Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Kevin Lasley


Increasing job responsibilities of athletic directors (ADs) may lead to higher occupational stress (OS) levels, and as a result, increased health risks. Identification of work stressors may help individuals to better prepare for their job requirements and cope with OS.

This study was designed to determine the effects of individual demographics on stress and to identify the perceived OS levels of ADs, their major stress-causing tasks and stressors. Surveys were sent to college athletic directors in the Midwest (N=72); 76.4% of the surveys were received (n=55).

The sample reported high degrees of stress evident in their profession, but indicated low inhibition and quick recovery from OS. Firing was rated the greatest stressor, and affirmative action was rated the lowest. Women reported higher stress levels than men, and gender discrimination was a stressor for women but not for men. Divorced, widowed, or separated subjects had much higher stress levels than single or married ADs. Similarly, Division III athletic directors reported higher stress levels and more stressors than Division I or Division II ADs. A similar study using a longitudinal design is recommended.