Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how the levels of athletic identity influenced the relationships among college experiences, career self-efficacy, and the career barriers faced by semi-professional student-athletes in Taiwan. Design/methodology/approach: Survey data of athletic identity, college experiences (involvement in social, academic, career orientation activities, etc.), career self-efficacy, and career barriers (inherent difficulties in career exploration in a dual student-professional role) were collected from 345 varsity student-athletes in Taiwan sport universities. The conditional process analysis was conducted to test whether the mediating role of career self-efficacy in the association between college experiences and career barriers was dependent on athletic identity levels. Findings: The results indicated that enriching college experiences contributed to fewer barriers regarding career exploration post graduation through high levels of career self-efficacy. Particularly for assorted and social experiences, the indirect effect reduced as the levels of athletic identity increased. Practical implications: These findings may be applied to athletes who pursue early specialization and students who engage heavily in a specific sport or other co-curricular activities while neglecting the importance of scholastic learning and career exploration. Career counseling practitioners and sport psychologists are advised to take account of athletic identity and contextual specificity while providing career interventions to student-athletes. Originality/value: This study extends the understanding of the impacts of athletic identity on college student-athletes’ career explorations within a specific sport context.
Career Development International, 21(6), p.571-586