Athletes and motherhood

Authored by: Kerry R. McGannon , Rebecca Busanich

Routledge International Handbook of Sport Psychology

Print publication date:  February  2016
Online publication date:  February  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138022423
eBook ISBN: 9781315777054
Adobe ISBN: 9781317692324


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Pregnancy and motherhood have been highlighted as reasons why female athletes may end their sport careers or fail to reach their full potential in sport (Palmer & Leberman, 2009; Pedersen, 2001). While the reasons for the foregoing are complex, research on elite athlete mothers has shown that negotiating time for high level training and competing may leave little time for motherhood, which is often positioned as something to be delayed until sport retirement (Appleby & Fisher, 2009; Freeman, 2008). Medical narratives that position intense exercise and/or sport training during pregnancy and beyond as incompatible or dangerous, may also keep women from high level training and athletic pursuits (Jette, 2006, 2011; Kardel, 2005; Nash, 2011; Vertinsky, 1998).

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