Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

College of Education and Human Development

Committee Chair

Greenwell, T. Christopher

Author's Keywords

Fans; Inter-role conflict; Family; Sport; Fan-family conflict


Sports spectators--Family relationships; Sports spectators--Social conditions; Sports--Sociological aspects; Families--Time management


An individual's role set consists of a variety of different roles (Biddle, 1979; Madsen & Hammond, 2005). Parent, spouse, student, and even sports fan, all constitute roles within one's role set. Fulfilling role demands requires time, energy, and in some cases, money. These resources are perishable, meaning once they are allocated to satisfying the demands of one role, they may not be used to fulfill the demands of alternative roles (Goode, 1960). Further, the behavioral expectations from one role may contrast with behavior expected in another (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985). The difficulty one experiences in balancing the demands/pressures of multiple roles is known as inter-role conflict (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985). The purpose of the current study was to examine inter-role conflict between sport fan and family roles. This form of inter-role conflict is referred to as fan-family conflict. Specifically, this study was interested in the relationship between fan identification and four types of fan-family conflict: time-based, strain-based, behavior-based, and economic-based. A secondary purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which family support and family involvement influenced the fan identification/fan-family conflict relationship. Data were collected from spectators attending an NCAA D-I intercollegiate football game. Results indicated highly identified fans experienced significantly greater levels of time-based and strain-based fan-family conflict than lesser identified individuals. Further, those indicating high levels of family support for their sport fan role perceived less conflict than those receiving low or moderate levels of support; however, the difference was not significant. Finally, family involvement did not appear to have a significant influence on the fan identification/fan-family conflict relationship. For the most part, however, the sample did indicate relatively high levels of family involvement, which may have contributed to perceptions of inter-role conflict for highly identified fans (Frone & Rice, 1987; Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985). Highly identified fans, and their families, should be cognizant of the effect of sport fan role engagement on the fulfillment of family role demands and work together to make cognitive and behavioral adjustments to minimize fan-family conflict.