Larissa Cavalcante PIRES

Coping skills and quality of life of elderly athletes from the city of Santos, Brazil

Coping is defined as a process based on motor, behavioral, and cognitive effort to manage the psycho-physical demands that exceed an individual’s resources. Over the past few years there have been numerous studies analyzing the impact of coping skills on sports performance, however, few studies have investigated this topic among elderly athletes (over 60 years of age) who regularly compete. This study examines the coping skills and quality of life among elderly athletes from Santos city, Brazil. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 37 elderly athletes (17 male and 20 female), aged 60-90, participants of 2017 Sao Paulo State Elderly Games in adapted volleyball (n=21) and athletics (n=16). Participant athletes filled out a Brazilian version of Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 (ACSI-28BR) and World Health Organization Quality of Life-Older Adults (WHOQOL-OLD) 35 minutes before a competitive event. Gender differences were observed for Goals / Mental Preparation, only in Athletics, where men showed better goal planning and mental preparation for training and competitions than women of same sport. Difference between the sexes was observed for the variables: Past, Present and Future Activities Domain and Social Participation Domain. Women had higher scores than men. Statistical difference was found between Athletics and adapted Volleyball Modalities for the variables: Sensory Functioning and Intimacy Domain. Regardless gender, volleyball athletes had higher scores than athletics athletes. Despite the maturity status, elderly athletes seem to have similar challenges regarding coping skills and quality of life. Future research is needed in order to contribute more robust evidence regarding this topic.

Larissa Cavalcante PIRES


Ph.D. Student in Health Sciences
Federal University of São Paulo, Santos, Brazil




Ms. Pires is Psychologist and currently Ph.D. Student in Health Sciences at Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP), where she also completed the Master’s degree in the same field. Her master ‘s degree was based on coping strategies, competitive anxiety and quality of life among Brazilian elderly athletes. She published a book chapter about self-esteem and quality of life among Brazilians college students, with data derived from her graduation work. She has been attending the Future Leader Volunteer project since 2017.