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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Heather Hether

First Committee Member

Teresa Bergman

Second Committee Member

Qingwen Dong


The current study examined the communication ecology of athlete motivation. Furthermore, gender differences in communication ecologies were evaluated, as were variations in communication tendencies for highly and lowly motivated athletes. Findings suggest that teammates and parents are strong motivators for athletes. Mass media were associated with athlete motivation while social media were not. Gender differences were found with males reporting being more motivated by mass media than females, while females were more strongly motivated by their parents and friends. There were significant differences found in the communication ecologies of highly motivated athletes compared to less motivated athletes. Athletes who were highly motivated communicated more often with interpersonal sources than did less motivated athletes. Implications of the findings and directions for future research are discussed.





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