Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Director

Lynn L. Ridinger

Committee Member

Angela Eckhoff

Committee Member

Xihe Zhu


Maintaining a balance between the dual roles of being both a student and an athlete can be challenging for many college student-athletes. While research has indicated identity conflicts exist for student-athletes because of these two roles, few investigations have analyzed the impact of having dual identities on academic performance. Using identity theory as a theoretical framework, this study sought to determine if relationships exist among athlete identity, student identity, and GPA. In addition, this study examined whether these relationships varied based on gender, race, year in school, major, and sport. A survey instrument that included the Academic and Athletic Identity Scale (Yukhymenko-Lescroart, 2014) was distributed to 469 student-athletes at one NCAA Division I university. Data analyses were conducted from 192 completed surveys. Results revealed a moderate positive correlation between student identity and athlete identity (r=.45, p.05). Few differences were found when examining correlations by gender, race, year in school, major, and sport. The only significant findings were differences in the correlations between student identity and athlete identity based on year in school and major. This correlation was much higher for juniors (.70) in comparison to seniors (.19). Also, the correlation between these two identities was higher for social science majors (.54) than natural science majors (.30). Results are discussed in relation to identity theory and implications for coaches and athletic academic advisors are given.


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