Date Capstone Completed


Document Type


Degree Name

Masters of Science in Leadership Education: Sport Management


Leadership Education


Chad Grabau


Athletic academic advisors find themselves in conversations about the personal lives and issues of student-athletes as mental health issues become more prevalent in college athletics. The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of athletic academic advisors serving student-athletes with self-reported mental health issues in relation to leadership styles, traits, and strategies. This study involved interviewing current athletic academic advisors who are affiliated with NCAA Division I or Division II schools. Geographically, the sample included athletic academic advisors in the Midwest. All of the sample participants have earned a master’s degree.

The interviews were analyzed with the Constant Comparative Method. Results from this process were used to draw conclusions and leadership implications as related to Communication Privacy Management theory and Leader-Member Exchange Theory. The study found that student-athletes frequent the help of athletic academic advisors due to strong, naturally occurring, personal relationships built over time. Along with this, the researcher found that athletic academic advisors show fluidity in their leadership styles, traits, and strategies. The conclusions led to three major leadership implications: situational, authentic, and delegation.



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