Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

First Advisor

David Piper

Second Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette

Third Advisor

Susan Sibert

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between aspects of spirituality and their relationship to factors of persistence, specifically academic and social integration, among varsity-level student-athletes competing in the Northeast Conference of the NCAA’s Division I tier. For the purposes of this study, the traits of spirituality were obtained from the Spiritual Involvement and Beliefs Scale (SIBS) developed by Hatch et al. (1998) and later revised (SIBS-R) in 2001. Additionally, the traits of academic and social integration were obtained from the Academic and Social Integration Scales (ASIS) developed by Pascarella and Terenzini (1980). The revised spirituality instrument, referred to as SIBS-R, included 22 items measuring individuals’ spiritual involvement and existential beliefs from an unbiased and universally ecumenical perspective. The ASIS instrument included 30 items grouped into five categories and was designed to test the predictability of college students’ decisions to continue their enrollment (more commonly referred to as persistence). The five categories of the ASIS instrument included: Peer-Group Interactions, Interactions with Faculty, Faculty Concern for Student, Academic and Intellectual Development, and Institutional and Goal Commitment. The findings included many significant positive correlations and factors of predictability between traits of spirituality and traits of academic and social integration for the 233 respondents. Of significance, the spirituality traits of acceptance of life circumstances, hopefulness, gratitude, and altruism appear to return the most correlation and predictability of academic and social integration traits. Limitations of the study, implications for educational practice, and recommendations for further research are provided by the researcher.

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