Swedish Players’ Transition From Junior to Senior Football in Relation to Perceived Health and Athletic Identity
The objectives of this study concerning Swedish players’ transition from junior to senior football were to examine: (1) transition, perceived health, and athletic identity variables, as well as the relationship between them; (2) how transition, perceived health, and athletic identity variables contribute to: (a) healthy sport participation; (b) unhealthy sport participation; (c) quality of adjustment on the senior level of football; (d) life satisfaction. The theoretical frameworks included: the developmental model on transitions faced by athletes; the career transition model; the perceived health and sport/exercise participation model; the circle of health model. The participants (n = 126) were Swedish adolescent football players at local, national or international competitive levels. Three instruments were used in regard of the quantitative approach: the Transition Monitoring Survey; the Perceived Health and Sport Participation Profile; the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale. The transition variables were examined and several relationships were discovered between transition and perceived health variables, and athletic identity. Four multiple regression analyses showed that satisfaction with different spheres of life and coping strategies are significant positive predictors of healthy sport participation. Athletic identity, personal resources, and environmental pressure are significant positive predictors of unhealthy sport participation. In addition, environmental support was revealed to be a significant negative predictor of unhealthy sport participation. Importance of different aspects of sport and satisfaction with sport participation are significant positive predictors of the quality of adjustment on the senior level of sports, whereas importance of different spheres of life and athletic identity are significant negative predictors. Importance of different spheres of life and healthy sport participation are significant positive predictors of life satisfaction. The results are discussed in relation to theoretical frameworks and previous research.
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