Date of Award

8-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Exercise and Sport Sciences

Major Professor

Joy T. DeSensi

Committee Members

Vincent A. Anfara, Lars Dzikus, Daniel J. Flint

Abstract

The purpose of this explanatory mixed-methods study was to understand how Korean immigrants develop team identification with the Atlanta Braves and MLB teams with Korean players. This study involved two research phases. In the quantitative phase, the relationships between variables in the conceptual framework were tested based on quantitative data. The data were collected at Korean ethnic churches in Atlanta and at the championship game of the Atlanta Korean Adult Baseball League. The primary purpose of the follow-up qualitative research in the second phase was to elaborate and explain the results of the quantitative data analysis in the first phase. Four hundred six Korean immigrants in the Atlanta area participated in the survey, and 391 obtained data were valid for the measurement model and structure model test. SPSS 18 and AMOS 18 were utilized to test reliability, construct validity, measurement model, and structure model. The quantitative data analysis showed acceptable reliability, construct validity (convergent validity and discriminant validity), measurement model fit (CMIN/DF = 1.785; CFI = .963; RMSEA = .045) and structure model fit (the integration group: CMIN/DF = 2.396, CFI = .982, RMSEA = .060; segregation group: CMIN/DF = 2.499, CFI = .980, RMSEA = .062). Thirteen semi-structured interviews were conducted for the follow-up qualitative research. The research participants were selected based on a two-stage case selection method (Ivankova, 2004). The interview questions for the follow-up qualitative research were developed based on the results of the statistical analysis of the relationship among variables in the conceptual framework. Both the results of the quantitative and qualitative research showed that the adaptation patterns of Korean immigrants with involvement in sports and MLB games were significant v predictors in explaining team identification of Korean immigrants with the Atlanta Braves and MLB teams with Korean players. At the same time, however, the results of the quantitative and qualitative research suggested that a holistic understanding of Korean immigrants‟ lives in Atlanta should be required for a better comprehension of their team identification with the Atlanta Braves and MLB teams with Korean players.

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