Effect of Team Climate on Substance Use Behaviors, Attitudes, and Perceptions of Student-Athletes at a Large, Public University in the Southeast
Masters Thesis Chair: Dr. S. Raymond Ting
Prior research shows that college student-athletes experience higher rates of substance use than their non-athlete peers. Studies have also shown that variation in substance use exists on the basis of sport/team affiliation. This study seeks to determine the influence of team climate on the differences in substance use behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes among athletic teams. The first part of this thesis includes a review of the literature on the prevalence of substance use among college student-athletes as well as the theoretical approaches most relevant to a study of social networks and the effects on substance use. The literature review is followed by the results and discussion of a study conducted with a sample of 188 student-athletes at a large, public university in the southeastern United States. Analysis of the results of the Student-Athlete Team Climate and Substance Use Survey (SATCSUS) showed that that team climates of the participants' athletic teams related to the substance use behaviors and perceptions of the student-athletes but not to their attitudes toward substance use. Several demographic variables were also shown to be related to the substance use behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes of the student-athletes. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the findings as well as the limitations and implications of the study.