Institutional Separation: Stress Experienced Among Division I Women Collegiate Athletes
This study examines the connection between experiences of stress by sophomore women collegiate student-athletes and the coping strategies they adopt to deal with their stress. The study employs qualitative investigation strategies of focus group interviews and individual interviews to examine stress and coping among women student-athletes at one medium sized private university in the Washington metropolitan area. Ideas from theorists Erving Goffman and Emile Durkheim contribute to a conceptual framework for exploring both constructive and less-constructive coping strategies in the face of the stress experienced by women student-athletes. The study reveals the interconnections among understandings expressed by participants about sources of stress - notably the structural relations between coaches and student-athletes - and engaging in both constructive coping strategies - generally individual and informal - and less-constructive coping strategies - specifically, drinking alcohol and disordered eating - within the community of athletes.