Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)




Richard Gordin


Karl White


This study investigated eight possible predictors of satisfaction levels in smallcollege football players. The sample (N = 442) included eight nonscholarship football programs from the NCAA Division III or NAIA classifications. Measures included Zhang's Revised Version of Chelladurai's Leadership Scale for Sport, and a seven-item subscale of the Scale of Athlete Satisfaction.

The six subscales of the Revised Leadership Scale for Sport each yielded a significant linear relationship with the satisfaction outcome measure: social support (I= .696), situational consideration (I= .665), positive feedback (r = .654), teaching and instruction (I= .627), democratic behaviors (I = .501), and autocratic behaviors (I= -.372). Minimal correlations were found between satisfaction and the two other predictors evaluated: each team's win/loss percentage (I= .164) and each player's estimated amount of playing time (r = .121). With the large sample size, these two modest correlations were also statistically significant. However, as neither accounted for more than 2% of the total variance in satisfaction levels, they are not likely to have practical significance.

The predictors were also evaluated via stepwise multiple regression analysis to assess which combination(s) would account for more of the overall variance. Unfortunately, a mild case of multicollinearity made it difficult to attribute relative importance to the predictors. For example, the situational consideration subscale recorded especially high correlations with several of the other Revised Leadership Scale for Sport subscales. Overall, results indicate that specific coaching behaviors are more associated with player satisfaction in small-college players than are reported in previous samples of other types of athletes. As such, coaches are encouraged to provide support for players in off-the-field endeavors, offer positive feedback on performance goals, and combine knowledge of the sport with the ability to make adjustments in strategies and coaching behaviors.

A comparison of the current sample of nonscholarship, small-college football players and a sample of full-scholarship (NCAA Division I-AA) football players revealed several interesting differences. In the current sample, the correlations between social support and satisfaction, and democratic behavior and satisfaction, were substantially higher. Additionally, a much stronger negative relationship existed between autocratic coaching behaviors and satisfaction among small-college players.



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