Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Jacob J. Levy

Committee Members

John W. Lounsbury, Dawn M. Szymanski, Joe Whitney


This study examines the relationship between student-athletes’ personality traits and satisfaction with their collegiate coaching experience, as guided by vocational research and theory on job satisfaction and turnover. Specifically, this study was designed to examine both broad and narrow personality traits in relation to student-athletes’ satisfaction across four dimensions of the student-athlete/coach relationship and to explore intent to transfer as a dependent of these variables. This study is an expansion of a previous study investigation of personality and satisfaction with coaching (Levy, Alexander, & Lounsbury, under review). A national sample of NCAA Division I, II, and III collegiate student-athletes was surveyed (N=204). Findings demonstrated that personality traits of emotional stability and optimism in addition to the demographic variables academic classification and role on the team significantly predicted satisfaction with coaching experience, accounting for over 13% of the variance. Additionally, satisfaction with coaching along with the personality traits emotional stability, extraversion and openness significantly predicted intent to transfer, accounting for close to 19% of the variance.

The results of this study offer valuable insight into variables that significantly influence the satisfaction of student-athletes and contribute to their retention. Theory of Work Adjustment and the Attraction-Selection-Attrition model support these findings (Juntunen & Even, 2012; Schneider, Goldstein, & Smith, 1995). Practical implications and may include developmental programming, coaching education, and recruitment processes that incorporate measures of personality and satisfaction as a means for improving the experience and retention of this special population. Directions for future research and limitations of the current study are discussed.

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