Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Paula-Marie Ferrara, Kinesiology

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Research studying the exercise behavior of retired athletes has discovered that former athletes have a more difficult time transitioning to life after sports. This comes as a surprise, as it is expected that athletes not only understand the benefits of exercise but also desire to remain physically active. Following their last competition, former athletes may feel lost without their sport holding them accountable to regular exercise. The extent of these former athletes' exercise behavior is not completely understood. Therefore, the objective of this study is to perform a qualitative analysis of survey responses aimed at further comprehending exercise behavior among former high school athletes in their first year of college. Methods: Thirty-five participants completed eight online surveys over the course of their freshman year of college. The survey asked participants to rate their satisfaction with their exercise behavior on a Likert scale, ranging from not satisfied (1) to very satisfied (5). Following this, participants were asked to explain why they rated their exercise satisfaction the way they did. Qualitative thematization of the responses was completed followed by the calculation of an interobserver agreement (IOA). Results: Each of the eight surveys were individually thematized, resulting in a total of 39 themes. IOA scores were then calculated, yielding only two themes below the recommended 85% IOA agreement. Upon further discussion, theme titles and descriptions were modified to adequately address discrepancies among the IOAs. The resolution of the disparities among the IOA resulted in 100% agreement across all themes. Conclusion: Those who were more satisfied with their exercise behavior commonly expressed that it was due to their efforts to exercise and remain consistent, the observation of positive results and gains accomplished from regular exercise, and the recognition of attempts to begin exercising more often. Explanations for those who stated they were not satisfied with their exercise behavior include time posing a constraint, struggles to remain consistent, and the acknowledgment that the individual is capable of doing more with their exercise routine through greater intensity or duration. Future research should focus on understanding ways to overcome the constraints that are impeding full exercise behavior satisfaction among former high school athletes in their first year of college.

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Kinesiology Commons