This investigation examined the effects of sport team membership and coach's gender on the self-disclosing behavior of high school female varsity athletes. Results indicated that the athletes disclosed the same amount to their male and female coaches and that this was less than they disclosed to either parent or to friends of either sex. Also, athletes on cross-country teams disclosed more than did those on gymnastic, volleyball, and basketball teams. Finally, patterns of disclosure to male and female coaches were found to differ. First, topics of disclosure to female coaches were concerned primarily with self-concept development and role clarification, whereas topics of disclosure to male coaches were concerned primarily with school matters and interaction with significant males. Second, although amount of disclosure to the female coach was positively correlated with the athlete's disclosure to strangers, disclosure to the male coach was positively correlated with her disclosure to friends. Implications for the coach/athlete relationship are discussed.
Sara A. Officer and Lawrence B. Rosenfeld
Lawrence B. Rosenfeld, Jack M. Richman and Charles J. Hardy
The purpose of this investigation was twofold: first, to describe the social support networks of athletes with respect to who provides what types of support and in what perceived amounts, and second, to compare the support networks of low- and high-stressed athletes. Results indicated that social support is provided by coaches, teammates, friends, and parents, and that each makes a unique contribution to the athletes’ social support network. Coaches and teammates were identified as providing types of support requiring expertise in sports, and friends and parents were identified as providing complementary types of support not requiring such expertise. Few differences were found between the social support networks of low- and high-stressed athletes.
Charles J. Hardy, Jack M. Richman and Lawrence B. Rosenfeld
This study examined the role of social support in the relationship between life stress and injury. Utilizing a prospective design, male and female collegiate athletes participating in the sports of volleyball, gymnastics, field hockey, soccer, cross-country, track and field, and wrestling completed the Athletic Life Experience Survey and the Support Functions Questionnaire. The results indicated that life stress and social support were predictive of injury frequency among male athletes. Specifically, injury frequency increased as the level of total life change and the number of providers of shared social reality support increased (direct effect). In addition, injury frequency was found to increase as negative life change and the number of providers of, and degree of fulfillment for, emotional challenge support decreased (buffer effect). No significant models emerged for female athletes or injury severity. The results of this study support a functional or disaggregated role for social support in the life stress/injury relationship.