A study was conducted with 124 intercollegiate student-athletes at an NCAA Division I institution to examine the relationship between self-identity variables (i.e., identity foreclosure and athletic identity) and career maturity. Results indicated that both identity foreclosure and athletic identity were inversely related to career maturity. Significant effects of gender, playing status (varsity vs. nonvarsity), and sport (revenue producing vs. nonrevenue producing) on career maturity were observed. The findings suggest that failure to explore alternative roles and identifying strongly and exclusively with the athlete role are associated with delayed career development in intercollegiate student athletes, and that male varsity student-athletes in revenue-producing sports may be especially at risk for impaired acquisition of career decision-making skills. The results underscore the importance of understanding athletic identity issues and exercising caution in challenging sport-related occupational aspirations in presenting career development interventions to student-athletes.
Geraldine M. Murphy, Albert J. Petitpas, and Britton W. Brewer are with the Center for Performance Enhancement and Applied Research, Department of Psychology, Springfield College, Springfield, MA 01109.