Predicting Homesickness in Residential Athletes
Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 2015, 9, 138-155
Brendan J. Smith and Stephanie J. Hanrahan, The University of Queensland
Ruth Anderson and Lyndel Abbott, MiND HQ
Leaving home or transitioning to another environment is a part of every individual’s personal growth and is often considered to be a significant developmental milestone. The distress that individuals experience with this transition has been identified as homesickness. Elite sporting institutions, such as the Australian Insti- tute of Sport (AIS), have recognized that problems associated with homesickness appear to be a predominant cause of poor well-being and dropout among athletes living in a national sports institute. This study aimed to investigate if individual personality traits and coping styles could predict levels of homesickness in these athletes. Neuroticism, self-esteem, and mental escape were significant predictors of homesickness. These results suggest that athletes who are vulnerable to home- sickness can be identified before the commencement of their sporting scholarships so they can be treated accordingly.