The impact of student-athlete social identity on psychosocial adjustment during a challenging educational transition

Patti C. Parker*, Raymond P. Perry, Pete Coffee, Judith G. Chipperfield, Jeremy M. Hamm, Lia M. Daniels, Robert P. Dryden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Student-athletes in their first-year transition to university experience many psychological and social stressors as they balance multiple commitments. Our study examined whether a student-athlete social identity affected psychosocial adjustment as students transition to postsecondary, and whether it acted by reducing stress to foster academic adjustment. Student-athletes enrolled in an introductory psychology course at a Canadian university (n = 331) were recruited. We assessed whether a relationship existed between student-athlete social identity and key academic indicators of psychosocial adjustment (perceived control, perceived stress, learning-related anxiety); and whether ratings of perceived stress mediated the relationship between student-athlete social identity and psychosocial adjustment measures five-months later. Our findings revealed that student-athlete social identity (a) predicted psychosocial adjustment later in the course; and (b) indirectly enhanced academic control and lowered negative emotions via reductions in perceived stress. This study offers insights on how social identities may promote positive adjustment during the critical transition to university.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101979
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume56
Early online date20 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • First-year transition
  • Psychosocial adjustment
  • Social identity theory
  • Student-athletes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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