Effects of college athletic participation on job satisfaction and life satisfaction

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Virginia Tech

There are many questions about the long-term effects of college athletic participation that have not been studied, especially issues regarding gender. Because of socialization and the structural differences in men's and women's sports, the long-term effects of sports participation may be different for men and women athletes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of competition through college sports participation on job satisfaction and life satisfaction of former men and women athletes.

Research was conducted on men and women who participated at the college level in basketball, track and field, swimming and diving, and tennis from 1983-1988 at Virginia Tech. Data were collected using a mail survey adapted from the Sports Orientation Questionnaire (Gill & Deeter, 1988), the revised and abridged version of the Life Satisfaction Index-A ( Kleiber, Greendorfer, Blinde, & Samdahl, 1987) and the Index of Job Satisfaction (Brayfield & Rothe, 1951).

Data were analyzed using t-tests and regression models to determine the relationship between the independent variables of gender and level of competitiveness and the dependent variables of job satisfaction and life satisfaction. No significant difference was found between gender and its relationship to job satisfaction and life satisfaction. This result may have great importance given that women experience discrimination in sports participation. It seems that women are able to overcome these adverse conditions and achieve levels of job satisfaction and life satisfaction equal to men.

Level of competitiveness was not statistically significant either; however this may be due to a small variance among the sample's level of competitiveness.