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T. Michelle Magyar and Joan L. Duda

The impact of goal orientations, perceptions of social support, and sources of rehabilitation confidence on the process of confidence restoration from athletic injury was examined among 40 injured intercollegiate athletes (ages 18 to 22 years). Athletes completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ; Duda & Nicholls, 1992), the Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ; Duda, Smart, & Tappe, 1989), and modified versions of the Sources of Sport Confidence Questionnaire (M-SSCQ; Vealey, Hayashi, Garner-Holman, & Giacobbi, 1998) and the State Sport Confidence Inventory (M-SSCI; Vealey, 1986) within the first two days of their rehabilitation program. The SSQ, M-SSCQ, and M-SSCI were completed during the midpoint of the rehabilitation and the day before returning to practice/competition. Results indicated that the tendency to emphasize task-involved goals in sport significantly predicted the selection of mastery and more self-referenced sources of confidence in rehabilitation. Athletes who perceived more social support specific to injury rehabilitation at the beginning of the rehabilitation program were more likely to rely on performance sources to build confidence.

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Jeremy Rose and Ronna F.J. Jevne

This study utilized grounded theory to examine the psychosocial processes associated with athletic injuries. Seven competitive athletes were interviewed about their experience of being injured. A four-phase model emerged from the data. The phases were (a) getting injured, (b) acknowledging the injury, (c) dealing with the impact of the injury, and (d) achieving a physical and psychosocial outcome. Two additional categories that characterized the process were “ignoring the lessons” (relapsing) and “acting on the lessons” (attempting to prevent injuries). Two basic psychosocial processes (BPPs) that appeared throughout the model were “running the risks” and “opening to the messages.” The present study was discussed with respect to its contribution to the literature and directions for future research.

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Trent A. Petrie

This study prospectively investigated the effects of life stress, psychological coping skills, competitive trait anxiety, and playing status (starter vs. non-starter) on injury in 158 NCAA Division I-A collegiate football players. Playing status moderated the influence of the psychosocial variables as predictors of athletic injury. For starters positive life stress, coping skills, and competitive trait anxiety accounted for 60% of the injury variance. In addition, competitive trait anxiety moderated the effects of positive life stress such that increases in these variables were associated with increases in the number of days missed due to injury. No relationship between any of the psychosocial variables and injury emerged for nonstarters. Implications for future research are discussed with respect to the Andersen and Williams (1988) theoretical model.

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Rennae Williams Stowe

This review presents a framework for understanding the role of social support in athletic injury prevention and recovery. The stress-injury model is presented, which is the theoretical basis for many studies on psychosocial factors related to injury in sport. In addition, we discuss the definition of social support, types and sources of social support for the athlete, and strategies supporting others can use to show their support. Finally, using social support as a rehabilitation strategy and gender differences will be presented.

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Gretchen Kerr and Harold Minden

This study reports data regarding gymnastic injuries. Examined were the number, severity, and location of injuries, events associated with injury occurrence, relationship in time between occurrence and competition, and the perceptions of causes. In addition, this study investigated the relationships between the psychological factors of trait anxiety, locus of control, self-concept and stressful life events, and the occurrence of athletic injuries. The subjects were 41 elite female gymnasts and five national level coaches. There was a high rate of injury (83 %), primarily to the ankle region, with most injuries occurring during the floor exercise. The timing of injuries was related to the approach of competition. The data indicated that stressful life events were significantly related to both the number and severity of injuries. Significant relationships were not found between trait anxiety, locus of control, self-concept, and the injury measures.

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Mark B. Andersen and Jean M. Williams

A theoretical model of stress and athletic injury is presented. The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework for the prediction and prevention of stress-related injuries that includes cognitive, physiological, attentional, behavioral, intrapersonal, social, and stress history variables. Development of the model grew from a synthesis of the stress-illness, stress-accident, and stress-injury literatures. The model and its resulting hypotheses offer a framework for many avenues of research into the nature of injury and reduction of injury risk. Other advantages of the model are that it addresses possible mechanisms behind the stress-injury relationship and suggests several specific interventions that may help diminish the likelihood of injury. The model also has the potential of being applied to the investigation of injury and accident occurrence in general.

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Gerald A. Larson, Chad Starkey and Leonard D. Zaichkowsky

This study investigated the perceptions of certified athletic trainers concerning their attitudes, beliefs, and application of a variety of psychological strategies and techniques used in the treatment and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. The Athletic Training and Sport Psychology Questionnaire (ATSPQ) was adapted from instruments developed by Wiese, Weiss, and Yukelson (1991) and Brewer, Van Raalte, and Linder (1991). The ATSPQ, a letter of introduction, and a self-addressed stamped envelope were distributed to 1,000 certified athletic trainers randomly selected from the membership database maintained by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). Only 482 (48.2%) of these questionnaires returned were usable. 47% of athletic trainers who responded believe that every injured athlete suffers psychological trauma. 24% reported that they have referred an athlete for counseling for situations related to their injury, and 25% reported that they have a sport psychologist as a member of their sports medicine team. This study concludes that future education of athletic trainers should address the psychological aspects of injury treatment as well as the development of a sport psychology referral network.

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Tracie J. Rogers and Daniel M. Landers

The mediating effect of peripheral narrowing in the negative life event stress (N-LES)/athletic injury relationship was investigated. LES and other psychosocial variables were measured, and peripheral vision was assessed in nonstressful (practice day) and stressful (game day) sport situations. Results showed that total LES, N-LES, and psychological coping skills significantly contributed to the prediction of the occurrence of athletic injury. Additionally, psychological coping skills buffered the N-LES/athletic injury relationship. Peripheral narrowing during stress significantly mediated 8.1% of the N-LES/athletic injury relationship. The findings support the predictions of the model of stress and injury, provide evidence for peripheral narrowing as a mechanism in the LES/athletic injury relationship, and suggest directions for future research examining mediating effects in the model of stress and injury.

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Eileen Udry

The vast majority of research dealing with athletic injuries has examined injuries from physical or environmental perspectives. However, there has been a growing awareness of the role of psychosocial factors in the injury process. Specifically, social support has been identified as a variable that may play a significant role in both the etiology of and recovery from athletic injuries. The overall purpose of this discussion is to review and integrate the literature that has examined the role of social support as it relates to athletic injuries. More specifically, this paper will (a) discuss conceptual issues related to social support, (b) explore the role of social support as a potential moderator variable in the life stress-injury relationship, (c) examine the contribution of social support to the rehabilitation process, and (d) suggest directions for future research based on the extant social support literature.

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Gerald Patrick Lynch

The incidence of athletic injury is on the rise. Often overlooked in the injury treatment intervention process is the emotional component and the role of the mind. Because stress, panic, fear, and other emotions contribute to this crisis situation, it becomes essential for the sport psychologist to be part of the sports medicine team by offering psychological services and strategies to injured athletes. This article will discuss the mind-body connection in injury and offer practical strategies that the author has found useful in facilitating the healing and recovery process.