Career maturity in athletes : the effects of intervention upon the career maturity levels of intercollegiate athletes
This study addressed two primary purposes. The first was to establish what effect extended athletic participation had upon the development of career maturity. The second was to determine if remedial educational measures could compensate for any identified deficiencies.A secondary goal involved the unrealistic expectations of intercollegiate athletes of becoming professionals athletes. Thus, it was a final purpose of the study to examine the effects of the treatment upon these expectations.Three directional research hypotheses were developed: (1) Members of the athletic group will score lower on measured levels of career maturity than members of the comparison group. (2) Members of the experimental group, following treatment, will score higher on measured levels of career maturity than members of the control group. (3) Following treatment, fewer members of the experimental group will possess expectations of playing professional sports than will members of the control group.The study was divided into two separate surveys. Survey 1 compared 122 male scholarship basketball and football athletes with 80 undergraduate students. Survey 2 compared 66 randomly selected experimental and control group subjects who were freshman or sophomore football and basketball athletes from the same university. For Survey 2, treatment consisted of attendance in an 11 week class specifically designed to increase levels of career maturity, development, and realistic expectations in athletes. The Counseling Form of the Attitude Scale of the Career Maturity Inventory (CMI) was selected as the dependent measure for both surveys.From Survey 1, an analysis of variance demonstrated a significant difference between the athletic group and the comparison group which supported hypothesis 1. Data from Survey 2 were analyzed by a regression analysis which supported hypothesis 2. Results of a X2 analysis of subjects' responses also revealed the experimental group to be more realistic than the control group which supported hypothesis 3.The conclusions were drawn that there was a significant difference between athletes and the general student body on levels of career maturity, that significant changes in career maturity could occur, and that these changes could include a more realistic career choice for athletes who received remedial educational intervention.