Coping in high-risk snow-sports: a qualitative exploration of alpine racing and freestyle athletes’ experiences

Laura Kiemle-Gabbay, David Lavallee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study examines how semi-elite student snow-sport athletes utilize process and trait coping strategies to combat risk-taking, potential loss and trauma, and other stressors integral to their sport participation. Factors influencing coping strategy preference are also explored. Semistructured interviews were used to explore 10 participants’ experiences; the narratives were analyzed using thematic analysis. Five master themes emerged from the analysis: Challenges to Overcome; Taking Action; Changing Perspectives; Staying in Control; and Underlying Influences. The findings highlight how participants develop and utilize preferred coping strategies, although the unpredictable nature of snow-sports can result in situation-specific process coping. Findings are discussed in relation to the differences between racing and freestyle disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-345
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Issue number4
Early online date23 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


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