Study abroad : an intervention for athletic identity foreclosure in Black student-athletes




Walker, Devin Leslie

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Researchers interested in the plight of the Black student-athletes have consistently identified the need for individuals to develop other salient aspects of their identities (Brewer et al, 1993; Harrison et al, 2011; Bimper and Harrison, 2011), however, there have been few feasible solutions such as the one this paper is offering. This paper explores the specific manner in which the 1. Identity of "athlete" forecloses on Black student-athletes multidimensional identities and 2. Proposes study abroad as a potential intervention. Studying abroad has been widely regarded as a positive experience in the multi-faceted identity development of students, and is currently a service severely under-utilized by student-athletes, specifically Black males. 3. This research proposes that studying abroad could have a liberating effect on student-athletes who have spent a majority of their time, and energy on sports. Furthermore, recent research on studying abroad has identified benefits such as a boost in GPA, graduation rates, career maturity, and self-efficacy, all of which are negatives associated with athletic identity foreclosure.



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