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Britton W. Brewer, Allen E. Cornelius, Judy L. Van Raalte and Howard Tennen

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.

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Britton W. Brewer, Allen E. Cornelius, Judy Van Raalte, John C. Brickner, Howard Tennen, Joseph H. Sklar, John R. Corsetti and Mark H. Pohlman

The accuracy of retrospective ratings of pain intensity was examined in a sample of 72 men and 36 women undergoing rehabilitation following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructive surgery. Participants completed daily ratings of current, worst, and average pain intensity for the first 42 days of rehabilitation. Participants provided retrospective ratings of worst and average pain intensity twice for a 7-day period (on Days 7 and 21) and once for a 30-day period (on Day 30). Correlations between concurrent and retrospective pain ranged from .74 to .88. Retrospective pain ratings consistently overestimated concurrent pain ratings, but were generally not biased by current pain. The results suggest that retrospective pain ratings can substitute for concurrent pain ratings if the tendency toward overestimation is taken into account.