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Athletic career termination in females

Roberts, Claire-Marie


Claire-Marie Roberts


Jacky J Forsyth

Claire-Marie Roberts


Athletic career termination is understood to be a challenging process, where athletes often report experiencing a sense of loss, and find adaptation to a life after sport challenging. The way in which athletes cope with the demands of the athletic career termination can lead them to experience a smooth, healthy career transition, reflecting successful coping (Alfermann & Stambulova, 2012), or a crisis transition marked by a variety of psychopathological behaviours and social difficulties (Taylor & Ogilvie, 1994). Their experiences are influenced by national-, cultural-, sport-, and gender-specific norms, which can lead to a diversity of outcomes. Of interest is the research examining gender differences in retirement from sport. For example, females report voluntary retirement for family reasons more often than do males. Females are also more likely to experience body dissatisfaction in retirement due to discrepancies between their current and former bodies, which ultimately brings about negative, emotional consequences. Many female athletes, however, find a new focus, a new perspective, and a new identity on retirement – especially among those who retire to start or add to a family. This new focus facilitates adaptation and makes the process of retirement from sport less emotionally taxing, promoting positive mental health and ‘flourishing’.


Roberts, C. (2018). Athletic career termination in females. In J. J. Forsyth, & C. Roberts (Eds.), The Exercising Female: Science and its ApplicationRoutledge

Publication Date Oct 17, 2018
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Series Title Routledge Research in Sport and Exercise Science
Book Title The Exercising Female: Science and its Application
ISBN 9780815391982
Keywords athletic, career termination, females
Publisher URL