This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Examination of the Relationship Between Athletic Identity and Career Maturity in Student-Athletes




Houle, James

Type of Degree



Counseling Psychology


This study explored the extent to which athletic identity, belief of financial sustainability through participation at the professional level, scholarship status, and career decision-making self-efficacy predict career maturity in college athletes. In addition, whether the relationship between athletic identity and career maturity differed depending upon scholarship status, the student-athletes’ belief that they can sustain themselves financially as professionals, or career decision-making self-efficacy was explored. In order to examine the link between these variables and career maturity, approximately 250 student-athletes from a large southeastern university were recruited to participate in the present study. Participants completed a demographic information sheet, the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale, Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form, and Career Decision Scale. Participants were recruited in the Student-Athlete Development Center. Hierarchical regression analyses were employed to test the extent to which athletic variables relate to career maturity. From the analyses, athletic identity predicted career maturity, such that high athletic identity was associated with low career maturity. Career decision-making self-efficacy also predicted career maturity, with high career decision-making self-efficacy associated with high career maturity. Study results did not support the hypotheses that athletic identity and career decision-making self-efficacy would interact to predict career maturity. Future research needs to further explore psychological variables that may explain the relationship between athletic identity and career maturity.