The relationship between leadership frames of athletic directors and the presence of best practices for implementation of transgender inclusion policies at NCAA institutions

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A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR of EDUCATION in EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas, December 2014
In September of 2011, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced the approval of the Policy on Transgender Inclusion. The NCAA published a handbook, which detailed the policy, policy interpretation, and best practice resources for implementation. The study examined the relationship of athletic directors' leadership frames to the presence of best practices for implementation of transgender inclusion policies at colleges and universities with NCAA athletics. The study employed a correlational research design. The independent variables were the four leadership frames of athletic directors and the outcome measure was the presence of the best practices for implementing transgender inclusion policies. The participants were recruited from active member NCAA schools. In 2013, the NCAA reported that there were 1,066 active member schools; 340 in Division I, 290 in Division II, and 436 in Division III. All athletic directors, who served at active NCAA member schools as of March 2014, were invited to participate in the study, 119 athletic directors responded. Results indicated participants were most likely to use leadership behaviors associated with the human resource frame, and least likely to use leadership behaviors associated with the political frame. Post hoc analyses showed that, with the exception of the structural frame vs. human resource frame and the political frame vs. symbolic frame, all pairwise comparisons were statistically significant. Multivariate analysis of variance showed no statistically significant differences among the three NCAA Divisions and between private and public institutions. Examination of the unique and combined contributions of the four leadership frames in explaining the variation in the outcome measure revealed that none was statistically significant. While the four frames all provide a greater insight into the general behaviors of athletic directors, they do not necessarily help us to understand the extent to which best practices for implementation of the NCAA Policy on Transgender Inclusion is present in intercollegiate athletic departments. The infancy of the NCAA Policy on Transgender Inclusion may be a factor in the results of this study, however that should not prevent administrators from protecting the rights of student athletes and creating the most inclusive environment for athletic participation possible.
Educational Leadership, Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Development

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