Informed Consent

Purpose of Form:
  You are receiving this document in order to give your consent to participate in a research study.

Purpose of Research:  
The Athlete Transition Study (ATS) investigates the experiences and outcomes of retired collegiate and professional athletes as well as people who never competed at the elite level. The goal of this survey is to more definitively understand the quality of an athlete’s retirement, what circumstances and factors contribute to various retirement outcomes, and which interventions and people are utilized as support systems. The ATS takes a whole-person approach, addressing cognitive, emotional, physical, social, occupational, financial, behavioral, and overall well-being outcomes. Developed through the volunteer efforts of applied Sport Psychologists and retired athletes, it is our intention to educate fans, media, and sport institutions about the retirement experience and lives of athletes to better inform resources and treatment programs. We intend this research to offer the consumers, athletes, and supporting institutions and individuals devoted to sport an opportunity to better understand what actually happens during and after the career of elite athletes.

You will be asked to complete an in-depth online survey that will take about 20-30 minutes to complete. The survey will ask questions about your experience transitioning out of your sport as well as questions about how you are doing now. This includes questions about your thoughts, feelings, support system, and coping strategies. In addition, there are some questions asking you about support resources you used during your transition, as well as risky behaviors such as alcohol and drug use.

Potential Risks, Discomforts, or Costs to Participants:  
There are minimal risks involved with participation in this study and there is no cost to participate. Some participants might experience negative emotions, such as sadness, grief, frustration, and anger, when reflecting on their career and subsequent retirement. Since everyone is different, it is difficult to predict the likelihood of this occurring. If you’d like, you may skip most questions or withdraw from the study at any time. In addition, resources are provided at the end of the survey through a link to our website ( for participants who may wish to follow-up on their experience with their survey.

Potential Benefits:  Some participants may benefit from the opportunity to reflect on their athletic career and subsequent retirement. You may feel pride, accomplishment, and satisfaction. In addition, participants may benefit from knowing they are contributing to the understanding of this important issue, which may lead to improved resources and support for future athletes.

Voluntary Nature of Participation:  Participation in this study is completely voluntary and you are free to withdraw from this study at any time without penalty.

Confidentiality:  All data will be kept strictly confidential, and access to your raw is only available to the primary researchers. Data is collected electronically through Survey Monkey, an online survey tool which is responsible for its own cyber security. Providing your name is not required to participate. If you choose to provide your name, your name will not be stored with your responses. Once data collection is complete, results will be stored on a password-protected computer. Individual data will not be shared with anyone outside of the research team and your privacy is protected by law. However, in the event that you indicate a risk of harm to yourself or someone else, we are legally required take steps to intervene for your welfare.

If at any time during this study, you feel that your rights have been violated, you may contact Rebecca Van Horn, SU Human Research Protections Officer, at or by phone at 443-334-2591, or Dr. Jeffrey Elliott, Chair of the Institutional Review Board, at or by phone at 443-394-9852. A copy of this consent form can be found on

By continuing with this questionnaire, you acknowledge your understanding of the above and give your consent to participate.