Disengagement from sport is examined from a phenomenological perspective. This perspective permits committed adult athletes to explain in their own time and their own words why they ceased participating in formally organized competitive sport. Thirty-four former advanced and elite athletes were interviewed. The constructed case study method provides the opportunity to examine causal relationships among all factors leading to disengagement from sport, and follows a “holistic” method of analyzing interviews (cognitive mapping). Former athletes identified the problem of settling into a job and financial constraints as the primary factors influencing their disengagement from sport. Most athletes left sport voluntarily and experienced elements of rebirth rather than social death.
Bik C. Chow
The purpose of the research was to study the transitional experiences of elite female athletes who are going through the process of athletic retirement. Using a life history approach, six former and six current athletes in Hong Kong were interviewed. Semi-structured interviews were utilized based on the Schlossberg’s (1981, 1984) transition model. Data were analyzed using typology and constant comparison methods. Diversity and commonality in the experiences of women withdrawing from elite sports competition were found. The life history approach was effective in illustrating the ways in which Hong Kong female athletes feel and think about career end, with a transition from competition to retirement evident as part of career passing. Content analysis of interviews revealed several salient themes related to sports retirement. Key distinctions across projected and experienced retirement were associated with a woman’s being an immigrant athlete, entering early into sport, and pursuing an education. Athlete status also affected transition to retirement and lifestyle after an elite sports career.
James Curtis and Richard Ennis
This paper compares findings from a survey of former Canadian Junior hockey players and results from a representative sample of males of the same age in the general population. The analyses test hypotheses derived from the argument that disengagement from elite-level sport leads to various stress-induced negative consequences. The three primary dependent variables, suggested by the previous literature, are measures of life satisfaction, employment status, and marital status. For these measures, there was no evidence of negative consequences of disengagement, even when the comparisons were controlled for time since disengagement. This conclusion was also supported by reports from the former players on their attitudes toward elite-level hockey and about their disengagement from the role of active player at this level. A possible exception was in the former players’ reports of feelings of loss at the time of disengagement. Relevant analyses are also reported for the extent of continued involvement in hockey in other than playing capacities. There were some effects of continued involvement upon attitudes toward hockey that suggest that involvement functions to limit attitudes of negativity. Theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.
Sylvain Ferez, Sébastien Ruffié and Nicolas Bancel
Alixandra N. Krahn
five levels of sport including Introduction to Sport, Recreational Sport, Competitive Sport, High-performance Sport, and Sport for Development. While noble in its cause to broadly apply to a range of groups looking to participate in Canadian sport, the CSP’s clearly outlined policy goals do not specify
Philip G. White and James E. Curtis
Multivariate analyses are presented showing, for the mid-1970s, the comparative propensities of Canadian anglophones and francophones to participate in forms of competitive sport and sport outside the family. Presented are data consistent with the values-differences perspective, which holds that there are differences in orientation toward achievement and the family across the Canadian linguistic groups. The analyses focus on a test of a specification of the values-differences thesis—the school-socialization interpretation, which holds that sport involvement patterns result in part because of differences in how competitive sport is organized in the schools in French Canada versus English Canada. It was found that differences in competitive sport participation were smaller after controls for respondents’ experience with sport during the school years. However, there remained significant francophone/anglophone differences in orientation to competitive and extra-family sport after controls for the effects of school experience and other social background factors.
Christopher L. Stevenson
One underreported issue in the research on Christian athletes has been the difficulties these athletes experience in living with the demands and expectations of the dominant culture of elite, competitive sport. Data were derived from in-depth interviews with 31 elite athletes (23 males and 8 females), who were also professing Christians and associated with the evangelical organization, Athletes-in-Action. The athletes reported that it was by turning to or returning to an evangelical Christian faith that they were better able to cope with their problems and with the demands of the culture of elite, competitive sport. Discussion of these findings included a consideration of Coakley’s (1994) model “of conflict, doubt, and resolution,” which attempts to represent the conflicts experienced by Christian athletes in elite sport, and the approaches they take to assuage these conflicts.
Stephen Frawley, Daniel Favaloro and Nico Schulenkorf
al., 2014 ). These processes are also of great importance within the highly competitive sport industry, where leadership performance is under constant and ever-increasing scrutiny. Despite the increased focus on leadership and the development of leadership talent, there has—to date—been a lack of scholarly
Suzanne Laberge and Yvan Girardin
White and Curtis’ recent papers (Sociology of Sport Journal, 1990, 7, pp. 347-368; International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 1990, 25, pp. 125-141) claiming a difference between Canadian Anglophones and Francophones in achievement values are critiqued. Two particular concerns are at issue. The first bears on the relationship these authors make between competitive sport participation and competition/achievement values. On that score, attention is focused upon some epistemological and methodological inadequacies. It is further argued that a conservative ideological perspective is implied in the inferring of achievement values from competitive sport participation. The second point challenges the idealistic conception conveyed by the authors’ contention that “studies outside the domain of work, on people’s ‘voluntary’ orientations to leisure activities, may more clearly show language group differences in achievement values.” Instead, it is proposed that sport practices are determined by the given social structure in which social agents live and by its specific social history. It is contended that an hermeneutical approach would be a more adequate alternative to the cross-cultural study of values differences.
Longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of 10th graders (National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 First Follow-Up) were used to assess the net effect of athletic participation on student outcomes after controlling for student background and 8th-grade measures of the dependent variables. The analyses show positive effects of sport participation on grades, self-concept, locus of control, and educational aspirations, and a negative effect on discipline problems. Analysis also shows that athletic participation is unequally distributed across gender and socioeconomic groups: Males, students from higher socioeconomic levels, students attending private and smaller schools, and those with previous experience in school and private sport teams are more engaged in high school competitive sport.