Acculturation in elite sport: a thematic analysis of immigrant athletes and coaches Journal Articles uri icon

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  • To identify key issues concerning the acculturation of immigrant athletes in sport psychology, a thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was conducted on focus group interview data from immigrant elite athletes relocated to Canada (n = 13) and coaches working with such athletes (n = 10). Two central themes were identified: (a) navigating two world views which referred to acculturation as a fluid process where athletes navigated between cultural norms of the home community and the host community, and (b) acculturation loads, which referred to whether immigrants and those in the host country shared acculturation (i.e., acculturation as a two-way process) or managed the load with or without support from others (i.e., acculturation as one-directional). Each of these central themes comprised sub-themes, which provided further insight into the experiences of acculturation for immigrant elite athletes. From the project, the authors recommend further research utilising case studies to provide a holistic description of the acculturation process from the vantage of various people within the sport context.


  • Schinke, Robert Joel
  • McGannon, Kerry R
  • Battochio, Randy Cesar
  • Wells, Greg

publication date

  • November 2013