The Impact of Person-Environment Fit on the Academic Satisfaction of Division II Student-Athletes

Mark A Beattie – Fort Lewis College
Brian A Turner – The Ohio State University

Over the last decade, both the NCAA (“Life in the Balance,” n.d.) and the academy (Cooper, 2016; Huml, Svensson, & Hancock, 2017) have emphasized the importance of holistic student-athlete development. In fact, an emerging trend among Division I institutions is the construction of academic support centers designed to facilitate the academic and professional development of student-athletes. However, some scholars have questioned their overall effectiveness in achieving those ends (Huml, Hancock, & Bergman, 2014). Such facilities are not as common among Division II athletic departments, challenging those institutions to find other ways to maximize student-athlete development. The purpose of this study was to explore how perceived person-environment fit affects student-athlete academic satisfaction, one such measure of holistic development. Survey data was collected from 257 student-athletes at four different Division II institutions within one athletic conference. A hierarchical multiple regression determined that person-environment fit uniquely explained 9.7% of the variability in academic satisfaction. Additionally, the final regression model reported that person-teammate fit was a statistically significant, demonstrating the salience of interpersonal relationships among teammates. This article concludes with a discussion of practical implications for stakeholders within the Division II environment.