Money Over Equity: An Adlerian Perspective Examining Individual and Social Effects of Athlete Exploitation

Daniel Palac, Adler School of Professional Psychology, USA

Theme: Motivation and self-perceptions

Poster Number: 131

Program ID: POS-2

Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


The Adlerian philosophy proposes that counselors be socially responsible as they examine issues related to counseling, health, and sport. This model of social identity development suggests that in order to have a sense of belonging and self-worth, the student-athlete must identify themselves with the socially desirable student-athlete status (Marx, Huffmon, & Doyle, 2008). During the course of a Division I student-athlete's experience, many factors contribute to the development and maintenance of the student-athlete’s athletic identity. Thus, basic components of Adlerian theory are jeopardized when a holistic approach to identity development is not fostered among sports teams and within athletics departments. Causes of such role confusion are linked to an unstable student-athlete identity. Often times, athletes are unaware of this occurrence in large part due to the demands of maintaining the student-athlete role which may involve maintaining a certain level of performance to secure a scholarship that is awarded to them, coursework, and social relationships. The athletic scholarship, academic workload, and pressures to perform both athletically and academically are variables supporting the student component of their social identity development. The poster presentation will discuss a model to assisting coaches and athletes in integrating all components of their social identity in order to foster personal growth and performance. Counseling these athletes begins with the process of self-awareness and identifying particulars of their life independent of sport. Instilling the sense of a student identity within these athletes helps formulate their future regardless of sport. Thus, this poster will use an Adlerian approach to define the student-athlete status and a model for addressing role confusion within student-athletes in order to effectively provide counseling services to promote feelings of self-worth, athletic and academic competence, and a future outside of sport.

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