In this paper, we examine the account-making model of Harvey, Weber, and Orbuch (1990) as a framework for understanding negative reactions to retirement from competitive sport. Theoretical aspects of the model are first summarized, and a case study is then presented to illustrate the central role of account-making in the adjustment process for an Olympic gold medallist. We conclude by suggesting ways that sport psychology consultants can facilitate account-making and thereby help athletes to cope with distressful reactions to retirement.
J. Robert Grove and Sandy Gordon are in the Department of Human Movement at the University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Perth, Western Australia 6907, Australia. David Lavallee is now at the School of Leisure and Sport Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds LS6 3QS, England. John H. Harvey is with the Department of Psychology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA 52242.