Date of Award

Spring 2021

Project Type


Program or Major

Social Work

Degree Name

Master of Social Work

First Advisor

Tarkington J Newman

Second Advisor

Melissa Wells

Third Advisor

Jennifer O'Brien


A study by Kendellen and Camire (2015) demonstrated that sport participants not only experienced positive outcomes (i.e., development of life skills), but also encounter numerous examples of negative experiences (i.e., anxiety, aggression, negative interactions with coaches, and prioritizing sport over school). Negative experiences have been linked to an increased risk of detrimental outcomes, such as mental and behavioral health concerns. However, there is a paucity of research examining the impact that negative experiences have on positive outcomes. Utilizing a risk and resiliency framework (Fraser et al., 1999), which proposes that individuals have the capability of attaining positive outcomes even when encountering risk factors, the current study examines the relationship between college club sport participants’ negative experiences and life skill development, and whether the demonstration of resilience can mitigate the impact of sport risks. A total of 87 university students who participated in college club sports completed an online survey. Results from a series of linear regression analyses indicated that lacking coach support hindered the development of life skills, while the athletic identity positively predicted life skill development. However, findings did not support the inclusion of resilience in moderating the relationship between negative experiences and life skills. Ultimately, the current study supports a continued focus on facilitating positive coach support and developing a more balanced identity for college club sport participants, which would furthermore ensure the positive development of all youth.