gototopgototop
 

sports development

sport & physical activity academic resources

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Leaving competitive sport: Scottish female athletes’ experiences of sport career transitions

E-mail Print

Over the last three decades, the sports research community has demonstrated a growing interest in the process of sport retirement.

The majority of the sport retirement research has focused on male professional athletes, traditionally those in the popular spectator sports. Yet, the process of leaving sport applies to thousands of individuals, both male and female, who engage in competitive sport. To date very little consideration has been given to the retirement experiences of female athletes.

Three separate studies have been undertaken to address this identified gap in the literature. Studies One and Two aimed to explore the experiences of sport retirement for elite female athletes in Scotland, using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

 In Study One questionnaire data was collected from 92 former Scottish elite female athletes. Questionnaire sections were designed to examine what were felt to be the major elements of the Taylor and Ogilvie (1994; 2001) conceptual model of adaptation to retirement from sport, in order to explore the applicability of this model to female athletes in Scotland. The results of the study provide support for the use of this model to assist in our understanding of the retirement transition. The findings highlighted the importance of athletic identity, reason for retirement, and perceptions of control in predicting the level of difficulty and adjustment that an athlete may experience upon their retirement. The most significant finding was the effect that athletic identity had on the retirement process, with those identifying strongly with the athletic role reporting significantly higher levels of difficulty, emotional adjustment, and social adjustment. 29 of these athletes participated in an in-depth interview within Study Two, enabling a more in-depth analysis of their retirement experiences. In this study particular attention was paid to the effect of athletic identity on this transition. In support of the findings of Study One, athletes with a strong and exclusive athletic identity were found to be more likely to experience difficulties when they retire. In comparison, athletes with lower levels of athletic identity generally experience some mild negative emotions after initially retiring, followed by a relatively smooth transition into their life after sport.

The second part of this thesis examines formal programmes available to support female athletic retirement in Scotland. Study Three provides an evaluation of the Performance Lifestyle programme offered by the Scottish Institute of Sport, focusing in particular on the services related to preparation for life after sport. The perspectives of a number of different groups with an interest or involvement in the programme were examined and comparisons made with the delivery of Performance Lifestyle to other athlete groups in Great Britain.

The results show that Performance Lifestyle is a very valuable source of support for athletes who are part of the Institute Network. The programme does deal with the issue of the end of the career, but it is definitely a weaker aspect, largely due to lack of resources.

Performance Lifestyle in Scotland compares favourably with programmes offered by the Institute Network in England and by Welsh Rugby. However other professional sports are currently offering superior programmes due to higher levels of investment and resources.

 

sportdevelopment.org.uk

 

 

editors comments

Editor's comments -  [ The above is the abstract from an original PhD thesis; the final publication in the study for the author in pursuit of a doctorate; such works result in the author being awarded a PhD and the title of Dr. by an appropriately accedited University. PhD's are the culmination of a number of years work by the author supervised by two (normally PhD or MPhil qualified) academics and, with the addition of a further appropriately qualified academic (not normally from the same University) as part of a viva-voce examination team. Successful research work at PhD level is designed to add to the body of knowledge in the study area at some level.

A PhD thesis often forms the foundation for journal articles for the author and leads to further enquiry in the form of what is called post-doctoral research. These works are characterised by comprehensive literature reviews, sometimes traditional yet multiple (and often mixed) methods, interesting if not ground breaking discussions and always directional signs toward further research; they provide for undergraduates not only a model for the possibilities for further study but a gift in terms of references in any given subject areas.

To reference an eThesis the convention in the text is the same as a book; author (date), in the reference list there is some debate; theses are more often than not, unpublished works, yet when listed on databases at Universities or elsewhere it could be argued that they are published.

Our best advice is to reference list internet sourced theses as ‘published’…. ie.; Author, (date). Title (emphasised). Place of publication and (university) publisher. Available from: URL reference. See our example reference below. ]

 

APA reference for this document

 

Reference :  Gilmore, O. (2008). Leaving competitive sport: Scottish female athletes’ experiences of sport career transitions. PhD Thesis. Stirling: University of Stirling. Available from http://hdl.handle.net/1893/496

 

The above reference is in the APA style: See why this is important in our [how to reference] us guide.
PhD publications are normally published under Creative Commons Licence conditions in that you must attribute the work appropriately (use the reference above), must not distribute for commercial means and must not alter the work in any way. For a full copy of the CCL please see here. [Use of this document may be limited by © copyright ; by downloading you consent to our terms and conditions ]

 

Attachments:
FileDescription
Access this URL (http://hdl.handle.net/1893/496)496Gilmore, O. (2008). Leaving competitive sport: Scottish female athletes’ experiences of sport career transitions. PhD Thesis. Stirling: University of Stirling
Download this file (gilmore.pdf)gilmore.pdfGilmore, O. (2008). Leaving competitive sport: Scottish female athletes’ experiences of sport career transitions. PhD Thesis. Stirling: University of Stirling
Last Updated on Monday, 06 August 2012 14:19