Risk-taking behaviors among division II male intercollegiate athletes and athletic teams

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University of Alabama Libraries

This study focuses on Division II male intercollegiate student athletes. Student athletes are under the constant scrutiny of many critics both on and off the field or arena of athletic competition. Student athletes' hectic athletic schedules and academic coursework leave them with little down time. This study assesses student athletes and their participation and engagement in high-risk behaviors pertaining to alcohol use, drug use, and sexual behavior. It also explores the presence of optimism bias within these athletes. Student athletes take the same courses and course load as non-athlete students and still have to manage their time to include practice, games, and road trips. Student athletes are expected to participate in many of the same academic activities as non-athlete students, while fulfilling their commitment to their respective athletic program. Through examination and comparison of these athletes and their behaviors, this study reveals how much and to what degree today’s Division II male collegiate athletic teams are engaging in various risk-taking behaviors. This study examines and focuses on the risk-taking behaviors of Division II male intercollegiate student athletes in a specific conference. In order to gain insight into the specific risk-taking behaviors of student athletes among multiple perspectives additional demographic information collection and analysis occurred. Data collection aimed to answer why student athletes take these risks, identify factors that influence decision-making, and focus on which groups engage in the most risk-taking behaviors. Variables focused on team versus individual sport affiliation, the amount of time affiliated with the athletic program, team leadership roles, ages of student athletes, academic class, and scholarship level. This study attempted to find a relationship between participation in intercollegiate athletics and risk-taking behaviors, as well as, identifying specific risk-taking behaviors and factors that are statistically significant.

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Higher education administration