Dual career for student-athletes: A longitudinal study of adaptation during the first six months at the sport gymnasium in Sweden
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to gain understanding of the student-athletes’ transition to a sport gymnasium (sport high school). The objectives were: (1) to explore the Dual Career Survey and Student Identity Measurement Scale, (2) to examine the dynamics during the first six month at the sport gymnasium in student-athletes (a) transition variables, (b) personal variables, (c) importance/satisfaction with various spheres of life variables, and (3) to explore how these variables contribute to the quality of the student-athletes’ adjustment during their first six months at the sport gymnasium. This study had a quantitative longitudinal design with two measurements made three and six months into the first year at the sport gymnasium. The participants (N=91) were student-athletes at Malmö Sport gymnasium in Sweden. Four instruments were used: Dual Career Survey, Student Identity Measurement Scale, Athletic Identity Measurement Scale and The Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire. The results showed a statistically significant increase in perceived transition demands associated with decreases in adjustment to the dual career and life satisfaction between the first and the second measurements. Predictors for a quality of adjustment included: personal recourse as a positive predictor, current need for help/support as a negative predictor (at the first measurement), and support in sport as a positive predictor (at the second measurement). Positive predictors were also athletic identity at both measurements and student identity at the first measurement. Importance of, and satisfaction with, different spheres of life were positive predictors at both measurements. The results are discussed in relation to theoretical frameworks and previous research.
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