Playing Through Pain and Injury: Psychosocial Considerations

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Robert Weinberg Miami University

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Daniel Vernau Miami University

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Thelma Horn Miami University

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The purpose of the present investigation was to assess the influence of gender and athletic identity on recreational basketball players’ attitudes and behaviors with regard to playing through pain and injury. Participants included 130 male and female intramural basketball players who completed the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS), the Risk Pain and Injury Questionnaire (RPIQ), and a scale to measure behavioral tendencies toward playing with injury. Results from MANOVA and hierarchical regression analyses revealed that gender was not a factor in regard to either injury-related attitudes or behavioral tendencies. In contrast, athletic identity was a significant factor. Specifically, athletes who were higher in athletic identity exhibited more positive attitudes toward playing with injury as well as higher behavioral tendencies to do so. Study results are discussed in terms of the sport culture and sport ethic surrounding injury.

The authors are with the Department of Kinesiology and Health, Miami University, Oxford, OH.

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