This study explored the relationship between the athletic identity and career maturity of women’s basketball student-athletes. It specifically looked at the differences in athletic identity and career maturity based on the student-athlete’s level of competition, race, year in school, socioeconomic status, and professional athletic career aspirations. A convenience sample of 209 women’s basketball student-athletes from NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, as well as NAIA institutions participated in the study. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire along with the Career Maturity Inventory-Revised Attitude Scale and the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale. The findings suggest that within this sample of women’s basketball student-athletes, stronger identification with the athletic role is associated with lower levels of career maturity. Results also indicated that NCAA Division I student-athletes had significantly higher levels of athletic identity and significantly lower levels of career maturity than Division II student-athletes. Likewise, women’s basketball student-athletes that planned to pursue a professional basketball career (n = 76) displayed significantly higher levels of athletic identity and significantly lower levels of career maturity than those that did not (n = 133). As research suggests, less than 1% of women’s basketball student-athletes will compete professionally (NCAA, 2017a). However, based on the findings of the current study, 36.4% (n = 76) of the women’s basketball student-athletes sampled planned to pursue a professional basketball career upon graduating. The results of this study can assist individuals working with these student-athletes (e.g., coaches, counselors, professors) to intervene and ultimately assist women’s basketball student-athletes with preparation for life after sports.
This study examined academic advisors’ perceptions of student-athletes and factors influencing those perceptions. The importance of this research is because unfavorable perceptions of student athletes by academic advisors can lead to negative experiences for both groups. Findings indicated increasing both eligibility requirement knowledge and athletic department involvement can lead to positive athletic department perception, which can lead to positive perceptions of student-athletes. This would assist in creating a more desirable and productive advising environment for both groups.