University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

A Cross-cultural Evaluation of Rugby Union Transitions

Roberts, Claire-Marie (2010) A Cross-cultural Evaluation of Rugby Union Transitions. In: 26th Annual Conference of the Applied Association of Sport Psychology (AASP), 27 - 30 October 2010, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

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This paper seeks to extend our knowledge of the cultural factors influencing athletes’ transitional experiences. The research focused on the sport of rugby union, and specifically the retirement experiences of players from three highly ranked rugby union playing nations. The Retirement from Sports Questionnaire’ (Alfermann, Stambulova & Zemaityte, 2004) was completed by 76 former professional rugby union players from England (n=36), Wales (n=25), and South Africa (n=15). A combination of univariate and multivariate Analyses of Variance and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to examine differences in transitional experiences between the players from the three countries. The analyses identified a number of cross-cultural differences in the following domains: preconditions of retirement, antecedents of retirement, coping and related factors, levels of athletic identity, perceived difficulties in transition and subsequent life satisfaction. Specifically, South African respondents were more likely to report higher levels of athletic identity and be less prepared to engage in pre-retirement planning than individuals from the other two nations. During the transition, the South Africans reported employing more avoidance-style coping mechanisms and also reported more problems with their post-rugby career. Conversely, English respondents recorded higher levels of satisfaction with their rugby careers and less instances of injury. Problem-focused strategies dominated their coping responses to the transition. Welsh participants, although recording the lowest levels of education, showed lower levels of athletic identity and a commitment to planning for their retirement. It is proposed that the effective transitions experienced by the Welsh participants may be directly related to the proactive promotion of the established ‘Performance Lifestyle Programme’ administered by the Welsh Rugby Union. The findings of this study confirm the importance of cultural and national differences in retirement transitions in rugby union. As a result, effective interventions with athletes in transition need to be culturally-specific.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: cultural factors, transitional experiences, athletes, rugby union, retirement
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
Depositing User: Claire-Marie Roberts
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2013 17:32
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:00

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