Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Sport and Exercise Psychology

Committee Chair

Damien Clement

Committee Co-Chair

Ed Jacobs

Committee Member

Vanessa Shannon


Peer leadership positions on collegiate club sport teams can be valuable opportunities for students to develop leadership skills, maintain healthy habits, create friendships, and foster organizational and personal connections across the university setting. Nevertheless, involvement in club sports can create stress over and above the many stressors that college students may encounter during their undergraduate experience. This study focused on exploring female leaders' perceived stressors inside and outside of the sport setting, and the ways in which they coped with them. Participants ( N = 7) were interviewed based on nominations from their respective teammates. Interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. Results revealed that female club sport athletes in this sample indicated stress across many domains, including social, academic, and athletic. The use of emotion-focused strategies to cope with stress was particularly evident, with participants describing strategies such as sleeping, avoiding, or praying much more frequently than strategies like seeking professional help or advice. Each stressor and strategy identified by the participants is discussed, with specific emphasis placed on the adjustment to college, issues during college, and gender differences in coping. Practical implications and ideas for future research are also explored.