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Applying the Sport Commitment Model to Sport Injury Rehabilitation

Windee M. Weiss

Context: Sustaining effort and persistence throughout injury rehabilitation are common goals for sport health care professionals. Considerable research in the sport domain has explored the issue of commitment to sport, as well as what predicts or influences an athlete’s continued desire and resolve to continue participation. Scanlan and colleagues developed the sport commitment model (SCM) that places enjoyment as central construct influencing athletes’ commitment. According to the model, perceptions of enjoyment, personal investments, involvement opportunities, attractive alternatives, social constraints, and social support should predict an athlete’s level of sport commitment. One could argue the same may be true for commitment to sport injury rehabilitation. By applying the SCM to sport injury rehabilitation, practitioners may be able to enhance an athlete’s commitment to their rehabilitation, prolong adherence, and increase other positive outcomes, such as increased enjoyment, motivation, and successful return to competition. Objective: The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the applicability of the SCM to the injury rehabilitation setting. Design: Correlational design was used. Setting: Division I, intercollegiate athletic training room. Participants: 51 injured intercollegiate male and female athletes, 5 certified athletic trainers, and 8 senior, athletic training students. Intervention: At the approximate midpoint of each athlete’s injury rehabilitation, participants completed SCM measures. Certified athletic trainers and senior athletic training students independently assessed each injured athlete on effort, energy, and intensity during rehabilitation sessions. Main Outcome Measures: Rehabilitation commitment, enjoyment, investments, attractive alternatives, social constraints, perceived costs, and rehabilitation behaviors. Results: Higher perceptions of investments predicted rehabilitation commitment. However, none of the SCM determinants predicted athletic trainer–rated rehabilitation behaviors. Conclusions: Future research should continue to explore commitment constructs in relation to rehabilitation motivation.

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Attraction- and Entrapment-Based Commitment among Competitive Female Gymnasts

Windee M. Weiss and Maureen R. Weiss

The purpose of this study was to examine correlates of attraction- and entrapment-based commitment among young competitive female gymnasts. Participants were 124 gymnasts (Levels 9, 10, and Elite) ranging in age from 10 to 18 years. Based on theory and research (Raedeke, 1997; Schmidt & Stein, 1991), commitment profiles were determined based on benefits, costs, enjoyment, personal investments, and attractive alternatives. Three profiles emerged when using cluster analysis. Attracted gymnasts were higher in enjoyment and benefits but lower in costs and attractive alternatives. Entrapped gymnasts were lower in enjoyment and benefits but higher in costs and attractive alternatives. Vulnerable gymnasts were moderately lower in enjoyment and benefits, average in costs, and moderately higher in attractive alternatives. These groups were significantly different on social support, social constraints, motivational orientation, and training behaviors. The three profiles were similar but not identical to Schmidt and Stein’s predicted types of commitment, with each type being further differentiated by social, motivational, and behavioral variables.

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The Influence of the Motivational Climate on Rehabilitation Behaviors and Patient Satisfaction

Rachel E. Brinkman-Majewski and Windee M. Weiss

Context: Athletic trainers influence the motivational climate in rehabilitation, but little is known about the role of the motivational climate on patient outcomes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of the motivational climate in rehabilitation on athletes’ behaviors in rehabilitation (eg, effort and energy) and overall satisfaction with rehabilitation. Design: Cross-sectional, descriptive research. Methods: A total of 78 male and female, NCAA Division II injured athletes receiving rehabilitation services, and 7 certified athletic trainers, and 8 athletic training students providing rehabilitation health care participated. All injured athletes completed an adapted version of the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire 2 to measure perceptions of the motivational climate in rehabilitation, along with the Overall Satisfaction with Rehabilitation Scale. Athletic trainers and athletic training students completed a training behaviors assessment to rate the athletes’ energy, effort, and persistence in rehabilitation. Results: Injured athletes’ perceptions of the motivational climate predicted rehabilitation behaviors and patient satisfaction. Higher perceptions of having an important role in rehabilitation predicted higher rehabilitation behaviors (F 3,74 = 4.45, P < .01), while higher perceptions of unequal recognition during rehabilitation predicted lower desirable behaviors (F 3,74 = 4.90, P < .01). Higher perceptions of a mastery climate in rehabilitation predicted greater patient satisfaction (F 3,74 = 7.41, P < .001) and lower perceptions of being punished for mistakes predicted greater satisfaction (F 3,74 = 5.92, P < .001). Conclusions: Productive athlete behaviors during rehabilitation and greater patient satisfaction with rehabilitation can be expected when athletes perceive a mastery motivational climate during rehabilitation. Athletic trainers can facilitate creating a mastery motivational climate by focusing on individual improvement, putting forth high effort, and evaluating success based on personal improvement.

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The Motivational Climate and Intrinsic Motivation in the Rehabilitation Setting

Rachel E. Brinkman-Majewski and Windee M. Weiss

Context: The motivational climate created by the athletic trainer in rehabilitation may be critical in influencing athletes’ intrinsic motivation and other psychosocial outcomes in the rehabilitation and the recovery processes. Objective: To examine intercollege athletes’ perceptions of the motivational climate in the rehabilitation setting. Specifically, examining if perceptions of the motivational climate can predict athletes’ levels of intrinsic motivation with rehabilitation as well as the relationship between perceptions of the motivational climate and athlete demographics (gender, starter status, athletic trainer gender, etc). Design: Cross-sectional, descriptive research. Setting: College sport team and athletic training center. Participants: National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II intercollege athletes from one institution (n = 187; 125 males and 62 females). Main Outcome Measures: Paper-based survey measuring mastery and performance perceptions of the motivational climate in rehabilitation, athletes’ goal orientation in sport, and athletes’ levels of motivation in rehabilitation. Results: Perceptions of a performance climate were positively related to intrinsic motivation effort–improvement (effect size = 25.34%). Perceptions of a mastery climate were positively related to interest–enjoyment and perceived competence and negatively related to tension–pressure (effect size = 39.03%). In general, female athletes, as well as athletes with a female athletic trainer, had significantly higher perceptions of mastery motivational climate effort–improvement than male athletes and athletes with male athletic trainers. While male athletes and athletes with male athletic trainers had higher perceptions of intrateam member rivalry in rehabilitation. Conclusions: The athlete’s gender and goal orientation, as well as the gender of the athletic trainer creating the motivational climate, can influence whether the environment is perceived as more mastery or performance. The recovering athletes’ perceptions of the climate in rehabilitation can, in turn, affect their intrinsic motivation toward the therapeutic interventions.

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The Motivational Climate in the Rehabilitation Setting

Rachel E. Brinkman and Windee M. Weiss

Edited by Adam Naylor