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Tangled in a complex web of relationships: College athletic /academic advisors' communicative management of student -athletes' private disclosures

Jason J Thompson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Making choices regarding revealing and concealing private information is a challenge in interpersonal relationships. Collegiate athletic/academic advisors face this difficulty as they manage private information which is revealed to them by student-athletes. For that reason, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the way that athletic/academic advisors communicatively managed privacy boundaries with student-athletes. Centered in the interpretive paradigm and Communication Privacy Management theory (CPM), the researcher interviewed 37 athletic/academic advisors to address three research questions: (1) What boundary turbulence do athletic/academic advisors experience when managing privacy boundaries with student-athletes and relevant others?, (2) Which criteria help athletic/academic advisors to develop rules that regulate how to manage privacy boundaries with student-athletes and relevant others?, and (3) How do athletic/academic advisors negotiate issues of privacy with student-athletes and relevant others?. Athletic/academic advisors who were interviewed represented 21different colleges and universities of four different division levels (i.e., I, IAA, II, and III), and more than 10 different athletic conferences. This research highlights the complex nature of managing privacy boundaries in relationships embedded within organizations. This research also highlights the complexities that some athletic/academic advisors face with little training to prepare for choices regarding how to manage privacy boundaries. Findings indicated that, first, athletic/academic advisors experienced boundary turbulence in the form of academic, athletic, and personal privacy dilemmas. Second, motivational criteria helped athletic/academic advisors to develop rules to regulate how to manage privacy boundaries with student-athletes and relevant others (e.g., coaches, faculty, parents). Third, privacy boundaries were negotiated via disclosure warnings. Implications of the findings are discussed for the study of disclosure and privacy, CPM theory, the advisor/faculty and student interpersonal relationship, and for academic services units within college athletic departments. Directions for future research are also addressed. ^

Subject Area

Speech Communication|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Thompson, Jason J, "Tangled in a complex web of relationships: College athletic /academic advisors' communicative management of student -athletes' private disclosures" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3323494.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3323494

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