Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Sport and Exercise Psychology

Committee Chair

Jack C Watson

Committee Co-Chair

Damien Clement

Committee Member

Edward Etzel

Committee Member

Ed Jacobs

Committee Member

Sam Sizzi


Few student-athletes advance to the professional level following their collegiate athletic career, leaving many to pursue alternative career paths. Although much attention has been dedicated to student-athlete academic progress and graduation rates, little attention has been given to student-athlete career development and their attitudes toward career counseling. Since the career development of student-athletes is complex and is affected by several variables, the purposes of the present study were threefold: 1) determine the career situation of male and female student-athletes attending an NCAA Division I university, 2) determine if differences existed between student-athletes and non-athlete students in their attitudes toward career counseling, and 3) determine which demographic variables, career situation factors, and personality factors had the most influence on student-athlete attitudes toward career counseling. Of the student-athletes surveyed (male = 189, female = 164), only 13 met the criteria of being career savvy. The results also indicated that student-athletes value career counseling more than non-athlete students and that females value career counseling more than males. However, males expressed a higher degree of stigma toward career counseling than females. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that the variables sport facilitates, scholarship status, and barriers were predictors of male value toward career counseling, and the variables lack of career interest and use of services were predictors of male stigma toward career counseling. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that the variable sports facilitates was the only significant predictor of female value toward career counseling, and the variables career locus of control, sport identity and sport facilitates were significant predictors of female stigma toward counseling.