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Leaving home or transitioning to another environment is a part of every individual’s personal growth and is often considered to be a significant developmental milestone. The distress that individuals experience with this transition has been identified as homesickness. Elite sporting institutions, such as the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), have recognized that problems associated with homesickness appear to be a predominant cause of poor well-being and dropout among athletes living in a national sports institute. This study aimed to investigate if individual personality traits and coping styles could predict levels of homesickness in these athletes. Neuroticism, self-esteem, and mental escape were significant predictors of homesickness. These results suggest that athletes who are vulnerable to homesickness can be identified before the commencement of their sporting scholarships so they can be treated accordingly.
Brendan Smith and Stephanie Hanrahan are with The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Ruth Anderson and Lyndel Abbott are with MindHQ, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.