The effects of a psychoeducational life skills class on the psychosocial development of student-athletes
This study examined the effects of a psychoeducational life skills class on the psychosocial development of student-athletes. To explore the effectiveness of a life skills class in promoting psychosocial development of student-athletes, the following research questions were posed: (1) Does the life skills class have an effect on the mean Student Development Task and Lifestyle Assessment (SDTLA) task scores of student-athletes, (2) Does the life skills class have an effect on the mean Student Development Task and Lifestyle Assessment (SDTLA) subtask scores of student-athletes, (3) Do differences exist in the mean SDTLA posttest task scores when comparing all groups, and (4) Do differences exist in the mean SDTLA posttest subtask scores when comparing all groups?
This study consisted of 86 participants placed into three groups: treatment group, control group I, and control group II. The treatment group consisted of student-athletes enrolled in a life skills class. Control group I consisted of student-athletes not currently enrolled in a life skills class, and control group II consisted of a general student group that had never enrolled in a life skills class. The life skills class in which the treatment group participated met during the fall semester for 1 hour and 50 minutes each week. This study employed a quasi-experimental nonrandomized pretest/posttest design for the treatment group and posttest only for the control group using the Student Development and Lifestyle Assessment (SDTLA). The SDTLA is a 153-item instrument designed to measure certain aspects of Chickering's theory of psychosocial development (Chickering, 1969; Chickering & Reisser, 1993). Paired sample tests and MANOVA was used to examine differences between the groups.
Results of this study indicated no significant differences between the mean pre- and posttest scores for student-athletes enrolled in the life skills class. However, significant differences existed between control group II (general student group) and student-athletes in the treatment and control group I. Recommendations were made for a collaborative multidisciplinary approach of student affairs professionals and licensed professional mental health practitioners who are trained to implement effective strategies with student-athletes. Further, it is recommended that professionals working with student-athletes be culturally sensitive and responsive to the unique needs of student-athletes and student-athletes of color.