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The Role of Internal and External Factors Upon the College Choice of Male and Female Collegiate Student Athletes. 2009 Scholarly Conference on College Sport University of North Carolina College Sport Research Institute Howard Bartee, Jr., Ed.D. April 17, 2009. General Overview.

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The Role of Internal and External Factors Upon the College Choice of Male and Female Collegiate Student Athletes

2009 Scholarly Conference on College Sport

University of North Carolina

College Sport Research Institute

Howard Bartee, Jr., Ed.D.

April 17, 2009


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General Overview

College choice impacts student athletes and their decision-making when determining how college sports fit within their short and long-term career goals. It is the process of decision-making that involves both internal and external factors in diverse, yet significant, ways that must be examined. Through the application of selected college choice models, a more informed understanding about how this process unfolds in guiding student athletes toward an important life decision.


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Statement of the Problem

  • The general problem of this study was to determine the role that internal and external factors play upon the college choice decision making process for male and female collegiate student athletes.

  • Specifically, the study examines relationships that may or may not exist within internal and external factors.

  • External factors related to the psychological, environmental, educational perspectives as well as internal factors of racial, social and gender classes are viewed within the context and components of the college choice model of Hossler and Gallagher (1987).

  • The study further provides implications about how the internal and external factors influence college choice for future college student athletes.


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Research Questions

  • Are there statistically significant differences in the external factors of psychological, educational, and environmental perspectives among student athletes of different demographic backgrounds?

  • Are there statistically significant differences in the internal factors of racial class, social class and gender class perspectives among student athletes of different demographic backgrounds?


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Research Significance, Limitations, and Delimitations

Research Significance

  • The importance of college choice is vital as it prepares student athletes for their individual futures after graduating from high school.

  • This study will provide a realistic picture of what goes into the decision making process of student athletes as they are trying to make a college choice as compared to college choice models of previous research.

  • By identifying internal and external factors in this study, student athletes, parents, coaches, and guidance counselors, among others, will be able to better understand the decision making process of student athletes and their college choice; and how decision making theories influence the college choice of student athletes.

    Research Limitations

  • The degree to which subjects respond to and answer their questionnaires.

  • Interpretation of the questionnaire might have varied answers among the student athletes that participate.

  • The results of the questionnaire may not be applicable to non-student athletes.

    Research Delimitations

  • The outcome of this study cannot evaluate the role of college choice in the decision making process of non-student athletes.

  • The outcome of this study cannot evaluate the role of college choice in the decision making process of foreign student and non-student athletes.

  • The outcome of this study cannot be generalized to include student-athletes around the United States and abroad in regards to their decision making process on college choice.


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Highlights from the Literature Review

A. College Choice Models

B. Individual and Group Behavior Perspectives

C. Student Athlete College Choice Models


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A. Highlights from the Literature Review: College Choice Models

Factors that play a role in college choice

  • Cabrera (2006) Findings

    • Parental collegiate experiences.Saliency of potential institutions.

    • Cost of attendance and financial aid. Availability of information about college.

    • Parental encouragement and involvement.Parental characteristics (education, income, etc.).

    • Student’s ability.Student’s early educational/occupational aspirations.

    • Student’s education/occupational aspirations.College qualifications.

  • Hanson and Litten (1982) Findings

    • Student characteristics. High school characteristics.

    • Personal attributes.Environment.

    • College characteristics. College actions.

    • Public policy.College aspirations.

    • Search process.Information gathering.

    • Sending of applications.Enrolling.

  • Hossler and Gallagher (1987) Findings

    • The Predisposition Phase

    • The Search Process

    • The Choice Stage


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B. Highlights from the Literature Review: Individual and Group Behavior Perspectives

  • Environmental Perspective

    • Reward structures related to goal orientation from a competitive standpoint.

      • Individuals compare their performance to that of others. Over time, ego goal orientation is promoted.

    • Reward structures related to goal orientation from an individualistic standpoint.

      • Individuals focus on personal improvement and learning through effort. Over time, taskgoal orientation is promoted.

        Gill (2000); (Ames, 1984; Nicholls, 1989), Williams (1998), (Ames & Archer, 1988),

        Seifriz et al. (1991).

  • Educational Perspective

    • Elementary School Sports and Exercise in Physical Education

    • Junior High School Participation in Sports and Exercise

    • High School Sports Participation in Varsity Activities

    • Sports after High School

    • Athletics Both College and Intramural

    • Professional Sport Participation

    • Recreational Sport Participation

      Fullagar (1964); Jacobs, et al (2002); Wigfield et al (1997); Eccles & Midgley (1989); Flammer et al. (1992); Snyder & Spreitzer (1992); Wankel & Berger (1990).


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B. Highlights from the Literature Review: Individual and Group Behavior Perspectives

  • Psychological Perspective

    • Motivation

    • Socialization

    • Individual Decision-Making

    • Behavior Modification

      Hossler et al (1989); Kotler & Fox (1985); Paulsen (2001); Hossler & Vesper (1990); McDonough (1997); Stinchcombe (1990).

  • Racial Class Perspective

    The racial class perspective includes various stages of racial inequality in American history:

    • Exclusion of minorities before the Civil War (Sage, 2000).

    • Stage of breakthroughs immediately after the Civil War (Sage, 2000).

    • Segregation beginning in the last two decades of the 19th century (Sage, 2000).

    • Segregation continuing to the mid-20th century (Sage, 2000).

    • Integration during the latter 20th century (Sage, 2000).


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B. Highlights from the Literature Review: Individual and Group Behavior Perspectives

  • Gender Class Perspective

    The gender class perspective includes three major areas in Title IX, including:

    • (1) equality of scholarship, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs and Activities, 34 C.F.R. [sections] 106.37 (c) (2000).

    • (2) equivalence in other athletic benefits and opportunities, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs and Activities, 34 C.F.R. [sections] 106.41 (c) (2)-(10).

    • (3) effective communication of the interests and abilities of student-athletes of both sexes,Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs and Activities, 34 C.F.R.§ 106.41(c)(1).Integration during the latter 20th century (Sage, 2000).

  • Social Class Perspective

    The social class perspective consists of “a group of people that are characterized by relative similarities of wealth, income, prestige, lifestyle, education, and culture” (Sage, 2000, p.36).

    • Baseball was primarily made up of men of wealth or professional standing in the capitalistic class. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, baseball was considered “a vehicle for genteel amateur recreation and polite social intercourse rather than a hard-fought contest for victory”( Seymour, 1960, 15).

    • Football was primarily a sport created for the elite private colleges of the Northeast (ex. Princeton, Harvard, Yale)

    • Basketball was primarily a sport that originated at a YMCA Training School and popularized at exclusive women’s colleges in New England (ex. Smith, Vassar, Wellesley).


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C. Highlights from the Literature Review: Student Athlete College Choice Models

Factors that play a role in college choice:

  • Mathes and Gurney (1985)

    • College coach.

    • Campus environment.

  • Adler & Adler (1991)

    • The coach.

    • Reputation of the coach.

  • Konnert and Giese (1987)

    • Opportunity to play early in their careers.


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Research Methods: Site of the Study

  • Administered among male and female collegiate student athletes at two universities in the metro Atlanta, GA area.

  • University One consisted of 16 NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletic teams.

  • University Two consisted of 15 NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletic teams.


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Research Methods: Participants in the Study

  • The participants in the study included Division I male and female collegiate student athletes between the ages of 18 and 23 that graduated from high school during the years of 2002-2007. These groups of students were chosen because they provided the researcher with the ability of capturing the college choice data of students at the beginning of their college career, middle of their college career and the end of their college career.

  • The number of participants in the study is 426.

  • Subjects were selected based upon their convenience to participate in the study.

  • Pseudonyms were used to protect the anonymity of the data collected for this study.


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Research Methods: Data Collection Measures

Data Collection Measures

  • Permission to administer the survey was obtained from the Athletic Directors at University One and University Two.

  • Study participants were provided with an introductory letter explaining how the process was to work, a letter of informed consent, and a survey upon acceptance. These surveys were used to gather an understanding of the various issues related to college choice and student athletes.

  • Surveys were completed by a total of 303 male and female collegiate student athletes.

  • Out of the targeted 426 student athletes, more than 70% of the selected student athletes completed the survey.


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Research Methods: Quantitative Data Collection Analyses

Data Assignment Groups

  • Student athletes were disaggregated according the respective sport, race, gender, and classification.

    Statistical Analyses

  • Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses are performed on the data ascertained from the surveys. Frequencies, correlations, and cross tabulations are descriptive methodological approaches that provide information and insight about the relationship that may or may not exist between the internal and external factors. ANOVA is the selected inferential methodological approach to determine whether or not significant differences exist between and within sub groups of the internal and external factors.

  • All statistical analyses were performed by SPSS and the levels of significance are p < .05 and p < .01.

  • Consultation with a statistics expert from Louisiana State University was accessed and utilized.


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External Factor:Environmental

  • Based on the mean scores for each environmental variable, level of media coverage was ranked as the most important environmental factor when it comes to college choice for both, male and female student athletes. The order of importance from most important to least important environmental factor is shown in Table 1.1.

Table 1.1

Environmental Factors of College Choice

_____________________________________________________

ItemMSD

_____________________________________________________

Level of Media Coverage3.00 a1.04 a

Level of Internet Coverage3.07 a1.06 a

Cost of Attendance3.45 a1.22 a

Recreational Facilities3.50 a1.06 a

Campus Type3.72 a1.16 a

Reputation of Coach3.83 a1.13 a

_____________________________________________________

Note. a Based on modified population marginal mean.

M=mean; SD=standard deviation; perspective rated on

a 5-point scale, with 1 = Strongly Agree, 2 = Agree,

3= Neutral, 4 = Disagree, and 5=Strongly Disagree.


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External Factor:Educational

  • Based on the mean scores for each educational variable, the possibility of obtaining graduate and/or professional school degrees was ranked as the most important educational factor when it comes to college choice for both, male and female student athletes. The order of importance from most important to least important educational factor is shown in Table 1.2.

Table 1.2

Educational Factors of College Choice

______________________________________________________________

ItemMSD

______________________________________________________________

Possibility of Obtaining Graduate

and/or Professional School Degrees3.63 a1.13 a

Academic Reputation of School3.81 a.949 a

Individual Academic Ability3.86 a1.01 a

Undergraduate Major3.94 a1.07 a

______________________________________________________________

Note. a Based on modified population marginal mean.

M=mean; SD=standard deviation; perspective rated on

a 5-point scale, with 1 = Strongly Agree, 2 = Agree,

3= Neutral, 4 = Disagree, and 5=Strongly Disagree.


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External Factor:Psychological

  • Based on the mean scores for each psychological variable, the influence of the mentor/coach was ranked as the most important psychological factor when it comes to college choice for both, male and female student athletes. The order of importance from most important to least important psychological factor is shown in Table 1.3

Table 1.3

Psychological Factors of College Choice

______________________________________________________________

ItemMSD

______________________________________________________________

Influence of Mentor/Coach3.71 a.990 a

Motivation to be a College Student3.85 a1.01 a

Recognition as a College Graduate3.91 a.964 a

Prospects of Economic Stability3.92 a1.02 a

Achievement of Career Goals4.07 a1.10 a

______________________________________________________________

Note. a Based on modified population marginal mean.

M=mean; SD=standard deviation; perspective rated on

a 5-point scale, with 1 = Strongly Agree, 2 = Agree,

3= Neutral, 4 = Disagree, and 5=Strongly Disagree.


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Internal Factor:Racial Class

  • Based on the mean scores for each racial class variable, learning about people unlike myself in athletics was ranked as the most important racial class factor when it comes to college choice for both, male and female student athletes. The order of importance from most important to least important racial class factor is shown in Table 1.4.

Table 1.4

Racial Class Factors of College Choice

____________________________________________________________

ItemMSD

____________________________________________________________

Learn About People unlike Myself in Athletics3.00 a1.04 a

Interact with the Same Racial Groups3.07 a1.06 a

Presence of Different Racial Groups3.45 a1.22 a

Learn About People like Myself in Athletics3.50 a1.06 a

Presence of the Same Racial Groups3.72 a1.16 a

Interact with Different Racial Groups3.83 a1.13 a

____________________________________________________________

Note. a Based on modified population marginal mean.

M=mean; SD=standard deviation; perspective rated on

a 5-point scale, with 1 = Strongly Agree, 2 = Agree,

3= Neutral, 4 = Disagree, and 5=Strongly Disagree.


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Internal Factor:Gender Class

  • Based on the mean scores for each gender class variable, the presence of Greek fraternities and sororities on campus was ranked as the most important gender class factor when it comes to college choice for both, male and female student athletes. The order of importance from most important to least important gender class factor is shown in Table 1.5.

Table 1.5

Gender Class Factors of College Choice

________________________________________________________________________

ItemMSD

________________________________________________________________________

Presence of Greek Fraternities/Sororities on Campus2.62a1.13 a

Male to Female Ratio at the Institution2.90 a.959 a

Female to Male Ratio at the Institution3.03a1.05 a

Number of Women’s Sports Available3.16 a1.11 a

Opportunity to Interact with Students unlike Myself3.60 a1.01 a

Opportunity to Interact with Students like Myself3.47 a1.02 a

________________________________________________________________________

Note. a Based on modified population marginal mean.

M=mean; SD=standard deviation; perspective rated on

a 5-point scale, with 1 = Strongly Agree, 2 = Agree,

3= Neutral, 4 = Disagree, and 5=Strongly Disagree.


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Internal Factor:Social Class

  • Based on the mean scores for each social class variable, the level of the mother’s education was ranked as the most important social class factor when it comes to college choice for both, male and female student athletes. The order of importance from most important to least important social class factor is shown in Table 1.6.

Table 1.6

Social Class Factors of College Choice

_____________________________________________________

ItemMSD

_____________________________________________________

Level of Mother’s Education3.00 a1.14 a

Level of Father’s Education3.06 a1.18 a

Amount of Family’s Income3.83 a1.07 a

_____________________________________________________

Note. a Based on modified population marginal mean.

M=mean; SD=standard deviation; perspective rated on

a 5-point scale, with 1 = Strongly Agree, 2 = Agree,

3= Neutral, 4 = Disagree, and 5=Strongly Disagree.


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Cross-Tabulation of External and Internal Factors by the Gender of Student Athletes

  • External vs. External Factors

    • When doing a cross tabulation of the external factors, it was found that 36% of the male survey respondents and 31% of the female survey respondents view educational factors as the most significant factor in the college choice process when compared to the external factors of psychological and environmental factors. These results were followed by 34% of the male respondents and 30% of the female respondents ranking psychological factors as important. Thirdly, 30% of the male respondents and 26% of the female respondents ranked environmental factors as important.

  • Internal vs. Internal Factors

    • When doing a cross tabulation of the internal factors, it was found that 38% of the male survey respondents and 33% of the female survey respondents view social class factors as the most significant factor in the college choice process when compared to the internal factors of racial class and gender class factors. These results were followed by 34% of the male respondents and 29% of the female respondents ranking racial class factors as important. Thirdly, 29% of the male respondents and 25% of the female respondents ranked gender class factors as important.


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Research Question One Conclusion, Discussions and Recommendations

  • In the first research question, the study sought to find if there are statistically significant differences in the external factors of psychological, educational, and environmental perspectives among student athletes of different demographic backgrounds. Results of the MANOVA came out to be not statistically significant as shown below.

University Gender Race Scholarship School

Type Classification External Factors

Environmental.983 .549 .688 .647 .818

Educational.631 .688 .829 .009 .876

Psychological.682 .370 .929 .292 .842

These results show that there are probably no differences in the role of external

factors on the college choice of male and female student athletes because the

probabilities all fall below .999 or the 99.9% chance of being true and worth

discussing. It is the belief of this researcher that even though the .983 level of

significance shown under environmental factors and university is possibly true,

there is no statistically significant difference in the external factors of psychological,

educational, and environmental perspectives when it comes to college choice

among student athletes of different demographic backgrounds.


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Research Question Two Conclusion, Discussions and Recommendations

  • In the second research question, the study sought to find if there are statistically significant differences in the internal factors of racial class, social class, and gender class perspectives among student athletes of different demographic backgrounds. Results of the MANOVA came out to be not statistically significant as shown below.

University Gender Race Scholarship School

Type Classification Internal Factors

Racial Class.277 .275 .755 .321 .998

Gender Class.347 .802 .492 .740 .779

Social Class.712 .268 .948 .522 .388

These results show that there are probably no differences in the role of internal

factors on the college choice of male and female student athletes because the

probabilities all fall below .999 or the 99.9% chance of being true and worth

discussing. It is the belief of this researcher that even though the .998 level of

significance shown under racial class factors and school classification is possibly true,

there is no statistically significant difference in the internal factors of racial class, gender

Class, and social class perspectives when it comes to college choice among student

athletes of different demographic backgrounds.


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* ~ * Question and Answers * ~ *


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* ~ * THE END * ~ *


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SCHOLARLY PUBLICATION(S)

  • Bartee, Jr. Howard. (2008). The Role of Internal and External Factors Upon the College Choice for Male and Female Collegiate Student Athletes. UMI Dissertation Services, UMI Number: 3323966.

  • Bartee, Jr., Howard . (2005). The Role of Antitrust Laws in the Professional Sports Industry From a Financial Perspective. The Sport Journal, 8, (2).


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