Coping with losses: Need unfulfillment, coping strategies and temporal well-being of sport fans

Jeeyoon Kim, Yu Kyoum Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates how sport fans psychologically process and cope with the loss of one’s team and how the process is linked to temporal well-being. Grounded on need theory and Lazarus’ model of stress, need unfulfillment is introduced as a psychological threat derived from a loss, which triggers coping strategies to deal with the negative well-being effects associated with the loss. With a two-wave survey-based natural field study conducted with identified NFL team fans, the relations among need unfulfillment (of arousal, achievement and social needs), coping strategies (i.e., seeking social support, positive reinterpretation/growth, venting, denial and CORFing) and temporal well-being (i.e., self-worth and negative affect) are examined with structural equation modeling. Need unfulfillment after a loss, particularly achievement unfulfillment, was found as a meaningful antecedent of coping behavior. The five coping strategies had distinctive effects on self-worth and negative affect. Strategies to help fans effectively cope with losses are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-743
Number of pages24
JournalSport Management Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023


  • Need unfulfillment
  • coping
  • game outcome
  • sport fan
  • temporal well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Marketing


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