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The purpose of the study was to examine relationships among athletic identity, reason for retirement, self-concept clarity, and loneliness during the transition process out of competitive athletics. Participants were former high school athletes (N = 65) no more than 12 months removed from their last competitive event (M = 8.52 months, SD = 3.2). Results showed that athletic identity significantly and negatively predicted the self-concept clarity of transitioning athletes. Additionally, athletes retiring for voluntary reasons showed higher self-concept clarity during the transition phase, as compared to athletes involuntarily ending their sporting careers. Self-concept clarity moderated the relationship between athletic identity and loneliness. Understanding the factors that contribute to an athlete's self-concept clarity and loneliness during the transition process allows practitioners to take a proactive approach by preventing some of the negative consequences associated with these variables including low self-esteem, neuroticism, negative affect, depression, and anxiety (Campbell, 1996).
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