Psychosocial development patterns in athletically gifted and academically gifted post-secondary students
Smit, Julian Chater
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This study compared the psychosocial development of 258 undergraduate honors students and 222 undergraduate student-athletes at a mid-size regional university using the Student Development Task and Lifestyle Assessment (SDTLA). Students in the same academic year in the two groups did not differ significantly from each other on any measure of psychosocial development assessed by the SDTLA. Comparing participants with the national norm values for each academic year, the student-athletes scored above the national norm in establishing their sense of autonomy and in establishing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and did not score below the national norm on any aspect of psychosocial development measured by the SDTLA. The honors students scored above the national norm in establishing emotional autonomy and establishing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and scored below the national norm in establishing their personal sense of purpose in life. The students in both groups exhibited very similar patterns of psychosocial development from their freshmen to senior years compared to the national norms. Students in both groups began university below the national norm on most aspects of psychosocial development as freshmen, equated with the national norms as sophomores, fell behind as juniors, and then surged ahead as seniors. Members of both groups lagged behind the national norm in cultural participation throughout their undergraduate years.