Can Good Come From Bad? An Examination of Adversarial Growth in Division I NCAA Athletes

Authors

  • Nick Galli California State University, Northridge
  • Justine J. Reel University of Utah

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.5.2.199

Keywords:

stress, coping, growth, resilience

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine adversarial growth in a sample of Division I NCAA athletes. Male and female athletes (n = 214) from three universities completed the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory from the perspective of an adversity experienced as a college athlete. The athletes reported positive change at low to moderate levels resulting from their most difficult adversity, and indicated the most improvement in personal strength. Female athletes reported greater spiritual growth, as well as more of a change in their ability to relate to others than their male counterparts. Of the three types of adversities analyzed (i.e., time demands, injury, and the mental and physical stress of sport), athletes who reported time demands as their most difficult adversity exhibited more appreciation for life than athletes who cited the mental and physical stress of sport. These findings are consistent with studies of growth in college student nonathletes (e.g., Anderson & Lopez-Baez, 2008; 2011), and support the notion that college is a pivotal time for personal development (Chickering & Reisser, 1993). Practitioners are advised to consider the potential for adversarial growth in the athletes with whom they work so that they may be able to recognize and facilitate the growth process.

Author Biographies

Nick Galli, California State University, Northridge

Galli is with the Kinesiology Department, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA. Reel is with Health Promotion and Education, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.

Justine J. Reel, University of Utah

Galli is with the Kinesiology Department, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA. Reel is with Health Promotion and Education, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.

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Published

2012-12-01

How to Cite

Galli, N., & Reel, J. J. (2012). Can Good Come From Bad? An Examination of Adversarial Growth in Division I NCAA Athletes. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 5(2), 199–212. https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.5.2.199