Date of Award

2-6-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

William R. Donner, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Thomas C. Nowak, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Linda P. Meyer, Ed.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine whether leadership styles of athletic training educators were significant predictors of competence of athletic training students. Specifically, transformational leadership and situational leadership theories were investigated to determine if they could be predictors of competence as measured by the first-time pass rate of the Board of Certification (BOC) exam. The BOC exam is the competency measure utilized in the profession of athletic training; only after athletic training students graduate from an accredited program and have passed the BOC exam are they legally allowed to practice as a certified athletic trainer. Further, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education considers first-time pass rates of the BOC exam a measure of program success. Results indicated that neither transformational leadership nor situational leadership behaviors of educators were significant predictors of athletic training students' competence. However, one factor of transformational leadership (behaviors) was found to be a significant predictor of athletic training students' competence. The study also found that SAT scores and age of the student when taking the BOC exam were significant predictors of the BOC exam pass rate. As SAT scores increased, so did the odds of passing the BOC exam on the first attempt. Further, as the students age increased, the likelihood of passing the BOC exam on the first attempt decreasd. This study was significant due to the prescriptive literature that exists in athletic training education. Literature suggests that athletic training students who are exposed to transformational leadership and situational leadership in their programs are more likely to be successful and, therefore, competent as entry-level certified athletic trainers. This study set out to bridge the gap between the prescriptive literature and lack of empirical evidence supporting the claim.

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