Term of Award

Fall 2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

LInda M. Arthur

Committee Member 1

Barry Joyner

Committee Member 2

Daniel Czech


The Multidimensional Model for Sport Leadership (MML) (Chelladurai, 1980) states that athlete performance and satisfaction are functions of the congruency between the preferred leadership of student-athletes, the required behavior of the coach as dictated by the situation, and the actual behavior of the coach. The model was developed nearly 30 years ago and while research outside of sport has indicated that leadership preferences have changed with generations, the MML is still the most widely accepted model for sport leadership. As such, research in sport should examine how appropriate the model is to todays athletic culture. Gender, one member characteristic, has been researched considerably, with conflicting results, while race has been largely ignored with preferential leadership. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine what extent the preferred coaching behaviors reported by student athletes vary based on race, gender, and playing time and measure the congruency of those preferences with the actual coaching behaviors reported by coaches. NCAA Division-I student-athletes (n = 140) and head coaches (n = 14) in Baseball, Mens and Womens Basketball, Mens and Womens Soccer, Softball, and Volleyball were surveyed using the Revised Leadership Scale for Sport (RLSS). Using multiple regression analysis, the author attempted to predict what coaching behaviors student-athletes preferred based on student-athlete gender, race, and playing time. None of the regression models were significant, indicating a lack of variance between the predictor groups. Also, the current data revealed that student-athletes reported a significantly higher means in the Democratic Behavior and Situational Consideration subscales than head coaches, indicating a degree of incompatibility between student-athlete preference and actual coaching behaviors. A revision of the RLSS might yield more significant and meaningful results, as two of the subscales displayed low levels of internal consistency.

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