2x3-example.pdf - Athletic Insight Volume 5 Number 3 ISSN...

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Athletic Insight ISSN: 1947-6299 Volume 5, Number 3 © Nova Science Publishers, Inc. T HE R ELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A THLETIC I DENTITY AND P HYSICAL A CTIVITY AMONG F ORMER C OLLEGE A THLETES Erin J. Reifsteck , Diane L. Gill, and DeAnne L. Brooks 1,2 The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 3 Greensboro College A BSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between athletic identity and physical activity among former college athletes. The relationship was first examined with former Division I athletes ( N =56) and then in a second sample of former Division III athletes (N=18) and non-athletes (N=31) from a small college. All participants (N=105) completed the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS), the Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire, and the Stage of Exercise Behavior Change measure. The AIMS was a positive predictor of physical activity, and this relationship was stronger for alumni who had participated in college athletics. While former college athletes had higher AIMS scores, they were not more active than alumni who did not participate in college athletics. Former athletes were also more likely than non-athletes to report a decrease in physical activity after college. Substantial decreases in physical activity after the conclusion of a collegiate athletic career have important health implications for former college athletes, which warrant the development of transitional programs that promote lifelong physical activity participation among NCAA student-athletes. I NTRODUCTION There are currently more than 400,000 student-athletes competing in intercollegiate sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA, 2010), and the number of former student-athletes is exponentially more than that. Although the NCAA recognizes that retirement from sports after college is inevitable for most of its members, there are few programs designed to prepare student-athletes for the transition out of collegiate sports. Much of the existing research and programming related to the transition revolve around the construct of athletic identity and its relationship to career planning and the retirement process (Grove, Lavallee, and Gordon, 1997; Lally, 2007; Lally and Kerr, 2005; Lavallee, Gordon, and Grove, 1997; Taylor and Ogilvie, 1994). Research and programs like Email: [email protected], Phone: (336) 334-4683, Fax: (336) 334-3070
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