It is widely acknowledged that involvement in sport has positive physical and psychosocial benefits for adolescents. However, concerns have been expressed, both in New Zealand and internationally, about the relatively high attrition rates in youth sport. This qualitative study captured the experiences of eight (five male, three female) adolescents who were no longer participating in high school rowing programs in New Zealand. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews, and we conducted an inductive thematic analysis. A secondary analysis was then conducted using a self-determination and basic psychological needs framework that placed specific emphasis on need satisfaction and need thwarting. Key findings from this study suggest that participants’ experiences of rowing were initially positive but were subsequently influenced by dissatisfaction and thwarting of basic psychological needs. The findings confirm the significance of coaches and parents providing an environment that supports young athletes’ needs for relatedness. Concerns are also raised about the potentially damaging effects of weight-restricted sport for adolescents. By drawing upon athlete voice, it is hoped that the findings of this study can inform coach education and result in the development of more athlete-supportive rowing programs for adolescent athletes.
Self-Determination Theory, SDT, Semi-Structured Interviews, Attrition, Adolescents, Rowing, Descriptive Qualitative
This study is drawn from a Master's study conducted by Rebecca Beattie in 2014.
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Recommended APA Citation
Walters, S. R., Beattie, R., Oldham, A. R., & Millar, S. (2017). Attrition in School Rowing in New Zealand: A Qualitative Descriptive Study. The Qualitative Report, 22(10), 2785-2804. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol22/iss10/18