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The Role of Social Support in the Life Stress/Injury Relationship

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.

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Coping Skills, Competitive Trait Anxiety, and Playing States: Moderating Effects an the Life Stress-Injury Relationship

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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A Psychological Approach to the Prediction and Prevention of Athletic Injury

Ralph Maddison and Harry Prapavessis

Two interrelated studies examined the role psychological factors play in the prediction and prevention of sport related injury. Study 1 involved 470 rugby players who completed measures corresponding to variables in the revised Williams and Andersen (1998) stress and injury model at the beginning of the 2001 playing season. Prospective and objective data were obtained for both the number of injuries and the time missed. Results showed that social support, the type of coping, and previous injury interacted in a conjunctive fashion to maximize the relationship between life stress and injury. Study 2 examined the effectiveness of a cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention in reducing injury among athletes from Study 1 who were identified as having an at-risk psychological profile for injury. Forty-eight players were randomly assigned to either a CBSM intervention or a no-contact control condition. Participants completed psychological measures of coping and competitive anxiety at the beginning and end of the 2002 rugby season. The assessment of injury was identical to that used in Study 1. Results showed that those in the intervention condition reported missing less time due to injury compared to their nonintervention counterparts. The intervention group also had an increase in coping resources and a decrease in worry following the program. Taken together, both studies underscore the importance of (a) psychosocial factors in identifying those athletes most vulnerable to injury and (b) cognitive behavioral stress management programs in reducing the vulnerability to injury.

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The Relationship of Personality Characteristics, Life Stress, and Coping Resources to Athletic Injury

Sarah J. Hanson, Penny McCullagh, and Phyllis Tonymon

In 1988, Andersen and Williams proposed a model to explain the stress-injury relationship. The present study tested portions of this framework by investigating frequency and severity of injury occurrence in track and field athletes from four NCAA Division I and II universities. Personality characteristics (locus of control and sport competition trait anxiety), history of stressors (life stress, daily hassles, and past injury), and moderating variables (coping resources and social support) were assessed before the season began. Discriminant analyses indicated that four variables (coping resources, negative life stress, social support, and competitive anxiety) differentiated the severity groups. For injury frequency, coping resources and positive life stress differentiated the groups.

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A Model of Stress and Athletic Injury: Prediction and Prevention

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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Social Support: Exploring Its Role in the Context of Athletic Injuries

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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Sports Injuries and Stress Management: An Opportunity for Research

James O. Davis

Several studies report that psychological factors, especially stress, are related to sports injuries, and while stress management techniques have often been found to facilitate sport performance, these reports have not included information about the effects of stress intervention on injury rates. This article reexamines two sport psychology programs by investigating the injury data collected by athletic training personnel before, during, and after two university varsity teams practiced progressive relaxation during team workouts. Major findings include a 52% reduction in injuries for swimmers and a 33% reduction in serious injuries for football players. Discussion focuses on methods of injury data collection by sport psychologists, questions about the nature of the stress/injury relationship, and possible interventions.

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A Preliminary Exploration of the Application of Self-Compassion Within the Context of Sport Injury

Zenzi Huysmans and Damien Clement

( Mosewich et al., 2013 ). Furthermore, athletes higher in avoidance-focused coping have been found to display a stronger stress-injury relationship than athletes lower in avoidance-focused coping. This suggests that self-compassion may indirectly affect injury susceptibility through its negative association

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The Relationship Between Personality Traits and Muscle Injuries in Swedish Elite Male Football Players

Mattias Eckerman, Kjell Svensson, Gunnar Edman, and Marie Alricsson

, competitive anxiety and coping resources . Athl Train . 1990 ; 25 : 23 – 27 . 28. Petrie TA . Coping skills, competitive trait anxiety, and playing status: moderating effects on the life stress-injury relationship . J Sport Exerc Psychol . 1993 ; 15 : 261 – 274 . doi:10.1080/10413209308411301 10

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“You Always Wanna Be Sore, Because Then You Are Seeing Results”: Exploring Positive Pain in Competitive Swimming

Gareth McNarry, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson, and Adam B. Evans

: Mapping intensities, affects, and difference in ‘interior states’ . Body & Society, 25 ( 3 ), 100 – 135 . doi:10.1177/1357034X19834631 10.1177/1357034X19834631 Petrie , T.A. ( 1993 ). Coping skills, competitive trait anxiety, and playing states: Moderating effects and the life stress-injury