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This study investigated whether the perception of disadvantageous inequity makes athletes more vulnerable to dropping out. Sixty-five talented youth male soccer players (mean age = 16.6 years), attending a prestigious soccer school, completed a questionnaire at the beginning and at the end of the season. The results show that, especially at the end of the season, players who felt underbenefited scored higher on energy depletion and expressed a greater intention to quit. Cross-lagged regression analyses revealed no evidence that the perception of inequity is either a cause or a consequence of dropout symptoms.
Nico W. VanYperen is with the Department of Psychology at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.