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Reasons for Career Termination in Danish Elite Athletes: Investigating Gender Differences and the Time-point as Potential Correlates

Moesch, Karin LU ; Mayer, Cecilie and Elbe, Anne-Marie (2012) In Sport Science Review XXI(5-6). p.49-68
Abstract
Introduction: Career termination, an inevitable step in every athlete’s career, has received increased attention within sport psychological research. A career termination that results in psychological problems is of special concern for sport federations, organizations and clubs. Research has shown that it is crucial to consider an athlete’s the reason for career termination. There is evidence that the causes of an involuntary and unplanned career termination are disadvantageous for athletes’ well-being. There are many important aspects of career termination, such as cultural and social aspects, gender, and the time-point of the occurrence. The present study therefore aims at investigating the causes of career termination and possible... (More)
Introduction: Career termination, an inevitable step in every athlete’s career, has received increased attention within sport psychological research. A career termination that results in psychological problems is of special concern for sport federations, organizations and clubs. Research has shown that it is crucial to consider an athlete’s the reason for career termination. There is evidence that the causes of an involuntary and unplanned career termination are disadvantageous for athletes’ well-being. There are many important aspects of career termination, such as cultural and social aspects, gender, and the time-point of the occurrence. The present study therefore aims at investigating the causes of career termination and possible correlates with gender and the time-point thereof among Danish elite athletes.

Method: Data was gathered from 68 retired Danish elite athletes about their reasons for career termination and about its time-point. A qualitative analysis with the reasons mentioned by the athletes was performed. Moreover, t-tests and chi-square tests were conducted to analyze differences between males and females, and among athletes ending their career at different time-points in their career.

Results: The results revealed 10 different reasons given for career termination with lack of motivation, injury or health problems and family-related reasons being the top three. Female athletes mentioned that they ended their career due to family-related reasons more often than their male peers. More than a third of all athletes ended their career before their perceived achievement of peak performance. Financial reasons seemed to be of more importance for career termination for athletes ending their career before or at peaking, whereas family-related reasons were more often mentioned by athletes during or after their performance peak.

Discussion and conclusion: The results of the study provide an overview of the career termination reasons of Danish elite athletes, which can provide practitioners and organizations with helpful insight when designing respective interventions. When planning such interventions it could be advantageous to deliver specific support for women to enable them to optimally combine family life with an elite sport career. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
career termination, reasons for retirement, gender differences, performance level at time-point for retirement
in
Sport Science Review
volume
XXI
issue
5-6
pages
49 - 68
publisher
Versita
ISSN
2069-7244
DOI
10.2478/v10237-012-0018-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ab1ac5f5-5310-434a-894d-3c7e18b6c8d9 (old id 3628920)
date added to LUP
2013-04-02 13:03:33
date last changed
2016-04-15 16:55:14
@article{ab1ac5f5-5310-434a-894d-3c7e18b6c8d9,
  abstract     = {Introduction: Career termination, an inevitable step in every athlete’s career, has received increased attention within sport psychological research. A career termination that results in psychological problems is of special concern for sport federations, organizations and clubs. Research has shown that it is crucial to consider an athlete’s the reason for career termination. There is evidence that the causes of an involuntary and unplanned career termination are disadvantageous for athletes’ well-being. There are many important aspects of career termination, such as cultural and social aspects, gender, and the time-point of the occurrence. The present study therefore aims at investigating the causes of career termination and possible correlates with gender and the time-point thereof among Danish elite athletes. <br/><br>
Method: Data was gathered from 68 retired Danish elite athletes about their reasons for career termination and about its time-point. A qualitative analysis with the reasons mentioned by the athletes was performed. Moreover, t-tests and chi-square tests were conducted to analyze differences between males and females, and among athletes ending their career at different time-points in their career.<br/><br>
Results: The results revealed 10 different reasons given for career termination with lack of motivation, injury or health problems and family-related reasons being the top three. Female athletes mentioned that they ended their career due to family-related reasons more often than their male peers. More than a third of all athletes ended their career before their perceived achievement of peak performance. Financial reasons seemed to be of more importance for career termination for athletes ending their career before or at peaking, whereas family-related reasons were more often mentioned by athletes during or after their performance peak.<br/><br>
Discussion and conclusion: The results of the study provide an overview of the career termination reasons of Danish elite athletes, which can provide practitioners and organizations with helpful insight when designing respective interventions. When planning such interventions it could be advantageous to deliver specific support for women to enable them to optimally combine family life with an elite sport career.},
  author       = {Moesch, Karin and Mayer, Cecilie and Elbe, Anne-Marie},
  issn         = {2069-7244},
  keyword      = {career termination,reasons for retirement,gender differences,performance level at time-point for retirement},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5-6},
  pages        = {49--68},
  publisher    = {Versita},
  series       = {Sport Science Review},
  title        = {Reasons for Career Termination in Danish Elite Athletes: Investigating Gender Differences and the Time-point as Potential Correlates},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/v10237-012-0018-2},
  volume       = {XXI},
  year         = {2012},
}