Adversarial Growth After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Although psychological research on sport injury has long focused on negative responses to injury, investigators have begun to explore positive consequences as well. This study examined adversarial growth longitudinally after anterior cruciate ligament surgery and rehabilitation. Participants (N = 108) completed questionnaires measuring (a) aspects of adversarial growth before anterior cruciate ligament surgery and at 6, 12, and 24 months after surgery and (b) daily pain and negative mood for 42 days postoperatively. Although most participants reported little or no adversarial growth due to their injury and rehabilitation, significant increases over preoperative values were found at 6 months postsurgery for three aspects of adversarial growth. Daily pain and negative mood were positively associated with aspects of adversarial growth at each postoperative assessment. It appears that modest but detectable increases in aspects of perceived adversarial growth can occur after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and be related to indices of adversity experienced during rehabilitation.

Britton W. Brewer and Judy L. Van Raalte are with Springfield College, Springfield, MA, USA. Allen E. Cornelius is with the University of the Rockies, Colorado Springs, CO, USA. Howard Tennen is with the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, USA.

Address author correspondence to Britton W. Brewer at bbrewer@springfieldcollege.edu.
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