The Position Of Intercollegiate Athletics Education Essay

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The position of intercollegiate athletics and its significance to education has come into question as of late. Some assume that student athletes are recruited to colleges in favor of their athletic ability and not their academic potential. Institutional mission statements do not seem to reflect the same standards that athletics provide to students. Administrators would like to be acquainted with how athletics align and what student-athletes achieve from participating in athletics.

The spotlight on college athletes as an important population comes from the excessive spending colleges use and the profound recruitment of Division II athletes that takes place in American higher education. Unlike other college students, student athletes face an additional set of complex demands, stresses, and challenges that arise from their involvement in a competitive sport (Broughton & Neyer, 2001). There is a need to study the place of athletics for the college student in American higher education.

Many studies have been conducted to assess the varied effects that participation in intercollegiate athletics may or may not have on students. One such effect that has been studied is that of self-esteem. A difficult aspect of this type of study stems from the inability of researchers to agree on a definition of self-esteem. Also, most of the previous research studies have focused on the benefits of intercollegiate athletics only on male participants.

Currently, the self as a topic remains at the forefront of psychological research. Self esteem is an index of emotional stability and adjustment to life demands. High self-esteem, for example, is positively associated with a number of desirable qualities including life satisfaction, vitality, psychological adjustment, functionality, integration, leadership, and resilience to stress (Wylie, 1989). Self-esteem is considered a critical indicator of psychological well-being. Self-esteem and domain-specific self-perceptions influence engagement, and persistence influences engagement and persistence decisions in various life pursuits (Harter, 1996), including sport and exercise, work, relationships, and health behaviors such as smoking, substance use, alcohol consumption, and dietary practices (Martin, Ginis & Leary, 2004). Self-esteem emerges frequently in media accounts and everyday conversations. For example, the promotion of self-esteem shapes curriculum design, including physical education. In many countries, self-esteem serves as a barometer for staff welfare in occupational settings, acts as a target for the evaluation of health-care initiatives in various populations, and provides a vehicle for explaining a broad array of human functioning (Baumeister, 1987; Fox, 2000). Campbell (1984) described self-esteem seeking as the first law of human nature given that people continually invest energy into validation of who they are, who they want to be, and what they do.

In Western society, areas such as sporting prowess, educational attainment, job performance, physical appearance, slenderness and muscularity, and financial success are particularly valued, and self-ratings in these areas usually contribute to an individual's self-esteem. Athletic groups will likely emphasize physical prowess and competitive status along with other characteristics considered integral to athletic performance such as assertiveness and self belief. In this study, the relationship between male and female's participation in college athletics and self-esteem is going to be studied using Rosenberg's 10-item Self-Esteem Scale and Coopersmith's Self-Esteem Inventory.

Statement of the Problem

The problem is that people have low self-esteem. People are getting plastic surgery and taking medication to help their depression. Low self-esteem has been linked with suicidal ideation, clinical depression, high trait anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy or helplessness (Leary & Tangney, 2003). Low self-esteem in college students makes them more susceptible to the peer pressures of college which include binge drinking, experimenting with drugs, and other dangerous acts. Poor body image, feeling worthless, oversensitivity, fear and anxiety, anger, people pleasing, self-hate, and perfectionism, are just some of the problems that low self-esteem can cause. Being involved in college athletics can start to solve this problem. Is this a proven statement?

Research Questions

The following research questions will guide this study:

What is the impact that college athletics has on self-esteem?

How can college athletics help improve self-esteem?

Need to work on another research question.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to examine the significance that college athletics has on college student's self-esteem. The study was done to explore the impact of college athletics in respect to self-esteem. The study reported how students' self-esteem was affected by college athletics. The study was done to analyze the importance that athletics has on college students' self-esteem. The intention of this study is to examine the relationship between self-esteem and athletics. The motive was to analyze the impact that athletics has on a wide spectrum of students in the school, and how athletics improves all aspects of life.

Significance of the Study

The research study will address the gap in knowledge between past research examining college athletics and self-esteem. The study will contribute to our knowledge, address this gap in information, and contribute by expanding our understanding of the topic of self-esteem. The study has practical value that can be applied throughout the field. The significance of athletics on college students will help everyone inside, surrounded by, and outside the school community. The years that traditional students spend in college are a dynamic period in psychosocial development of young adults (Cornelius, 1995). This is an interesting time in a person's development and can prove to be a time when significant changes take place. Participation in sports is commonly believed to facilitate positive resolution of the tasks of developing autonomy, establishing identity, managing relationships, and planning for the future (Cornelius, 1995). Cornelius (1995) found that students who identified with the athletic role are more accomplished on developmental tasks associated with life management skills. Being a student-athlete may be one way to improve upon the lower self-esteem that can sometimes occur in students. Athletics may be one of the few successful ways for minority students I like this minority component. Good job. to develop a sense of community (Killeya, 2001). This study may tell us that the trials of college athletics prepares people mentally for the challenges they will face in life and has a positive effect on self-esteem.


The study was done with the following assumptions:

The participants of this study answered all questions accurately and factually to the best of their knowledge.

The participants based their answers on their personal experiences.

The participants answered honestly and willingly with no external force pressuring them to volunteer.

The participants were aware of the concept of self esteem.

Half of the participants have college athletic experience.

Limitation of the Study

The study regarding the impact of athletics on the self-esteem of students at Texas A&M University-Kingsville had the following limitations:

The study was limited to college students at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

The study was limited to college athletes at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

The study was limited to the students that were available and willing to take the questionnaire.

The study was limited to students answering the questionnaire only one time.

Definition of Terms


An individual's personal evaluation of his or her own value and worth (Coppersmith 1967).

College Athlete:

A student who is participating in a school and National Collegiate Athletic Association approved sport.

Organization of the Study

Five Chapters formulate this study. Each chapter encloses information applicable and relevant to the study. An introduction to the study, a statement of the problem, purpose of the study, research and significance of the study are all found in Chapter I. Chapter I also contains the definition of terms, assumptions, and limitations of this study. An in depth review of literature in Chapter II supports the importance of this study. Chapter III presents methodology, procedures and instrumentation. In addition Chapter III presents the method of data analysis. This analysis of the data and the reports of the find will be discussed in Chapter IV, and Chapter V will tell this study's conclusion and recommendation.

Good Paper. Now that you have done some lit review, build on it a little bit more. I am sure you can add something to it. You will re-submit these corrections on your final paper in May and I will adjust your grade upward.

Grade: A -