Successfully Navigating Life Transitions Among African American Male Student-Athletes: A Review and Examination of Constellation Mentoring as a Promising Strategy

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 University of Texas
  • | 2 Troy University
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Despite excellent performance on the field and years of academic and social attention, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I African American male student-athletes continue to struggle to have an optimal and well-rounded college experience at predominantly White institutions of higher education. In particular, the first 2 years of college represent a difficult period during which this group would benefit from new ideas to support their multiple transitions. Mentoring, and more specifically constellation mentoring, provides great promise for aiding in the transition and success of this group (Kram, 1985). Mentoring, like other organizational transition management tools, focuses on helping people navigate a transition into a new setting (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010). However, constellation mentoring can be simultaneously broad (in terms of range of needs addressed) and specifically tailored to individual needs. This study seeks to establish a framework for how mentoring may provide a valuable tool for addressing the needs of African American male student-athletes as they transition into the college sport, social, and academic atmosphere.

Darren D. Kelly is with the Division of Diversity & Community Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX. Marlene A. Dixon is with the School of Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management, Troy University, Troy, AL. Address author correspondence to Marlene Dixon at

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