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Athletic retirement: a cross-national comparison of elite French and Swedish athletes
Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS), Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Center for Sport and Health Science (CIHF).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6198-0784
Centre for Research in Sport Sciences, Paris XI University, France.
Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS), Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Center for Sport and Health Science (CIHF).
2007 (English)In: Psychology of Sport And Exercise, ISSN 1469-0292, E-ISSN 1878-5476, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 101-118Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: The focus of this paper is on a cross-national comparison of elite French and Swedish athletes in terms of a) pre-conditions for the athletic retirement, b) coping and related factors, c) perceived quality and long-term consequences of the transition. The study also examines an impact of retirement planning upon the transition process and outcomes. Method: The Retirement from Sports survey (Alfermann, Stambulova, & Zemaityte, 2004) translated into French/Swedish and adapted for studying athletes in corresponding countries was employed. The sample was composed of 157 former international level athletes from France (n= 69) and Sweden (n=88) comprising both males and females and representatives of different sports. The data were analysed with ANOVA and MANOVA. Results: One common and two nationally-specific patterns have been identified in the process of the transition to the post-career. The common pattern involved mainly athletic retirement pre-conditions (e.g., retirement planning), coping (e.g., action-oriented strategies) and related factors (e.g., financial support). Cross-cultural differences related mainly to reasons for termination, emotional reactions upon retirement, perceived difficulty in starting a new professional career, usage of emotion-focused/avoidance coping strategies, duration of the transition, current athletic identity and professional choice/career/life satisfaction nowadays. Retirement planning, regardless of the country, was associated with more favourable emotions and coping behaviours in the transition but was not associated with perceived quality and long-term consequences of the transition. Conclusion: The study showed that the transition out of elite sports is a dynamic, multidimensional, multilevel, and multifactor process in which nationality/culture plays an important role.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2007. Vol. 8, no 1, p. 101-118
Keywords [en]
athletic retirement, coping, cross-national comparison, elite athletes, retirement planning, career termination, sport, identity, transitions
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-4877DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2006.05.002ISI: 000243931800006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33750449327OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-4877DiVA, id: diva2:325493
Available from: 2010-06-18 Created: 2010-06-18 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved

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Stambulova, Natalia B.Järphag, Ulf

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