The Influence of Career Planning, Race, and Athletic Injury on Life Satisfaction among Recently Retired Collegiate Male Athletes

in The Sport Psychologist
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Collegiate male athletes and nonathletes’ (N = 76) level of life satisfaction was assessed at termination of their collegiate careers, and further analyses indicated the degree of association between athletic injury history and life satisfaction after accounting for demographic and career-planning variables. While no significant Group or Group by Race interaction effects were found, life satisfaction was significantly lower among African American students. Regression analysis, controlling for demographic variables, further indicated that athletes who had sustained a severe athletic injury were no less satisfied with life than noninjured and moderately injured athletes. However, athletes who could state a postcollegiate occupational plan were significantly more satisfied with life than those who were unable to indicate such a goal. Results suggest that the role of athletic participation and athletic injury with respect to life satisfaction may have been overemphasized. The potential role of career planning in understanding termination from collegiate sport is discussed.

Frank M. Perna is with the Sport Psychology Program and the Departments of Counseling Psychology and Medicine, and Rebecca Ahlgren is with the Sport Psychology Program, West Virginia University, P.O. Box 6116, Morgantown, WV 26506. Leonard Zaichkowsky is with the Departments of Counseling Psychology, Psychology, and Education at Boston University, 605 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215.

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