Am I a Student or an Athlete? An Examination of Motivation and Identity in DIII Student-Athletes

Savanna M. Love – Randolph-Macon College
Lisa S. Rufer – Rider University

The current study aimed to better understand the athletic and academic identities and motivations of DIII student-athletes. We used a convergent parallel mixed methods design to explore student-athlete identity, motivation, and success in academics and athletics. Quantitative data were collected using the Academic and Athletic Identity Scale (AAIS) and the Student Athlete’s Motivation toward Sports and Academic Questionnaire (SAMSAQ), and qualitative data were collected using open-ended survey questions. Quantitative results demonstrated links between motivation and identity constructs in both academic and athletic domains as well as a need to reconsider how student-athlete motivation is measured in a DIII environment. Qualitative data gave insight into student-athlete perceptions of motivation and identity in both domains.