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Sandra J. Shultz

Despite extensive research, we still do not fully understand the biological mechanisms that underlie a female's increased susceptibility for suffering a noncontact ACL injury. While sex differences in neuromuscular control are often implicated, prevention efforts addressing these differences have not resulted in a profound or sustainable reduction in injury rates. This paper will explore two likely scenarios that explain this greater susceptibility in females: (1) females have a structurally weaker ligament that is more prone or susceptible to failure at a given load (scenario #1), or (2) females develop less knee protection and experiences higher relative loads on the ACL (scenario #2). While we have learned much over the last two decades about ACL injury risk in females, much remains unknown. Continued research is of paramount importance if we are to effectively identify those females who are at greatest risk for injury and effectively reduce their susceptibility through appropriate interventions.

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Sarah K. Fields and R. Dawn Comstock

Rugby, a fast-paced, aggressive contact sport, has a high incidence of injury. This study examines why US women play rugby given the social stigma surrounding women’s participation in sports in general, particularly contact sports, and despite the high risk of injury. In a survey of their injury history and potential injury risk factors, 339 female rugby players from 14 teams of varied quality and levels of play from a wide geographic area in the United States were asked why they played the sport. Their responses indicate that women play rugby because they enjoy the game, they like the aggressive aspects of the sport, they appreciate the social aspects of the game, and they believe the sport provides them with positive benefits, such as increased fitness, confidence, and strength. The results of this study indicate that many women are willing to risk injury for the positive rewards that they associate with rugby.

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Elizabeth C. J. Pike and Joseph A. Maguire

This paper provides a development from previous conceptual frameworks related to the risk/pain/injury nexus in sporting subcultures (Hughes & Coakley, 1991; Maguire & Roberts, 1998; Nixon, 1992; Young, 1991). To do this, we have developed a model of factors contributing to injury risk in sport. In outlining our framework we seek to trace the enabling and coercive social forces that combine to act upon athletes and consequently promote participation to the extent of risking injury. This paper is grounded in a two-year study of female rowers in the United Kingdom. Several dimensions of sporting activities are mapped out, including the physical and structural settings, or “stage” upon which the sport takes place; preparation and participation in the sport itself; and the athletes’ attitudes toward, and actions on, receiving an injury. The themes identified in the model are used to “make sense” of the substantive insights drawn from the rowers’ stories.

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Parissa Safai, Jay Johnson and John Bryans

While research and scholarship on the dynamic interconnections between sport and health has steadily grown in the sociocultural study of sport in the past few decades, this paper focuses more directly on the politics of health within sport. Drawing on a small study of the lived experiences and understandings of health, pain/injury, risk and precaution among 12 male and female high performance youth (16–19 years of age) triathletes and three coaches, we outline the ways in which health becomes depoliticized among high performance athletes as our participants made no connection to health as a political phenomenon—within or outside of sport—or to their own right to health as members of the high performance sport community. We conclude by offering some suggestions as to why health was (and is) rendered apolitical in high performance youth triathlon.

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Sharon H. Thompson, Presley Smith and Rita DiGioacchino

A serious commitment to sport and exercise may predispose female athletes to the development of eating disorders. The energy restriction and accompanying menstrual disorders that are often associated with eating disorders may increase female athletes’ injury risks. The purpose of this study was to assess NCAA Division I, II, and III female collegiate cross country athletes’ weekly exercise time, rates of injury, menstrual dysfunction, and subclinical eating disorder risks. A paper-pencil survey was completed by athletes (mean age = 19.64 years) from NCAA Division I (n = 82), Division II (n = 103) and Division III (n = 115) colleges across the United States. Division I athletes spent significantly more weekly exercise time (M = 687.97 minutes) than Division II (M = 512.38 minutes, p = .0007) or Division III (M = 501.32 minutes, p = .0003) athletes. When examining rates of menstrual dysfunction, 23 percent reported amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea. Over 60 percent (64.3%) of the athletes reported a performance-related injury, with the knee being the most commonly injured site. 24 percent (23.7%) of the athletes reported having stress fractures. Scores for subclinical eating disorders for Division I athletes were significantly higher (M = 87.11) than Division III athletes (M = 82.94, p = .0042). Division I female athletes may be at an increased risk of developing subclinical eating disorders compared to those competing in Division II or III. Because early identification of those with subclinical eating disorders prevents the progression to eating disorders, further study is warranted.

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Travis Anderson, Sandra J. Shultz, Nancy I. Williams, Ellen Casey, Zachary Kincaid, Jay L. Lieberman and Laurie Wideman

, & Apel, 2004 ), has focused attention on the sex-specific differences in patterns of hormonal secretion as a potential factor in injury risk. Within this scope, prominent sex hormones (e.g., estrogen and progesterone) have received much attention, but other menstrual cycle–related hormones have been

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in our understanding of bone health and the female athlete over the last three decades, from the identification of the Female Athlete Triad and the negative effects of relative energy deficit, to what this means for injury risk and long-term health, and to the current knowledge base on management and

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Thelma S. Horn

while directing more warnings about safety and injury risk to daughters. Note that Morrongiello and Dawber found in their 1999 study that boys and girls did not differ in the playground skills and abilities that were under study. Nevertheless, the parents’ perceptions and behaviors differed as a

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Alan L. Smith and Daniel Gould

injury risks. Considering the array of potential benefits, as well as detrimental aspects, of youth sport and the importance of optimizing youth development outcomes in the interest of healthy individuals and societies, it is valuable to understand the connection between youth and sport historically, as

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Mark Dottori, Guy Faulkner, Ryan Rhodes, Norm O’Reilly, Leigh Vanderloo and Gashaw Abeza

) Benefits: socioeconomic (e.g., reduced costs and use of health care system) Risks: health (e.g., injury) Risks: legal (e.g., liability legal action) Risk: economic (e.g., resources for parents and schools) Treatment Judgment: diet, sport, and physical activity changes mandated in schools Judgment: diet and