Shaina Dabbs presents NCAA coaches research talk

The assistant professor in the Department of Sport Management was the featured speaker of the Women’s, Gender and Sexualities Studies Program Fall Faculty Research Spotlight held on Nov. 26.

Shaina Dabbs’ recent research delves into the life experiences of mid-late career NCAA head coaches through a life course perspective. The assistant professor of sport management shared her early findings with the Elon community on Nov. 26 as part of the Women’s, Gender and Sexualities Studies Program Fall Faculty Research Spotlight.

<span style=”font-size: 13.9997px;”>Assistant Professor Shaina Dabbs</span>
Dabbs has conducted in-person, in-depth interviews with NCAA Division I coaches and is currently analyzing her compiled content. Her interviews sought to elicit experiences of both enrichment and conflict between the work and family role that is rooted in their current life and career stage. Additionally, the interviews attempted to draw out comparisons respondents themselves have noticed about how their experiences, levels of strain, and tactics for balancing work and family responsibilities that may have changed as life and career stages have progressed.

Primary analyses show that coaches do not view their job as work but rather as a part of their identity, while family support/understanding is critical to work-life balance and is considered gender dependent. Little has been done to understand and support coaches who are in mid-late career and Dabbs’ study aims to extend the theoretical understanding of work-family balance across the life course, as well as provide practical guidance to sport organizations regarding policies and practices aimed to benefit coaches in the mid-late career stage.

A former Division I assistant coach, Dabbs has extensively studied the work-life balance of individuals in the coaching profession. In 2017, the Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics selected Dabbs’ co-authored article, “A Socio-Cultural Perspective of the Work-Life Interface of College Coaches: A Cohort Analysis,” as one of its top published works. Additionally, the article earned an outstanding article award at the 10th annual College Sport Research Institute Conference at the University of South Carolina.