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Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Sport and Exercise Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Human Development

First Advisor

Keeler, Linda

Second Advisor

Arthur-Cameselle, Jessyca

Third Advisor

Martin, Eric Michael


The effects of transitioning to college have been reported, but little is known about how levels of high school athletic identity (AI; Taylor & Ogilvie, 1994), athletic satisfaction (AS; Park et al., 2013), and current recreational sport participation relate to the transition to college. The purpose of this study was to compare the psychological well-being of first-year college students based on previous and current athletic participation. Random stratified and snowball sampling of U.S. universities yielded a sample of 347 first-year college students. Mean differences (p = .007, ɳ2 = .035) in flourishing were found between continued (M = 40.25, SD = 7.82) and new athletes (M = 36.50 SD = 7.33) and continued athletes with higher AI had higher flourishing (M = 47.40, SD = 4.78) and lower distress (M = 29.58, SD = 24.97 ) than those with lower AI (M = 33.38, SD = 5.59, M = 51.35, SD = 16.36, respectively) both with large (p = -2.72; p




Athletic transition, psychological well-being, first-year college students


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

High school athletes--Psychological aspects; College students; Sports--Physiological aspects




masters theses




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