An Examination of the Career Development of Predominantly African-American Male Inner-City High School Student-Athletes

Open Access
Cammack, Amy Sherell
Graduate Program:
Counseling Psychology
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 12, 2007
Committee Members:
  • Kathleen Bieschke, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
  • Edgar I Farmer Sr., Committee Member
  • Patricia Herr, Committee Member
  • Jack Richard Rayman, Committee Member
  • high school
  • student-athletes
  • career development
  • African-American
  • career development self-efficacy
  • barriers
The Student-Athlete Career Situation Inventory (SACSI; Sandstedt, Cox, Marten, Ward, Webber, and Ivey, 2004) to date, is the only career instrument designed to examine the career development of student-athletes. This measure, however, was originally validated on a college student-athlete population. The following study examined the descriptive nature of the SACSI in a predominantly African-American, male, inner-city, low socioeconomic (SES), high school student-athlete group in three geographic regions of the United States. The predictive nature of the factors found in the instrument above and beyond demographics variables including age and highest number of years played in one sport was also investigated. Participants are members of their schools’ respective Play It Smart program. Play It Smart is a high school initiative of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame (NFF) that promotes positive youth development through sport. Social Cognitive Career Theory partially informed the study as constructs including career decision-making self-efficacy, locus of control, barriers, and other contextual factors were explored. Data for 178 participants were included in an exploratory factor analysis and a sequential regression analysis. The factor analysis yielded a model structure that included two factors: Career Development Challenges and Career Development Strengths. Thus, a new career development instrument for high school student-athletes was created and named the Career-PLanning for Athlete Needs (C-PLAN). Items on the Challenges factor of the C-PLAN overlapped with items on the Career vs. Sport Identity, Locus of Control, and Barriers factors of the original SACSI. Items on the Strengths factor of the C-PLAN overlapped with five of the six items on the Career Development Self-Efficacy subscale of the SACSI. Others factors slightly tapped on the Strengths subscale of the C-PLAN were Career vs. Sport Identity and Sport to Work Relationship. A sequential regression analysis was conducted to investigate the predictive nature of the two factors on the SACSI over and above demographic variables including age and highest number of years played in one sport. Results indicate that age is a significant predictor of career planning attitudes (â=.313, p<.05). Together, the addition of Challenges and Strengths significantly accounted for 27% of the variance in the full model including age and highest number of years played in one sport entered in the second block (total adjusted R2=.266, F=17.016, p<.001). Moreover, the addition of Career Development Strengths was also significant (â=.402, p<.05.). A discussion of limitations, strengths, implications, and recommendations for future research and practice is also provided.