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ERIC Number: ED548968
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 196
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-4157-0
Toward an Understanding of Career Construction in the 21st Century: A Phenomenological Study of the Life Experiences of Graduating Student-Athletes at a Large Highly-Selective Midwestern University
Navarro, Kristina Meissen
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
During the 21st century, the American labor force has experienced significant challenges (Savickas 2002, 2005; Savickas, Nota, Rossier, Dauwalder, Duarte, Guichard, Salvatore, Van Esbroeck, & Van Vianen, 2009). As the job market has become increasingly unstable and economy has drastically declined during this time period, how individuals construct career identities has changed (Savickas, 2002). Throughout career development literature, the higher education experience is posited as a crucial time period to forming a sense of career identity (Savickas et al., 2009). While this period of time poses developmental challenges for all students, researchers highlight student-athletes, a specific subset of individuals nested within the general student body, face additional challenges with respect to constructing meaningful career plans (Chartrand & Lent, 1992; Danish, Petitpas, & Hale, 1993). First, as student-athletes face an internal psychosocial struggle to balance dual roles as students and athletes during their higher education experience, they may fail to fully explore career opportunities that fall outside of sport (Adler & Adler, 1987; Baille & Danish, 1992, Chartrand & Lent, 1987; Danish et al., 1993). Second, as student-athletes experience academic clustering, a practice which funnels student-athletes to specific majors to maintain eligibility, they may fail to engage in meaningful career construction opportunities (Case, Greer, & Brown, 1987; Fountain & Finley, 2009; Renick, 1974). Subsequently, this internal struggle to balance dual roles and external barrier of academic clustering during the higher education experience influences how these individuals construct career plans in preparation for life after sport. In turn, this study looked at the life experiences of 29 senior student-athletes at a large highly-selective Midwestern university. The purpose of this phenomenological study was twofold: (a) to understand the career aspirations of these student-athletes as they approached the transition to life after sport; and (b) to learn what life experiences influenced these individuals throughout their processes of exploring, choosing, and preparing for career fields. This phenomenological study was framed from a constructivism epistemology and intrepretivism theoretical framework. A multiple semi-structured individual interview method was employed to examine how 21st century student-athletes constructed individual career paths. Data analyses were guided by Savickas' (2002) Career Construction theoretical framework. This study provided a proposed conceptual model to describe how individual student-athletes construct career paths. In addition, this study explored how Savickas' (2002) Career Construction Theory applies to student-athletes. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A