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In this study, we explored mental toughness, injury response, and coping among female athletes in roller derby (n = 68) and collegiate rugby (n = 122). Participants completed a survey with measures of mental toughness, hardiness, optimism, coping with injury and psychological response to injury, as well as questions regarding injury status. Injured roller derby players had a more negative response to injury than injured rugby players, but did not differ on mental toughness. Mental toughness was related to approach styles of coping and negatively related to adverse psychological responses to injury. Rugby players who would play through injury reported higher mental toughness than those who would not play through injury; however, the reverse was found for roller derby players. Mental toughness is related to adaptive coping and positive injury response, but also to engaging in activity when injured, with potential detrimental effects.
Leilani Madrigal was with the Athletic Department, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; she is now with the Department of Kinesiology, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA. Katherine Wurst and Diane L. Gill are with the Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.