2005 PhD - Psychology - Auburn University
University of Rhode Island
Mentor: Dr. Michael Donnelly, Professor/Chair of Sociology
Stress Levels and Leadership Styles of Division I Women's Basketball Head Coaches
Stress is becoming increasingly recognized in the work place and medicine. Stress affects a person's physical and mental health, productivity, and effectiveness. It has long been acknowledged as a factor of disruption in the workplace and in family life. This research focuses on the factors that produce stress in Division I women's college basketball programs. This stress is caused, in part, by the public's misperception of what is involved in coaching a Division I program. Title IX legislation and the formation of two women's professional leagues has placed more focus on women's basketball. Championships and tournament bids generate money for the school, which in turn places stress on coaches. Success and exposure are greater but so are the risks that go along with them. Many coaches suggest for instance that traveling for games and recruiting are threats to the stability of their home life.
For this study, 200 head coaches of Division I women's basketball programs were surveyed. Information on attitudes, behaviors, work experience, working environment, health concerns, and personal characteristics was gathered.
An exploratory search was done to see if the team win/loss record had an impact on the stress level of the head coach and also to see if the leadership style (task or relationship orientated) of the coach had an impact on the stress level. Other variables were examined to identify patterns that may have potentially buffered or exacerbated stress in coaches. It was hypothesized that coaches of the most successful one hundred programs would experience more stress than the coaches of the least successful one hundred programs.