Achievement motivation and resilience among student athletes


Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in COUNSELOR EDUCATION from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.
College athletes may contend with greater pressure than those of other students. Being involved with collegiate sports requires them to balance both academics and sports. When managing various responsibilities, it is not uncommon for athletes to report physical, psychological, and financial pressures (Gilgunn, 2011). Other challenges reported included issues related to adjustment, emotional imbalance, and psychological or physical symptoms related to stress (Watson & Kissinger, 2007). It was believed that studying variables such as achievement motivation and resilience may provide insight into how athletes manage these varied responsibilities. These variables were studied among other populations including elementary and middle school students. However, there is not a sufficient amount of literature exploring achievement motivation and resilience among college student athletes. A sample of 216 college students from a regional public university in South Texas was utilized to compare achievement motivation and resilience between athletes and non-athletes. This study utilized an exploratory and correlational research design. The data was collected utilizing the Contextual Achievement Motivation Survey, Achievement Thoughts and Behavior Survey, and the Brief Resilience Scale. A MANOVA was conducted to study the differences between student athletes and non-athletes in terms of their levels of achievement motivation and resiliency. A multiple regression utilizing moderation analysis was utilized to explore if athletic status (athlete or non-athlete) had an impact on the relationship between achievement motivation and resilience. Independent-sample t tests were conducted to examine differences in achievement motivation in specific settings among student athletes and non-athletes. Results of the study found differences among athletes and non-athletes in terms of achievement motivation and resilience. It was also found that athletes possessed higher achievement motivation levels in community settings versus school, employment, and family settings. Further, athletic status moderated the relationship between achievement motivation and resilience. A positive linear relationship between achievement thoughts and behavior and resilience was established among student athletes. The study has practical implications for counselors, college counselors, counselor educators, and educators working with college athletes. A program that maybe implemented with college athletes to enhance their achievement motivation and resilience was proposed. Counselors, college counselors, or coaches who work with athletes may utilize this program. Further research is recommended to elaborate and clarify the findings of this study.
Counseling & Educational Psychology
College of Education and Human Development