Date of Award

5-2004

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Craig A. Wrisberg

Committee Members

Leslee A. Fisher, Charles Thompson, John Lounsbury

Abstract

Quality of life (QOL) is a widely researched topic in many fields (Dijkers, 1999). However, there is a dearth of information regarding athletes’ QOL contained within the extant sport psychology literature. Few attempts have been made to identify factors that influence athletes’ quality of life (Chelladurai & Riemer, 1997; Riemer & Chelladurai, 1998). Unfortunately, this research has primarily focused on performance as the predominant factor in athletes’ life quality, thus ignoring other salient aspects of athletes’ experiences. These may include, but are not limited to, physical health (Gould, Jackson, & Finch, 1993), relationships with significant others (Scanlan, Stein, & Ravizza, 1989), and time demands/overtraining (Kellmann, 2002).

The purpose of the current study was to develop a valid and reliable instrument designed to assess athletes' quality of life. Initial items were generated using existing literature focusing predominantly on Pflaum's (1973) quality of life factors. After a pilot test to assess initial reliability, the questionnaire was given to 19 Division I athletes. Data analysis included principle components analysis and orthogonal (varimax) rotation. In addition, Cronbach's (1951) alpha was used to assess reliability.

Results of the exploratory factor analysis revealed an overall scale alpha of .83 which exceeded Nunnally and Bernstein's (1994) suggested .80 level. Furthermore, the results suggest the development of a reliable and valid scale with five possible subscales including: general life satisfaction, physical satisfaction, primary social satisfaction, and recovery/social satisfaction. Finally, recommendations for future research are provided.

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