Passion decreases over the course of sport seasons: Evidence from two longitudinal studies with hockey fans and intercollegiate athletes


The dualistic model of passion, the predominant model of passion in sport, defines passion as an intense desire to engage in an activity that one likes, values, pursues on a regular basis, and has incorporated into one's identity (Vallerand, 2015). The dualistic model goes further to state that the development of passion is an ongoing process – that is, passion changes. However, little is known about if and how much passion changes over time, particularly among sport participants who typically engage in sport over recurring seasons. We conducted two longitudinal studies to test for changes in passion in two groups of sport participants: hockey fans and intercollegiate athletes. In Study 1, fans of the Winnipeg Jets (N = 418) reported levels of passion for being Jets fans at the start, mid-point, and end of the 2021-2022 National Hockey League season. In Study 2, we analyzed data from the Student-athlete Well-being and Achievement Project, a study in which intercollegiate athletes (N = 298) reported levels of passion for their sport at the start, mid-point, and end of their competitive seasons. In both studies, results of latent growth modeling showed that levels of passion (i.e., harmonious and obsessive passion) decreased over the course of the seasons. We believe these results support a broader hypothesis, the seasons affect passion hypothesis, which predicts that passion will have a tendency to decrease over the course of seasons.

Acknowledgments: Research Manitoba; SSHRC