Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jaekel, Kathryn S.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


Patriarchal systems of power, privilege, and oppression are reinforced by college men every day, but there are certain populations of college men who wield a stronger ability to influence change. Student-athlete men at NCAA Division III institutions are often viewed as “culture creators” on their campuses. Moreover, many of these programs reside at smaller institutions, where the impact of toxic masculinity has potential to be more concentrated. Student-athlete men are often seen as representing hegemonic forms of masculinity, therefore having influence in setting norms of what is expected of men on campus. This critical narrative inquiry study explored how participating in athletics and becoming a member of an NCAA Division III collegiate athletic team shaped the construction and perception of masculinity within college student-athlete men. Findings from this study discuss how these men learned masculinity, added pressures felt by student-athletes, and what it is like being a man in today’s society. Recommendations from this study include interventions to support student-athlete men in creating a healthy construction of their gender identity.


123 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type