Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Marguerite Chabau

Second Advisor

Dr. Joffrey Suprina


This phenomenological study examined high school student-athletes’ perspectives on their adaptive skill development and how their experiences with sports influenced their career development techniques. The study aimed to provide insight into the formation of the adaptive skill development of high school student-athletes to promote post-secondary planning that includes career options outside of the world of sports. Twelve graduated student-athletes who participated in revenue sports at the senior high level completed the Career Adapt-Abilities Scale and participated in an interview designed to measure adaptive attitudes, behaviors, and competencies. Participants’ interview responses were coded based on behaviors, attitudes, and competencies that correlated with the four dimensions of career adaptability (concern, control, curiosity, and confidence). The self-reported Career Adapt-Abilities Scale results indicated that student-athletes believed they possessed the skill to make developmentally appropriate career decisions. However, the interview data did not support the strength of the student-athlete’s competency claims. The study concluded that some participants possessed more advanced adaptive skills than others, but overall, the adaptive skill level of participants was less developed than what was reported. Most student-athletes relied heavily on the advice and support of a parent, school counselor, or other trusted adult when making career decisions and problem-solving. Further investigation into the correlation between grade point average and the development of adaptive skill development would expand the literature regarding the career skills of student-athletes.