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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport eTheses
Title: Exploring Dual Career Practice and Experiences of Third-Level Student-Athletes and Stakeholders in Ireland
Author(s): Saunders, Emma
Supervisor(s): Coffee, Pete
Hong, Hee Jung
Fitzgerald, Niamh
Keywords: Dual Career
Social Support
Sport Psychology
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: A dual career refers to the pursuit of two careers simultaneously and is a complex topic for investigation due to the interaction of micro, meso, and macro dimensions (Stambulova & Wylleman, 2019; Stambulova et al., 2020). This thesis aimed to explore dual career from an Irish perspective, providing novel insight into dual career practice and experiences of third-level student-athletes and stakeholders. Four studies were conducted using web-based analysis, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups to generate data. Study 1 investigated the types of support available in the 43 third-level institutes in the Republic of Ireland in order to provide an understanding of the dual career landscape. The results suggest that while positive measures are in place in many institutes, many are informal, suggesting that a Laissez-Faire approach to dual career support is prominent in Ireland. Study 2 explored student-athletes experiences of combining education and sport, along with their perceptions of dual career support in third-level institutes. In line with the Holistic Athletic Career Model (Wylleman et al., 2013; Wylleman & Rosier, 2016) and Athletic Career Transition Model (Stambulova, 2003), the results found that student-athletes experience various demands and stressors associated with a dual career such as time demands, travel demands, and conflict with key stakeholders. Key resources to assist dual career experiences included financial support, academic flexibility, and social support. Study 3 explored the concept of social support from a provider and receiver perspective, which was a prominent theme from Studies 1 and 2. Overall, the results found that social support, particularly perceived support, played an important role for student-athletes. However, there were factors to consider regarding the provision of social support. In particular, providing awareness and training for support providers may be of value to both providers and receivers. Study 4 investigated support providers experiences and recommendations to enhance dual career practice in Ireland. Study 4 results identified several challenges and barriers for dual career practitioners in Ireland from a macro level perspective. In particular, lack of dual career leadership (i.e., direction) and lack of formal dual career policy were key challenges identified. In conclusion, the overall findings presented throughout this thesis provide an original and distinct contribution to the knowledge of dual career support for third-level student-athletes in Ireland, the experiences of third-level student-athletes, and the experiences of key dual career stakeholders. The results have implications and considerations for practitioners and policymakers regarding the development and provision of dual career support.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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