Coping with retirement from sport: the influence of athletic identity

J. Robert Grove*, David Lavallee, Sandy Gordon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Citations (Scopus)


Competitive athletes are confronted with a number of adjustments during the career ambition process. In the present study, 48 former elite-level athletes sup plied information about their financial, occupational, emotional, and social adjustment to retirement from sport. Athletic identity at the time of retirement was also assessed, along with self-reported use of various coping strategies and the perceived quality of adjustment to retirement. Results indicated that acceptance, positive reinterpretation, planning, and active coping were the most frequently used coping strategies during the career transition process. At the same time, athletic identity at the time of retirement exhibited significant relationships to coping processes, emotional and social adjustment, pre-retirement planning, and anxiety about career decision-making. Implications for career transition programs are discussed. along with suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes


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