A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Dropout and Engagement in Female Competitive Swimmers

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Mark Aoyagi

Second Advisor

Kirsten Allen


Sport dropout and engagement, Cultural influences, Mexican and American athletes, Female competitive swimmers


The present study aims to analyze similarities and differences in sport dropout and engagement as a result of cultural influences. Using Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) as a framework, we will discuss how fulfillment of the basic needs of autonomy, relatedness, and competence through swimming by Mexican and American athletes impacts their decisions to continue or drop out of their sport. The researchers interviewed four swimmers between the ages of 14 and 17, two from private swim clubs in Denver, USA, and two from a private swim club in Mexico City, Mexico, who have either recently discontinued sport participation or are still involved. The researchers interviewed the participants in a qualitative style using open-ended questions, based off of the interpretivist paradigm. Responses were categorized and discussed according to their relation to the basic needs set forth in Self- Determination Theory as well as perceived benefits and perceived disadvantages.. Data collected through the interview process was then discussed in comparison to previous findings related to core concepts of the study. Though the findings supported research, few cultural differences were found.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


50 pages

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