Reasons for dropout in swimmers, differences between gender and age and intentions to return to competition


BACKGROUND: This study’s main purpose was to analyze reasons for dropout in competitive swimmers and differences between gender and age groups. The influence of dropout on swimmers intentions to return to competition, invariance across gender and validation of Questionnaire of Reasons for Attrition were also analyzed. METHODS: Study 1 – 366 athletes participated (N.=366; mean age 15.96, SD 5.99) and the data gathered was used for the exploratory analysis, and data gathered on 1008 athletes were used for the confirmatory analysis and the structural equations (N.=1008; mean age 16.26, SD 6.12); Study 2: 1008 athletes participated (N.=1008; mean age 16.26, SD 6.12) on the descriptive and inferential analysis of the reasons behind the practice dropout. The Questionnaire of Reasons Attrition was used in both studies to assess the reasons associated with the practice dropout. RESULTS: In study 1, the results showed an acceptable fit of the measurement model and invariance across gender and also predictive validity regarding swimmers intentions to return to competition (e.g., demands/pressure” negatively predict intentions). In study 2, the main results showed that the most significant reason for dropout in both genders and all age groups was “dissatisfaction/other priorities”; the study also showed there to be differences between gender and age groups (e.g., female and younger athletes valued “demands/ pressure “more). CONCLUSIONS: This study offers useful guidelines for the training process and to support decisions on sports politics to be implemented to overcome the dropout rate. However, it is important to broaden the evidence to other sports and implement programs on identified priority areas based on longitudinal

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