their influence was not enough to inspire action to actively pursue a career in collegiate athletics. Rather, as this study supports, an established
69 mentor-mentee relationship created greater initiative in pursuing a ca reer in collegiate athletics. Mentoring is a process that li nks an experienced individual with someone who needs support and guidance (Lough, 2001, p. 31). The participant in this study, who iden tified her high school athletic director as her role model, experien ced a mentor-mentee relationship and indicated a stronger level of agreement than all other participants on the Likert scale statements, indicating pursuit of a career in collegia te athletics. According to Lough (2001), A true mentoring relationship cannot be established until the at hlete acknowledges an interest in pursuing [collegiate athletics] as a caree r (p. 32). However, this stud y would suggest that unsolicited mentoring is needed to recruit female student-ath letes into a career in collegiate athletics. For instance, the participan t with the mentor experience in hi gh school has already expressed an interest in majoring in Sport Management. T hus, it can be argued her mentor relationship initiated her pursuit of a career in collegiate athletics as shown by her choice of major. Wickers study of African Am erican women athletics administrators also noted the importance of role models and mentors for car eer success. Beyond looking to influential women in the field for inspiration, Wickers participants indicated the belief that women help to advance each other had a strong impact over their indivi dual career development (2008). Lough (2001) explored the potential impact of mentoring in helping female student-athletes advance to head coaching positions. She emphasized the need for formal internships with the provision of a mentor necessary for females to advance in th e field. Even though mentoring is not new, the idea of women in sports servi ng as mentors to other women in order to help them along the leadership path is a relatively novel one (p. 31). Participants in th is study also recognized this notion of learning from a mentor. It is important because when you start at the bottom, you
70 learn from people above you who are good at what they do. And thats how you progress and get better and get the promotions. Interactions with the Office of Student Life Participan ts of this study credited the de partment responsible for academic support of student-athletes, as increasing th eir awareness of careers in collegi ate athletics. Their statements expressed the need for an inter active student-athlete support center on campus to advance career development within collegiate athletics. Hi gher education institutions have realized their obligation to provide a supportiv e environment as soon as possible for student-athletes to succeed (Carodine, Almond & Gratto, 2001, p. 21). Ca rodine et al. (2001) suggest holistic support should be available to student-athletes including services for academic advisement, personal development, and career development. Th e authors further outlined specific action steps and formal programs that should be offered for student-athletes to prov ide all thre e areas of support. Recommendations for career development include administering in terest inventories, holding workshops, and providing car eer counseling. However, in this study the student-athletes did not mention any specific program offered by th e OSL which impacted their interest in career development in collegiate athletics. Rather the pa rticipants credited just being in the OSL and talking with our academic advisors as the reason for their awareness to careers in collegiate athletics. This finding of an influentia l student-athlete support center on campus may be generalized to the larger population. In 1991, the NCAA esta blished legislation re quiring all member institutions to provide academic counseling to student-athletes (Abell, 2000). This legislation only established that academic couns eling must take place, not that a separate student-athlete support center be developed. Yet, many institutions have an esta blished student-athlete support center. In October of 2009 the NCAA News rel eased a study indicated that 92% of Division I
71 institutions reported increased or steady spendi ng on academic support services for their studentathletes (Hosick, 2009). Allocation of such funds indicates the univers al emphasis placed on student-athlete support as this data was gath ered during an economi c downturn which caused many institutions to make budget cuts. Thus, the ma jority of Division I institutions recognize the value of these support centers in the holistic de velopment of student-ath letes and are allocating additional funds (Carodine et al., 2001). Common Formative Experiences This sec tion will review the common formativ e experiences that influenced the career paths of the female student-athletes sampled. The findings of this study indicated that the common formative experiences can be organized into two categories. First, participants shared the student-athlete experience. Second, the partic ipants also demonstrated delayed and limited career development. Student-Athlete Experience Many of the participants were lifelong athletes, as self -reported on the demographic questionnaires and discussed in the focus groups. Ive been in sports since I was eightits a way of life said one participant. Their further exp eriences as st udent-athletes at the University of Florida gave the participants insight into careers in collegiate at hletics and a sense of confidence about entry into a nont raditional field. Predominantly, th e participants intended to enter the field as a coach as most identified coachi ng as their future career role of choice. This career choice is logical as the majority of thei r athletic experience was spent with their coach. These results contradicted those of Demers (2004) who found that participan ts lacked confidence even though they had participated at an elite level in their sports. Perhaps, the confidence level of this sample could be contributed to their unique experience as UF student-athletes.
72 Although the majority of the pa rticipants responses were limited to coaching when discussing future roles within colle ge athletics, past research ha s documented that this role can lead to other career tracks. Wi cker (2008) noted the majority of her participants, African American female administrators in collegiate at hletics, began their careers as coaches. The same career path was documented in a study by Tiell (2004), which noted 58% of the participants in her study began their careers with coaching or teaching experience s. Therefore, in many cases coaching can be an entry level position that leads to other opportuni ties within collegiate athletics. Also, participants further along in their career develo pment were more likely to note multiple career paths within collegiate athletic s. Therefore, it appeared there was a positive correlation between years of experience as a stud ent-athlete and increased awareness of varying careers within collegiate athletics. Delayed and Limited Career Development Experience as a student-athlete builds work rela ted skills, but it also limits time spent in self exploration of othe r interests and career pursuits. This li mited self exploration was evident through participants expression to learn about their strength s other than athletics. Many described plans of getting out of sports and working in a different field before making a decision to pursue a career in athletics. Almost all st udent-athletes put off this exploration until after finished with their sport. However, many advise d fellow female student-athletes interested in a career in college athletics to be gin career explor ation earlier. For a number of reasons, it seems that varsity student-athletes, especially at large Division I universities, may not dedicate much thought or e ffort to developing a care er path. (Martens & Lee, 1998, p. 123). Martens and Lee (1998) outline fi ve different explanations for why studentathletes demonstrate lower levels of career deve lopment: (1) lack of time (2) imposed structure that limits self exploration (3) hi gher levels of anxiety in career exploration due to strong athletic
73 identity (4) strong commitment to sport and (5) lack of integration into campus. As noted in Wickers study, female administrators in the fiel d found that their career focus in athletics did not form until graduate school (2008). The pilot st udy also confirmed that at least one participant began her pursuit of a career in collegiate at hletics with enrollment in a graduate program. Although this delay in decision making may be the standard for field, ed ucation and awareness of careers in athletic s needs to begin earlier if the female student-athlete p opulation is to be recruited. Applications to the SCCT The prim ary purpose of SCCT is to identify th e processes of career development including identification of academic and occupational intere sts and promotion of career-relevant choices (Lent, Hackett & Brown, 1996, p. 6). Therefore, this study applied th e responses of participants to this social cognitive framework to understand the processes of career development for these female student-athletes interested in a career in collegiate athletics. Lent, Hackett and Brown (1996) described three variables self efficacy, outcome expectations, and personal goals as the building blocks of SCCT (p. 8). Thus, to assess the proce sses of career development of this sample, responses were analyzed w ithin each of these three variables. Self Efficacy As defined by Bandura (1986), self-efficacy is p e oples judgments of their capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types of performances (p. 391). Wicker (2008) describes self-efficacy as the confidence to perform career specific tasks (p. 103). In this study, participants self-effi cacy for a career in co llegiate athletics was demonstrated through the theme of familiarity. Many responses indicated that athletics was comfortable and familiar as th ey were life-long athletes and they felt capable working in the field. Such self-efficacy can be built thr ough four primary sources performance
74 accomplishments, vicarious learning, social pe rsuasion, and physiological reactions (Lent, Hackett & Brown, 1996). In this case, and in co ngruence with the researchers, performance accomplishments had the greatest influence over the participants self-efficacy. By the very nature of the sample, elite athletes at a Division I institution, all have accomplished great feats in their respective sports. This study also found that role models in the field of collegiate athletics influenced the participants self-efficacy which c oncurs with past research (Schere et al., 1991; Nauta et al, 1998). Further, those participants who identified a successful female role model presented higher levels of aspirations to pursue a career in collegiate at hletics through responses on the demographic questionnaire. Viewed from another perspective, individuals often eliminate careers which they believe to be beyond their capabilities (Bandura, 1986). Alt hough responses from participants lacked a strong commitment to a career path in collegiate athle tics, as many indicate d a desire to pursue other opportunities before return ing to athletics, none were eliminating the career path completely. Keeping the option open to pursue careers in collegiate athletics would suggest participants do feel capable in their skills for such a career. As such, academic and occupational interests can be influenced by ones self-efficacy beliefs (Brown & Lent, 1996). Therefore, the strongest recruiting strategy to br ing female student-athletes into the field should be to develop, cultivate and retain this self belief. Outcome Expectations An individuals outcome exp ectation, or certainty of the consequences of particular action s, is based upon self-efficacy for a specific be havior and the belief of the likely effects of that behavior. Lent, Hackett a nd Brown (1996) argued that individuals will avoid certain careers if they do not believe they are capable, even if they career is associated with positive outcomes (e.g. a high salary). This study not ed an opposite relations hip. Participants were hesitant in
75 actively pursuing a career in athletics due to neutral or negative outcome expectations even though they perceived themselves as capable. Such results are congruent with the argument of Brown and Lent (1996) th at individuals may eliminate caree rs due to low self-efficacy, poor outcome expectations, or both factors combined. In this study, the participants had the necessary self-efficacy, or belief, to take action to attain a career in athletics, however, they were still uncertain about the outcomes associated with work ing in athletics. For example, while observing current coaches, one participant commented, Coaching sounds fun, but I dont know if I want to deal with a ll the stressthat I have seen our coach go through. Its hard to be in that type of position, especially in her position where its the first year we have lost the SEC regular season title. And none of us want to be part of that team. Its an extremely stressful time and I cant imagine itso thats tremendous pr essure and I dont know that I want that for the rest of my life. Some participants noted their hesitation to enter the field of collegiate athletics because of the few opportunities for promotion. I think the main reason why me personally I didnt want to do a career in the UAA, is that positions are never openand if you do eventually get that job you have to start from the very bottom and wait a nd wait and wait until a promotion opens up. This expectation of few advancement opportunities in the field of collegiate athletics was also reiterated as one participant recounted Jeremy Fo leys journey to become the Athletic Director. Obviously he was patient and waited, waite d, waited a long time. These negative outcome expectations, of having to work hard at the bo ttom level for many years, hindered participants desire to pursue careers in college athletics. Their hindered interest coincides with the research of Brown and Lent (1996) which ar gues that perceptions of barr iers moderate the relations between interests and occupa tional choices (p. 354).
76 Personal Goals Establishing personal goals de m onstrates intention to pursue a certain activity (Lent, Hackett & Brown, 1996). This last building bloc k of SCCT was notably the most undeveloped among the sample. Many of the participants did not have measurable goals related to the pursuit of a career in collegiate athletic s. One assumption is that these student-athletes, although they have developed goal setting abi lities in sports, have not tran sferred the skill for career development. Nonetheless, the older participants in the samp le had very specific goals for developing careers in their post graduation plans. This would suggest that student-athletes are capable of applying goal setting to their own career devel opment. Therefore, it is possible that the young age of the sample affects this variable of their career development processes. Another conclusion in the analys is of personal goals was the l ack of goal setting for careers in collegiate athletics. Of the few that verba lized specific goals, none included steps to achieve for a career in collegiate athletic s. In comparison, one participant in the pilot study had carefully developed personal goals based on the past care er tracks of other females in the field of collegiate athletics. This partic ipant was also the most confiden t in her pursuit of a position within collegiate athletics, and demonstrated pos itive outcome expectations for her future career. Her progression in her career development within all three constructs of SCCT emphasizes the dynamic relationship between the three. An indi vidual cannot establish personal goals without self-efficacy for the career tasks and expecting po sitive outcomes for their efforts. Further, the fact that the participants in this study did not indicate specific goals for advancement, may weaken their level of self-efficacy and negativel y affect their outcome expectations (Lent, Hackett & Brown, 1996).
77 Assessment of Career Development The dynam ic relationship of these three key co nstructs allows for a snapshot of the participants career development in regards to career s in collegiate athletic s. The participants in this study demonstrated sufficient self-efficacy to en ter careers in collegiate athletics. However, their interest for pursuing the field was nega tively impacted by their perceived outcome expectations. In turn, the partic ipants were undeveloped in esta blishing personal goals. As such, it can be inferred that the second building block, outcome expect ations, stalled advancement in the participants career development path towards co llegiate athletics, as revealed in the delay of entry theme in participants re sponses. Even persons with well-developed and differentiated interests in a particular career path will be unlikely to pursue that path if they perceive (accurately or inaccurately) substa ntial barriers to entering or a dvancing in that career (Brown & Lent, 1996, p. 356). Thus, efforts should focus on building perceptions of positive outcomes in careers in collegiate athletics. Implications for the Field In order to increas e female student-athlete interest in careers in collegiate athletics, advances must be made on institutional leve l as well as with th e governing body, the NCAA. Based on the findings of this study, institutions s hould focus on increasing pursuit in careers in athletics, especially from female student-a thletes, through implementing career development programs within student-athlete s upport centers and by building stude nt-athletes social networks based on career interests. On the national level, the NCAA has already taken actions to encourage female student-athletes to pursue ca reers in athletics th rough career development programs and scholarships. However, suggestions will be made to improve accessibility to such programs.
78 Career Development Programs at the Institutional Level The first recomm endation is to create career development programs through the studentathlete support centers. Researchers have identified the need to build an outreach program to bridge student-athletes to the main career re sources on campus in order to promote career development (Carodine et al., 2001; Martens & Lee, 1998). Mart ens and Lees (1998) Career Development Intervention Program for Student Athletes, progresses st udent-athletes through career development as they pr ogress through four years on under graduate education. The model is framed in terms of life-career development and centers ar ound the holistic process of career development (p. 126). In order to implem ent a successful outreach program, three general steps can be adapted to each institutions unique circumstance. First, any student-athlete program must be structured through co llaboration with the athletic department. As Martens and Lee (1998) recognize, it is the administration ultimat ely defines the time and structural demands that guide the athletes behavior (p. 129). Only a career development progr am with the support of administration can become a practice of the athletic culture (p. 129). The second step of Martens and Lees (1998) in tegrated approach is the identification of program goals to help outline specific career development activities. These program goals include; addressing all logistical barriers that deter from career development (i.e. time), promoting independence in the self exploration process, expanding career options, and appreciating students athletic identity. In reviewing the responses from participants of this study, these goals are esp ecially important in developing a ho listic career development program. For example, at least one participant identified th e need to establish independence from her team in identifying her individual strengths, When I le ave, I want to be my own person for the first time in four yearsI want to do something speci al on my own. This coincides with the second goal of Martens and Lee integrated a pproach to career development.
79 The third and fourth program goals of expanding options and apprecia ting athletic identify were strongly supported by the data collected in this study as necessities in the career development process of student-a thletes. Martens a nd Lee recognize that many student-athletes do not have the opportunity to explore career options outside of their sport (1998). Perhaps this feeling of limited exploration a nd experience contributed to the cen tral theme of delay of entry into the field found in this study. One participan t exclaimed, I dont want to get all sports-ed out, do you know what I mean? Still this participant considers collegiate athl etics to be a viable career path, as she indicated sports has been a nd will always be a way of life which coincides with Martens and Lees fourth goa l of their model, appreciating th e athletic identity. Athletic identity should be integrated into the career development proce ss to eliminate a sport/non-sport dichotomy mentality (p. 130). The final step of Martens and Lees (1998) Career Development Intervention Program for Student Athletes, is the impleme ntation of program activities. The researchers outline action steps to be taken at each undergraduate level and recommend such steps be completed in a regularly scheduled course. For example, freshm en should be introduced to the idea of career development and given a tour of resources on campus. At this time, self exploration and reflection should be an objective, a task that can completed in the form of a personal mission statement. Sophomore year includes more in-depth exploration of career tracks and the selection of a major. Junior year focuses on career pla nning and goal setting with a primary objective of gaining experience in different fields. Finally, senior year ap proaches the goal of obtaining employment by developing the skills for th e workforce and growing ones network. The Office of Student Life at the University of Florida executes a similar program of activities in its support for career development. All scholarship athletes are required to complete
80 a two-credit course as a freshman, and a three cr edit course as a senior which focuses on many of these goals. For example, the freshmen student -athletes are introduced to campus resources including the Career Resource Center and are as ked to create a personal mission statement. They also complete assignments to help with major expl oration. As seniors, stud ent-athletes revisit the Career Resource Center in a form al tour, partake in career fair s by talking with employers, and develop a resume (Carodine et al., 2001). All of these actions are recommended by Martens and Lee (1998) for improving career development among student-athletes; however, not one participant in this study attributed such activities to th eir own career development. Of the sample, roughly 50% had completed the tw o-credit freshman course and two had completed the threecredit senior course. Perhaps there is still a disconnect between c oursework and real life application in career development. On the ot her hand, many participants did attribute their interactions within the Office of Student Life to their ability to identify careers in collegiate athletics. This would suggest that certain aspects of these student -athletes career development is influenced by the programs of the Office of Student Life, even though the magnitude of development falls short of the programs goals. Building Social Networks at the Institutional Level Martens and Lee (1998) identified the need to guide student-athletes in building and using networks for career opportunities. Participants in the study by W icker (2008) also realized, Its all about networking (p. 94). The participan ts in this study were able to verbalize the importance of having a strong network to advance in a career in collegiate athletics. However, the same participants were not able to be more specific than people in their identification of who should be in their social network. Even th e individuals mentioned as role models in generating the participants interest in a career in collegiate athletics were not mentioned as being a part of ones network. There seemed to be a gap between recognizing influential people
81 in the field, and taking action to include them in ones network to advance in a career. Thus, institutions should place emphasis on the accessibility of administra tors and staff to the studentathletes. The social networks are not limite d to current professionals in the field. The development of networks among female student-a thletes can also have an impact on career development. In fact, through th eir participation in the focus groups, the group discussion about careers in collegiate athletic s increased individuals degree of agreement in likelihood of pursuing such a career, as measured by the demographic questionnaire. The development of life skills coordinators within student-athlete support centers is another method the institution should use to prom ote strong social networks for female studentathletes. Multiple institutions assist student-athletes in networking at formal events such as job fairs. For example, at the University of Texa s at Austin, the Longhorn Pride Career Day gives student-athletes the opportunity to interact with 80 companies learning about different career paths (Carodine et al., 2001). The University of Florida holds a sim ilar event, Recruiter Roundtable, biannually. Again, the student-athletes sampled in this study did not attribute their own career development to such an event. Therefore, it is suggested that life skills coordinators help female student-athletes interested in a care er in collegiate athletics build informal social networks at their own institutions. This should be done through introductions to the Senior Woman Administrator, female asso ciate athletic directors, and prominent female head coaches. By introducing female student-athletes to successf ul female figures at th eir own institution, it gives these student-athletes an immediate network of role models and po tential mentors in the field. NCAA Initiatives The NCAA has invested in program s and schol arships to increase the number of females working in collegiate athletics. Two of these initiatives are the Ethnic Minority and Women's
82 Enhancement Postgraduate Scholarship for Ca reers in Athletics, and the NCAA Womens Leadership Symposium. These initiatives encour age at two different levels. The enhancement postgraduate scholarship works to recruit cu rrent student-athletes into the field through educational opportunities. The goa l of the enhancement programs is to increase the pool of and opportunities for qualified minority and female candidates in inte rcollegiate athletics through postgraduate scholarships (N CAA Website). Each year th e NCAA awards a one time scholarship to 13 female student -athletes interested in pursuing a career in athletics. The scholarship is awarded to assist with tuiti on costs for students ente ring sport management graduate studies, or similar programs that ca n result in a career in collegiate athletics. The NCAA Womens Leadership Symposium is designed to advance females employed at entry level positions. The symposiums goals include building a professional network for females in collegiate athletics, identifying role models and mentors in the field, and encouraging students to pursue collegiate athletics as a career pat h. These goals promote the overall mission of recruitment and retention of wo men in athletics administration and coaching (NCAA Website). These NCAA initiatives are precisely the t ype of outreach programming that needs to occur to change the current tre nds of decreased female representation. On the other hand, it is difficult to determine the effectiveness of such programs for encouraging female student-athletes to pursue careers in collegiate athletics. Fo r example, the Ethnic Minority and Women's Enhancement Postgraduate Scholarship for Careers in Athletics is designed to help minorities and women pay for a graduate degr ee in a field related to athl etics. Yet, it is unknown how many scholarship recipients actually enter the field. Wick er (2008) noted that one of the participants in her study participated in programs geared towa rds developing women an d minorities as leaders in college athletics (p. 105). However, in this study none of the participants mentioned such
83 programs even when asked, What advice woul d you give a fellow female student-athlete wanting to pursue a career in collegiate athletic s? There appears to be a lack of awareness for these NCAA initiatives by current female student-a thletes in this study. Demers (2004) similarly concluded that female student-athletes seem to be under informed about the under representation of women in collegiate athletics. Thus, the NC AA should extend its efforts by marketing these initiatives, not only with current professionals but all female student-athletes. Ingenuity should be used in determining how to reach this popul ation through methods like social networking and mass media outlets. Limitations The results of this study were limited by the lack of initial response rate. Two hundred and sixty-two current female student-athletes at the University of Florida were e-mailed an Initial Request for Participation (see Appendix A). Forty-five female student-athletes responded by completing the online survey for a response rate of 17%. The low re sponse rate can be attributed, in part, to the population as student-athletes e xperience extensive time demands due to their sport. Further, the results of this study were limited to those female student-athletes who were willing to participate. Of the 45 respondents, 60% consented to further participation in a focus group and 40% of respondents declined. The data of this study was limited to those 60% who agreed to participate and were eligible to participate. Valuable data may have been lost in the 40% of respondents who declined to participate but met the select ion criteria. Lastly, of those who were selected to particip ate in the focus group only 63% (n=12) actually attended a session. A total of 19 female student-athl etes, who responded that they were interested in participating in a focus group and met the criteria, were selected and placed in a focus group. The results of this study were also limited due to the age of the participants. Fifty percent of the participants were freshmen and ther efore an underdeveloped car eer path was to be
84 expected. This was especially evident when co mparing responses of the younger participants to the seniors in the group and even more evident wh en responses are compared with those of the pilot study. However, the younger participants still contributed valuable information and having a range in age allowed for insight across academic years. Recommendations for Future Research In order to increase the num ber of female st udent-athletes entering careers in collegiate athletics it is important to execute further resear ch studies. Varying type s of longitudinal data need to be gathered to understand the multiple f actors influencing female student-athletes career paths. First, data should document the career path of current female student-athletes who express an interest in a career in collegiate athletics to discover the percentage of those identified that actually enter the field. For example, female student-athletes at multiple institutions can be sampled about their career interest s. Those who express an interest in collegiate athletics can be sampled in future years to track their career path. This data would allow researchers to identify what percentage of female stud ent-athletes, of those who identify an interest, actually pursue a career in collegiate athletics. Fu rther, it would explore the Delay of Entry into the Field theme found in this study. Data could actu ally support whether former fema le student-athletes return to work in collegiate athletics after a peri od of exploring other career options. Other future studies need to sample all t hose former female student-athletes currently employed in entry level positions, such as internships or graduate assistantships, within collegiate athletics. This type of sample will be identical to the sample us ed in the pilot study and should seek to repeat the methods used in this study. The purpose of conducting such research would be to expand upon the current data collect ed. The older sample could provide greater information about specific steps to be taken to en ter the field. Further, it provides insight into the influences leading those female st udent-athletes into a career in athletics. These future studies
85 should hold comparison focus groups with male st udent-athletes to compare common themes and influences. By using a comparison group of male st udent-athletes, research ers could also isolate the influence of gender in the data. Summary This study gathered qualitative data f rom twel ve current female student-athletes at the University of Florida interested in pursuing a ca reer in collegiate athletics. Five common themes in their career development in the field of collegiate athletics were revealed through the groups conversations: (1) Experiences in Sport; (2) Familiarity; (3) Soci al Networks; (4) Role Models; and (5) Delay of Entry into the Field. The groups discussions and common themes were used to answer the research ques tions posed by this study: 1. What are common factors of influence in fe male student-athletes decision to pursue careers in collegiate athletics? 2. What formative experiences influence the proj ected career paths of current female studentathletes pursuing collegiate athletics? 3. What are the implications for the field of co llegiate athletics to encourage current female student-athletes to pursue careers in athletics? Lastly, the responses were analyzed within the constructs of the SCCT to determine the career development path of the participants. The findi ngs of this study suggest a complexity of influences affect current female st udent-athletes in their pursuit of careers in collegiate athletics. It is my opinion that the initiatives set in place by the NCAA and the growing awareness of the membership to the underrepresentation of female s in collegiate athletics will have a profound impact on the field. This impact will continue to lag behind the efforts being made as career development is a lengthy and ongoing process. As such, more females will enter collegiate athletics and will advance in the field with the current programming and encouragement in place. But, institutions should be wary of depending on the NCAA to correct the imbalance. Conscious
86 decisions must be made to reach the female st udent-athlete population to expose them to positive experiences within careers in athletics. A curre nt female professional in the field stated, It would have been helpful to have been able to see somebody that looked li ke me doing something that I wanted to do (Wicker, 2008, p. 79). Thus the keys to access are the visibility and accessibility of female administrators and coaches and their responsibility to serve as mentors and role models to all female student athletes. Were at a point where weve lost a numb er of women who entered the field 10 or 20 years ago. As young female student-athletes go th rough our high school and college programs, if they dont see a lot of women in le adership roles, the dont see a ca reer in athletics as an option. So we have to talk it up we have to sell it (NCAA News, 2010) Joni Comstock, NCAA Senior Vice President for Championships, s poke these words at a Peach Belt Conference seminar. The seminar invited current female stud ent-athletes who were interested in pursuing a career in collegiate athletics from thirteen inst itutions. For one attendee th e seminar reiterated the positive aspects of working in athletics as she noted the enthusiasm women in the field have for their positions. Initiatives like this seminar combined with in stitutional efforts for individual career development are the keys to increasing fe male representation in leadership roles in collegiate athletics.
87 APPENDIX A REQUEST FOR PARTICIPATION Dear Student-Athlete: My nam e is Claire Smith. I am a graduate student in the Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management department of the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida. Currently, I am conducting research for my masters thesis. The t opic of my thesis is: Influences in the Career Development of Fe male Student-Athletes Pursuing a Career in Collegiate Athletics. The purpose of this study is to explore reasons why current female student-athletes plan to pursue a future career in collegiate athletics. Sp ecifically, this research will attempt to identify common influences that lead to developing a ca reer path towards collegiate athletics. This research will help those in the field better understand the influences leading female studentathletes to pursue entry. As females are unde rrepresented in leadership positions within collegiate athletics, identifying positive influences can better recruit females into the field and promote greater gender equity. If you have an interest in pursuing a career in collegiate athletics you may qualify to participate in this study. Please complete a short questionnaire at http://ufltrsm.qualtrics.com/SE?S ID=SV_b9Iw5q5ss6DCawY&SVID=Prod I will select 12 to 24 participants to condu ct two or three focus group sessions. Each session will last no longer than 2 hours. At the start of the focus group pa rticipants will be asked to sign a consent form. Sessions will be videotaped for research purposes only and partic ipants names and other personal identifiers will not be included in the study. For questions regard ing the rights of research subjects, you may contact the UFIRB office, Univ ersity of Florida, PO Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611 or by phone at (352) 392-0433. By participating in this study, you may potentially benefit by inte racting female student-athletes with similar career inte rests. Such discussion may help in the advancement of your career development. There are no anticipated risks a ssociated with particip ating in this study. If you have further questions a bout this study you may contact: Claire Smith (919) 360-4369 Claires@gators.uaa.ufl.edu Thank you for your consideration. If you would like to particip ate, please subm it your response through the link provided above within two weeks. Sincerely, Claire Smith
88 APPENDIX B INITIAL QUESTIONNAIRE Na me: ___________________________________ Year in School (please select one): Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Graduate Student Other Sport: _______________________________________________ Major: ________________________________________________ After graduation I plan to pursue a career in sp orts other than as a professional athlete. Completely Agree Mostly Agree Slightly Agree Slightly Disagree Mostly Disagree Completely Disagree After graduation I plan to pursue a ca reer in collegiate athletics. Completely Agree Mostly Agree Slightly Agree Slightly Disagree Mostly Disagree Completely Disagree After graduation I plan to pursue a career outside of sports. Completely Agree Mostly Agree Slightly Agree Slightly Disagree Mostly Disagree Completely Disagree In 5 to 10 years, I can see myself working in collegiate athletics. Completely Agree Mostly Agree Slightly Agree Slightly Disagree Mostly Disagree Completely Disagree By submitting this information, I understand that I may be contacted by phone or email to participate in a focus group of female student-ath letes pursuing careers in collegiate athletics. I also understand that participation in this quest ionnaire and a future focus group is voluntary. Yes, you may contact me about pa rticipation in a focus group. No, you may not contact me about participation in a focus group.
89 APPENDIX C FOLLOW UP RECRU ITMENT LETTER Dear Student-Athlete Thank you for responding to the re quest for participants in m y study titled Influences in the Career Development of Female St udent-Athletes Pursuing Careers in the Collegiate Athletics. I would like to hear more about your experiences in pursuing a career in collegiate athletics. Please attend a focus group to be held: DATE TIME Office of Student Life 2nd Floor Conference Room It will be a small group of about six female stude nt-athletes also intending to pursue a career in collegiate athletics. If for some reason you wont be able to attend the sess ion, please call as soon as possible at (919) 360-4369. Of if you have any questions you may contact me as well. Again, thanks for your interest to participate. I am looking forward to meeting you on DATE. Sincerely, Claire Smith
90 APPENDIX D INFORMED CONSENT Dear Student-Athlete: I am a graduate student at the University of Fl orida. Currently, I am conducting research for my Masters thesis. The topic of my study is Infl uences in the Career Development of Female Student-Athletes Pursuing Career s in Collegiate Athletics. The purpose of this study is to explore reasons why current female student-athletes plan to pursue a future career in collegiate athletics. Sp ecifically, this research will attempt to identify common influences that lead to developing a career path towards collegiate athletics. You are asked to participate in this study as you have expressed an interest in pursuing a career in collegiate athletics. Participants will be asked to partake in a fo cus group to discuss their experiences in career development towards working in collegiate athletics. The entire time for participation in this study will be less than 2 hours. A facilitator will guide the discussion of the group and two moderators will observe the group to help with data analysis. The session will also be video recorded to assist with data analysis. At the conclusion of the study, participants will have the chance to hear a summary of the discussion for accuracy. I anticipate no potential risks for you as a participant of this st udy. Your name and other personal identifiers will not be used in the study. Partic ipation is voluntary, and you may discontinue the study at any time. Benefits for participating in this study include meeting peers with similar career interests as yourself. There is no co mpensation for participation in this study. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me at (919) 360-4369 or my faculty supervisor, Dr. May Kim at (352) 392-4042 x1492. Questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant ma y be directed to the UFIRB offi ce, University of Florida, PO Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611 or by phone at (352) 392-0433. Please sign and return this copy of your informed consent. A second copy is provided for your records. By signing this letter, you acknowle dge that you have read and understand the information above and agree to participate in this study. Participants signature___________________________________ Date________________ Researcher signature____________________________________ Date________________
91 APPENDIX E FOCUS GROUP FACILITATOR TRANSCRIPT As m odified from Drago et al. (2005) (Note: For any answer mentioning a coach, mentor, or parent make sure the gender of the person is clear from the context. If not, follow-up immediatel y with: And was this a man or a woman? to clarify gender.) Today we are going to discuss pursuing careers in coaching and athletics administration and your thoughts on entering the collegiate at hletics field after graduation. Be fore we get started, Id like to hand out a sheet for informed consent. Please take a moment to read over it, and if youre comfortable signing, please do so and hand it back to me. If you do not wish to sign the form or do not want your comments transcribed for re search purposes, you are free to leave and no information will be reported about you. (Gather informed consent forms and place in fo lder marked, Informed Consent Forms Only. Once the forms are in and anyone not wishing to continue has left, recording may begin.) Im passing around extra copies of the informed consent form for each of you to keep in your records. Todays session will be recorded using a video camera. I would like to ensure everyone that the taped session will only be reviewed by the select res earchers listed on your copy of the informed consent document. Okay, lets take a brief moment to introduce ourselves. First names will be sufficient, and please tell us what sport or spor ts you play here, your major, and whether you are a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student. (Start with the first person immediately to the left of the facilitator. If two participants have the same name, ask the second if you can use a nickname or her name w ith last initial to distinguish the two. Take notes during introductions. Note: Periodically call on individuals by first name during the session to make transcription easier.) Okay now that we have all been introduced lets get started. Also, I would like to remind everyone that this will be an open discussion based format. (Ask questions in numerical order leaving ampl e time for discussion. Follow all instructions within each question) 1. How did you choose your academic major? 2. What are some careers in colle giate athletics? (wait for an swers, then) How did you learn about careers in coll egiate athletics? 3. When did you identify collegiate athl etics as a potential career path? 4. What future role or roles do you intend to pursue in collegiate at hletics? (pause for answers, then) What made you decide to pur sue this role in collegiate athletics? 5. Are there any individuals who helped you in your decision to pursue collegiate athletics as a career?
92 6. Have any of you been involved in coaching or administration in s ports? (If any yess continue, otherwise skip to 8.) What sort of work did this involve, and did you enjoy the work? 7. What are your post graduation plans for pur suing a career in collegiate athletics? 8. What advice would you give a fellow female student-athlete who wants to pursue a career in collegiate athletics? 9. Now I am going to give you a brief summary of what we discussed here. After I have finished please provide me with your thoughts about the summary. Finally, Id like to gather some voluntary demographic data from each of you. (Pass out demographic questionnaire starti ng with individual to the f acilitators immediate left.) (Stop transcription, hand each participant the Focus Group Follow-Up sheet.) Thanks for your help today. To ensure confidentiality, please do not report to others things that were said during this session. The follow-up shee t I have passed out ha s information about how to obtain results or further information from this study. Thanks again for your participation. Note: Potential areas of discussion in with the facilitator must redirect Extended discussion on barriers keeping females from entering athletic field Extended discussion of a particular coach Extended discussion of subject s not relevant in nature
93 APPENDIX F DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE Please answ er the following questions to help gather background information. Your participation is voluntary and you may choose to not answer any of the following. Name: Age: Sport(s) you play in college: Number of years competing in your sport(s): Major in college: Minor in college (if any): Your race/ethnicity: The gender of your college head coach: The gender of your college assistant coach(es): The gender of your high school head coach: The gender of your high school assistant coach(es): Please answer the following statements: After graduation I plan to pursue a career in sports other than as a professional athlete: Completely Agree Completely Disagree Mostly Agree Mostly Disagree Slightly Agree Slightly Disagree After graduation I plan to pursue a career in collegiate athletics: Completely Agree Completely Disagree Mostly Agree Mostly Disagree Slightly Agree Slightly Disagree After graduation I plan to pursu e a career outside of sports: Completely Agree Completely Disagree Mostly Agree Mostly Disagree Slightly Agree Slightly Disagree In 5 to 10 years, I can see myself working in collegiate athletics: Completely Agree Completely Disagree Mostly Agree Mostly Disagree Slightly Agree Slightly Disagree
94 APPENDIX G FOCUS GROUP FOLLOW-UP INFORMATION Thank you for your participation in the study. I h ope th e data collected at this session will help to gain insight into recruiting more female student-athletes to pursue careers in collegiate athletics. Currently, females are underrepresented in the co llegiate athletics, both as coaches and administrators. Much research has focus on the barriers keeping females from entering and negative influences leading females to exit the field. This research intended to look for the factors that might lead current female student-athletes to enter the field. If you would like to receive information about th e conclusions of this study, or have further questions, you may contact the researcher by phone or email as given below. As a reminder all participants identities w ill remain confidential. Sincere thanks, Claire Smith 919-360-4369 Claires@gators.uaa.ufl.edu
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101 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Claire Sm ith began her experience in collegi ate athletics as a me mber of the womens gymnastics team at The University of North Caro lina at Chapel Hill. During her four years, she was involved in the sport of gymnastics as a participant, club coach and J unior Olympic official. After graduation, she pursued a masters in Sport Management and a second masters in Management at the University of Florida. Wh ile pursuing these degrees she began working in collegiate athletics administration as she complete d an internship under Lynda Tealer, the Senior Womans Administrator. After l earning about other opportunities within the University Athletic Association, she held a two year internship with the Office of Student Life giving academic support to student-athletes. She continues to reside in Gainesvill e, Florida, and remains involved in the sport of gymnastics through occasional coach ing and judging at the J unior Olympic level.