Date of Award

Fall 9-1-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Counseling Psychology


Professional Psychology and Family Therapy


Pamela Foley, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Smith, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Daniel Cruz, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas Massarelli, Ph.D.


Athletes, Coach-Athelete Relationship, Community Violence, African American males


Although several studies have investigated the effects of the coach-athlete (C-A)relationship, minimal attention has been given to the effects of the relationship on the behavior of college athletes outside of sport. The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the coach–athlete relationship and its connection to the student–athlete’s behavior outside of sport and academic self-efficacy for athletes with exposure to community violence. This information can contribute to the discussion on the attachment relationship between coach and athlete, as well as add an in-depth understanding of the value of the relationship beyond its effects in sport.

A simultaneous multiple regression was used to evaluate the relationship between the quality of the C–A relationship, self-regulation, academic self-efficacy, and reactive and proactive aggression. The participants included African American male student athletes competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), participating in basketball at a four-year university or college, and who self-identified as living in a high-crime environment. Results from the study indicate that when athletes report a high-quality relationship with their coach, they showed a higher level of academic self-efficacy and self-regulation and a low level of reactive and proactive aggression. The findings from this study suggest that the C–A relationship is another relationship outside of the family-of-origin that can contribute to the athlete’s development. The findings from this study promote the field of psychology by identifying another important variable that can help reduce negative outcomes for young Black men: the coach–athlete relationship.