Poor mental health outcomes in crisis transitions: an examination of retired athletes accounting of crisis transition experiences in a cultural context

Cosh, S. M., McNeil, D. G. and Tully, P. J. 2020, Poor mental health outcomes in crisis transitions: an examination of retired athletes accounting of crisis transition experiences in a cultural context, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, pp. 1-20, doi: 10.1080/2159676X.2020.1765852.

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Title Poor mental health outcomes in crisis transitions: an examination of retired athletes accounting of crisis transition experiences in a cultural context
Author(s) Cosh, S. M.
McNeil, D. G.ORCID iD for McNeil, D. G. orcid.org/0000-0002-6175-336X
Tully, P. J.
Journal name Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Start page 1
End page 20
Total pages 20
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2020
ISSN 2159-676X
1939-845X
Keyword(s) Social Sciences
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism
Psychology, Applied
Sport Sciences
Social Sciences - Other Topics
Psychology
Retirement
psychological distress
transition difficulties
career assistance programs
career transitions
cultural sport psychology
media analysis
mental wellbeing
HELP-SEEKING BEHAVIOR
SPORT PSYCHOLOGY
DECISION-MAKING
ELITE SPORT
IDENTITY
DEPRESSION
EXPLORATION
PREVALENCE
NARRATIVES
Summary Up to 20% of retiring athletes continue to experience crisis transitions, characterised by a lack of adjustment, ongoing psychological distress, depression and low self-esteem. Crisis transitions remain under researched compared with transition difficulties, especially within cultural sport psychology. This study aims to explore crisis transitions and related psychological distress within a cultural context. The media is a site of cultural exploration, thus this study examines data from the Australian media: specifically, a two-part special of a current affairs programme (120 minutes of footage) that examined the crisis transitions of nine former elite Australian athletes. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis, located within a constructionist epistemology. The focus of analysis was on the broad repeated patterns of representation around experiences of and reasons for crisis transitions. Athletes depicted transitions predominately as difficult, invoking diagnostic language, including depression and substance abuse, to further constructions of transition distress. However, transition was also presented as a relief and an ongoing process, using varying constructions of choice in order to produce different versions of retirement. A range of themes were identified in accounting for these experiences during crisis transitions: sport was constructed as an addiction, inactivity partly related to lack of activities and self-worth was invoked, as well as constructions of abandonment by sporting organisations. The findings contribute to the cultural praxis of transitions and crisis transition literature by extending understanding around these experiences and resultant poor athlete mental health. Implications for career assistance programs and supporting retiring athletes are outlined.
Notes Latest Article
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/2159676X.2020.1765852
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences
1303 Specialist Studies in Education
1608 Sociology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30139639

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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