Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine sport commitment among collegiate track and field athletes in order to determine what factors influence continued participation throughout an entire college career. A survey was administered to 431 track and field athletes across each of the three NCAA divisions. The survey included a modified version of the Athletes’ Opinion Survey based on the Sport Commitment Model (Scanlan et al., 1993), which measures the relationship between sport commitment, sport enjoyment, personal investments, social constraints, social support, involvement alternatives and involvement opportunities. Additionally, the survey included a modified version of the Exercise Commitment Scale (Wilson et al., 2004), measuring commitment in terms of attraction-based commitment versus entrapment-based commitment. Regression results revealed that enjoyment was the strongest predictor for sport commitment among the overall collegiate track and field population. Results also revealed satisfaction as the stronger predictor of attraction-based commitment, followed by involvement opportunities. Involvement alternatives, however, proved to have the strongest negative impact on attraction-based commitment. Findings from this study provide essential information to athletic programs and coaches aiming to both recruit and retain athletes for a full four years.

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