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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Relationship between Social Support and Fear of Reinjury in Recovering Female Collegiate Athletes
by Novak, Courtney, M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 68; 22587067
Abstract (Summary)

Introduction – The impact of severe athletic injuries can psychologically influence athletes in ways that can be detrimental to their rehabilitation and their overall return to sport. According to the biopsychosocial model of sport injury, social/contextual factors and psychological factors have been shown to play a role in rehabilitation (Brewer, Andersen, & Van Raalte, 2002). As seen in previous literature, athletic trainers were repeatedly seen as satisfactory sources of social support (Clement & Shannon, 2011; Robbins & Rosenfeld, 2001; Yang et al., 2010). The purpose of this study was to examine retrospectively the social support provided by athletic trainers and the relationships between Fear of Re-injury, Renewed Perspectives and Return Concerns with female collegiate athletes when they returned to sport.

Methods – Twenty NCAA head coaches from 15 different colleges/universities agreed to support the study and sent the survey to their athletes. Female collegiate athletes over the age of 18 (M=19.71, SD = 1.14) who were on rosters of NCAA Division I, II, and III programs located on the east coast and west coast were surveyed. The participants completed the 15-minute survey on their own time either on a cellular device or a computer. One Division I program completed the survey via hard-copy. The survey consisted of a demographic and injury questionnaire, the SSS-C (Richman, Rosenfeld, & Hardy, 1993), TSK (Miller, Kori, & Todd, 1991), and the RSSIQ (Podlog & Eklund, 2005).

Results – Fear of re-injury was not significantly related to listening support, emotional support, task appreciation, or task challenge support for either the Injured in College Sample or the Injured in College and High School Sample. Division I athletes were found to have significantly higher scores of fear or reinjury than Division II and III athletes. Participants reported receiving the most satisfactory social support from parents/family/friends and athletic trainers/physical therapists.

Discussion - Social support provided by athletic trainers does not play a statistically significant role in athlete’s feelings of fear of reinjury when returning to sport after injury, but qualitative findings support the importance of social support from sport medicine staff, teammates, and family. While not statistically significant, listening support was found in previous research (Bricker Bone & Fry 2006; Robbins & Rosenfeld, 2001), and in the current study to be most helpful for athletes during rehabilitation. Ensuring the athletes have a support system spanning from home to the team and back to the training room can benefit those navigating the demanding process of returning to sport.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Madrigal, Leilani
Commitee: Vargas, Tiffanye, Ede, Alison
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Kinesiology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/4(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Kinesiology
Keywords: Athletic Trainers, college athletes, Fear of Reinjury, female athletes, Social Support, Social Support Survey
Publication Number: 22587067
ISBN: 9781687914927
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