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Diane M. Wiese-Bjornstal

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Diane M. Wiese and Maureen R. Weiss

Psychological rehabilitation in response to physical injury is of primary concern to athletes, trainers, coaches, and sport psychologists. To date, there is little empirical research to shed light on this topic, as well as on the role of sport psychology practitioners in facilitating the prevention, rehabilitation, and recovery from athletic injuries. The purpose of this paper is to consolidate and report the information available on the nature of injuries and make suggestions concerning the application of sport psychology principles when working with injured athletes. Four major concerns are addressed with regard to current knowledge and practical implications: how injuries happen, how athletes respond to injuries, how psychological rehabilitation as well as physical recovery from injuries can be facilitated, and determining when injured athletes are psychologically ready to return to competition.

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Diane M. Wiese, Maureen R. Weiss and David P. Yukelson

Although athletic injury is common in sport, little is documented about the application of psychological principles to injury rehabilitation. This study surveyed athletic trainers on the use of psychological strategies with injured athletes. Athletic trainers (N = 115) responded to Likert rating scales on athlete characteristics, efficacy of psychological strategies, and perceived importance of trainer knowledge about psychological strategies. Results revealed that trainers distinguished between athletes coping most versus least successfully with injury on characteristics of willingness to listen, positive attitude, intrinsic motivation, and willingness to learn about the injury and rehabilitation techniques. Trainers rated effective psychological techniques for facilitating athlete recovery as good interpersonal communication skills, positive reinforcement, coach support, and keeping the athlete involved with the team. Knowledge about using a positive communication style, strategies for setting realistic goals, methods for encouraging positive self-thoughts, and understanding individual motivation were rated as most important.

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Allen W. Burton, Nancy L. Greer and Diane M. Wiese

Ten males and 10 females in each of four grade/age groups threw styrofoam balls of six different diameters as hard as possible at a wall 6.7 m away. Each ball size was thrown four times. The first hypothesis, that the levels of the five components of the one-hand overhand throw would be quite stable for individuals for throws of a particular ball size, was supported. Ball sizes at which the component levels were unstable marked the beginning of a transition to a new component level 70.6% of the time. The second hypothesis, that five components would change from higher to lower levels for most of the subjects as ball size was scaled up, was supported only for the backswing and forearm components. These components were more likely to be affected by increasing ball size because the higher level components required a firm, one-hand grip on the ball, which became more difficult as ball diameters exceeded the subjects’ hand widths. The results indicate that practitioners need to recognize that different ball sizes may elicit different throwing patterns, and specifically that a critical ball diameter may be reached when it is equal to hand width.

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Allen W. Burton, Nancy L. Greer and Diane M. Wiese-Bjornstal

This study examined the effect of ball size on the movement patterns used by children and adults to grasp a ball and then to throw it as hard as possible. A total of 104 kindergarten, second-grade, fourth-grade, eighth-grade, and young adult males and females were asked to pick up six styrofoam balls of different diameters (from 4.8 to 29.5 cm) four times each as they were presented in random order, and then throw them as hard as possible at a wall 6.7 m away. Transitions from one- to two-hand grasps were made as ball diameters increased, with older subjects switching at significantly larger diameters than younger subjects (p<.0001); however, when ball size was scaled to hand size, older subjects switched at significantly smaller relative diameters than younger subjects (p<.Ol), indicating that hand size may be a critical factor in determining grasp form. Transitions from one- to two-hand throws were made by less than 25% of the subjects (mostly kindergartners and females), demonstrating a strong preference by older children and adults for throwing with one hand, even with ball diameters larger than a subject’s hand size.

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Maureen R. Weiss, Vicki Ebbeck and Diane M. Wiese-Bjornstal

Visual demonstrations have long been regarded as a critical instructional method for children’s motor skill and social-emotional development. Despite their widespread importance, skill demonstrations have often been characterized by a failure to consider age related differences in children’s cognitive and physical abilities. Similarly, the potential psychological effects of modeling on children’s behaviors in the physical domain have rarely been discussed. Thus the purpose of this paper is to review theoretical and research perspectives from the motor behavior and psychology literatures about developmental and psychological factors associated with children’s modeling of motor skills. Specifically, this paper will emphasize (a) how children perceive characteristics of a visual demonstration, (b) how they translate perceptions to actions that attempt to match the skill demonstration, and (c) how observational learning can be used to enhance self-confidence and motivation in youth. Practical implications for maximizing motor skill and psychosocial development in children are addressed in each section of the paper.

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Maureen R. Weiss, Vicki Ebbeck, Edward McAuley and Diane M. Wiese

This study explored the relationship between children's self-esteem and attributions for performance in both physical and social achievement domains. Children's physical and social self-esteem as well as perceptions of and attributions for performance and interpersonal success in a summer sports program were assessed. Multivariate analyses revealed a significant relationship between self-esteem and causal attributions for both physical and social domains. For physical competence, children high in self-esteem made attributions that were more internal, stable, and higher in personal control than did low self-esteem children. For social competence, children high in self-esteem made attributions that were more internal, stable, and higher in personal and lower in external control than did children low in self-esteem. These results provided support for a self-consistency approach to self-esteem.

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Diane M. Wiese-Bjornstal, Andrew C. White, Hayley C. Russell and Aynsley M. Smith

The psychology of sport concussions consists of psychological, psychiatric, and psychosocial factors that contribute to sport concussion risks, consequences, and outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to present a sport concussion-adapted version of the integrated model of psychological response to sport injury and rehabilitation (Wiese-Bjornstal, Smith, Shaffer, &#x0026; Morrey, 1998) as a framework for understanding the roles of psychological, psychiatric, and psychosocial factors in sport concussions. Elements of this model include preinjury psychological risk factors, postinjury psychological response and rehabilitation processes, and postinjury psychological care components. Mapped onto each element of this model are findings from the research literature through a narrative review process. An important caveat is that the subjective nature of concussion diagnoses presents limitations in these findings. Future research should examine psychological contributors to concussion risk, influences of physical factors on psychological symptoms and responses, and efficacy of psychological treatments utilizing theory-driven approaches.