Date of Award

8-7-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Kinesiology and Health

First Advisor

Dr. Beth Cianfrone

Abstract

The sport industry is a popular and competitive career field with employees drawn to work in a dynamic, yet often untraditional work environment. The challenge of achieving work-life balance has received considerable study in sport, as employees often find a conflict in balancing their job and other life responsibilities, such as family (work-family conflict) and outside activities. This study introduces a new area of potential conflict (work-extracurricular conflict), the outside activities that may be neglected due to a job, which may impact employees. This area may be especially pertinent to a younger segment of the industry which has not been studied, graduate assistants who work in athletic departments while continuing their education. The purpose of this exploratory study was to assess work-life balance in graduate assistants (GAs) and their supervisors by comparing their levels of work-family conflict, work-extracurricular conflict, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction. Secondly, the study introduced the work-extracurricular conflict construct. Data were collected from GAs and supervisors (N = 47) working in five Division I university athletic departments. Descriptive statistics and ANOVA revealed significant differences between GAs’ and supervisors’ job satisfaction, while determining they did not differ on work-family conflict, work-extracurricular conflict and life satisfaction levels. They reported moderate levels of family and extracurricular conflict. Sport managers can utilize this information to better understand the work-life balance of GAs and establish dialogue on ways to improve GAs experience in hopes of keeping these sport professionals in the industry long-term.

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