2022 Undergraduate Research Showcase


The Effect of Athletic Identity on the Transfer of Life Skills of Division I Athletes

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Eric Martin


With almost 8 million high school students being involved in sports, it is important to investigate the role that sport participation plays in the utilization of life skills. Past studies have shown that involvement in sport produces both positive and negative outcomes This study focused on how Athletic Identity influenced athlete's Perceived Transfer of Life Skills over a semester-long resilience program.

For this study, 270 participants completed surveys that assessed Athletic Identity (including its 3 elements: Exclusivity, Social Identity, and Negative Affectivity) and Life Skill Transfer at three time points (pre-intervention, immediately following the intervention, and 2 months after the intervention). For participants, both Athletic Identity and Perceived Transfer of Life Skills decreased over the course of the semester-long program. In addition, none of the elements of Athletic Identity significantly influenced the Perceived Transfer of Life Skills.

Athletic Identity may have decreased over the semester due to the exposure of athletes to new environments including more difficult classroom settings which could have decreased the level by which they saw themselves only as an athlete. A decrease in the Perceived Transfer of Life Skills may be explained due to a decrease in generalized confidence resulting from the difficulties of managing a semester of more difficult classes.

We should continue to explore how levels of Athletic Identity may impact the Perceived Transfer of Life Skills for the attainment and retainment of those skills. Going forward, further understanding the implications different levels of Athletic Identity can have on Life Skill Transfer will help coaches/mentors/and the athletes themselves produce more positive outcomes leading to increased well-being.

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