Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Daniel C. Robinson

Second Advisor

George A. Jackson


The purpose of this research was to describe and analyze the perceptions and experiences of six selected student athletes at a Midwestern university. The general research objects of the study were to describe and analyze the perceptions, expectations, and experiences of student athletes regarding: (a) school climate; (b) personal attitude; (c) teachers' interaction; (d) coaches' interaction; and (e) parental impact;The emerging themes elicited from the primary data were summarized for each of the five constructs. Two themes for school climate were: (a) some students adapt to the conditions of their school environment with differential behaviors and attitudes of teachers, peers and coaches rather than yield to them; and (b) discriminatory attitudes and racist treatment of athletes in classes contribute to an uncomfortable environment for them. For attitude, the themes were: (a) attitudes toward school assumes a negative approach around the ninth grade; and (b) attitudes toward academics could be as important as intellectual ability. The themes under teachers were: (a) an unsupportive relationship with athletes causes some athletes to feel unwelcome; and (b) insufficient formal and informal interaction with teachers adds to an unsupportive learning environment for students athletes. The emerging themes for coaches were: (a) they are viewed as "significant others"; and (b) they are instrumental in the athletes' development of self esteem directly affecting motivation for academic and athletic performance. For the final construct, parents, the themes were: (a) when parents give their student athlete a positive sense of competence the athlete is more likely to adopt an intrinsic orientation; and (b) when student achievement is not a parental priority, the athletes senses this and expresses frustration;This research could provide faculty, parents, students, coaches, and administrators at elementary, middle, high school, and college levels with a richer understanding of the different perceptions and experiences of student athletes who are involved in their programs. Further qualitative and quantitative research could focus on (a) the quality and satisfaction of the experiences of student athletes in colleges and universities; (b) the factors which cause student athletes to make decisions to drop out or persist in school; (c) the perceptions and experiences of ethnic minority athletes and factors that affect their retention in their academic disciplines; (d) perceptions and experiences of student athletes about their elementary and secondary educational experiences compared to those of non student athletes; and (e) the effects of incorporating principles of athletic development theory into classroom instruction.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Percy Lee Caldwell



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

110 pages