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The Psychology of Athletic Injuries and Career Termination

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 1856 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Clement, D., Granquist, M.D, & Arvinen-Barrow, M.M. (2013). Psychosocial Aspects of

Athletic Injuries as Perceived by Athletic Trainers. Journal of Athletic Training 48(4),

512-521. Doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-48.3.21

The study aimed to realize the coping behaviors that athletes bring to their athletic trainers, the strategies athletic trainers are utilizing, and the routine that athletic trainers use to refer their clients to counseling. The participants in the study were 215 athletic trainers, eighty-six of which were males and one-hundred and twenty-nine which were females. These participants were given a questionnaire to complete. Once the questionnaires were completed, the result was composed. Th result showed that about one hundred and sixty athletic trainers revealed that athletes were emotional affected by their injuries. Stress, anxiety, and anger were the reactions athletes had during their injury. The three strategies used were team involvement, having short-term goals, and the creation of exercises that facilitated rehabilitation. Also, fifth nine athletic trainers were known to report their athlete for counseling services and thirty-seven of those with sport psychologists reported sending their athletes for sport psychology help. The results showed the usage of strategies by athletic trainers and innate feeling to learn more about these psychosocial strategies by these athletic trainers.

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This article had a lot of strengths. The article was able to have a large pool of participants. This allows the research to more accurate than if the pool of participants were smaller. The article allowed for questionnaires to be filled out. This can be a poor way of colleting data because the questions asked can opened for interpretation. The participant might not fully understand the questions asked. Questionnaires also leave room for dishonest answers. 

Clement, D., & Shannon, V.R. (2011). Injured Athletes’ Perceptions About Social Support.

Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 20(4), 457-470. Retrieved from: https:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/22012499

 This research article was on whether the injured athlete felt supported enough. This article scrutinized the athlete contentment, opportunity, and contribution for each of the social support. The participant in this article were 49 injured athletes that were accessed using a social support survey. The survey asked whether the athletes were able to have 8 type of social support from their coaches, teammates, and athletic trainers. The results showed that these athlete like the social support provided by their athletic trainer than that provided by their coaches and teammates. The athletes examined believed that the social support provided by their athletic trainer played an important part in their recovery and health. The conclusion reached in this article was that the social support provided by the athletic trainers was the biggest factor in the athlete recovery and overall health.

 This article had a lot of strengths. The article was able to use a large enough sample. This allows for the results to be have a small margin of error and increases accuracy. They were also able to compare social support across three domains. These three domains are usually the group of people that plays an important part in an athlete’s life. The teammates and coaches are the people in which the athlete spend a lot of their time with. The only weak part in this study was that they did not analyze the social support received from family members. So it is hard to know whether the social support from family members will be a greater source of support than that of the athletic trainers.

Marks et al. (2015). An Examination of Coping with Career Ending Injuries: An NCAA

Division I and Division III Comparison. Journal of Sports Science, 5(2), 87-92. doi:


The article examined the different coping strategies and the effects of injury endured by injured Division I and III athlete. The data was examined using a four-step procedure. The participants consisted of three NCAA division I athlete and three NCAA division III athlete. These athletes have been out of the sports world for one year.  The researchers gave them a demographic questionnaire and conducted an interview. Once the interview was conducted and recorded, the researchers turned the recorded interview into interview scripts. Once transcribed, the irrelevant part of the interview was taking out of the script and the important parts were identified with the different themes in the study. The different themes were how the athlete felt about not being able to compete, how the athlete faced an identity crisis, having a coping mechanism, and whether they felt unable to cope with the injury. The results showed that they all felt strong emotions about not being a able compete, they all faced an identity crisis, they all had a coping strategy, and four out of six participants were not ready to deal with their career termination.

The pilot study that the researchers included in their research is a strength. The pilot study was included to make sure that the researchers were unbiased and to keep out any biases that they originally had about sports injuries. Another strength credited to this article was that the researchers briefed the participants on the study. By briefing them on the study, the researchers were able to make sure that the participants knew what they were doing before partaking in the study. This could be a weakness because if the athletic already knew what to do, they can conduct themselves in a way that is favorable to them. Another weakness to the study was the small sample used. By using a small sample, the researcher’s results cannot be generalizable. The research study created another weakness by making the ratio of males to females five to one. The unequal ratio of male to females could be taken to mean that results largely fit one gender and not the other gender.

Schwab Reese, L. M., Pittsinger, R., & Yang J. (2012). Effectiveness of Psychological

Intervention Following Sport Injury. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 1(2), 71-79. doi: 10.1016/jshs.2012.06.003

The researchers in this article aimed to document the effects of psychological

interventions in lessen the psychological ramification of post-injuries. They also hoped that these psychological interventions will improve coping through the rehabilitation processes that competitive and recreational athletes face when injured. The sample used were electronic searches in different electronic databases for controlled trials that focused on interventions targeting injured athletes that were 17 years and older and were deemed competitive and recreational athletes. The interventions included intervened on the psychological outcomes and utilizes strategies such as imagery, goal setting, and relaxation throughout the post injury rehabilitation. The results showed that guided imagery and relaxation proved to minimized reinjury anxiety and boosts psychological coping. Also, other strategies used such as microcounseling skills, acceptance and commitment therapy, and written disclosures helped to enhance psychological coping, alleviate negative psychological consequences and lessen re-injury anxiety.

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A weak aspect of this article was the utilization of only seven articles. This leads to narrow minded search for psychological interventions. Also, the studies used utilized different types of participants. One used more men than women while the other used an equal number of both genders. In utilizing an unequal number of one gender in one article and using an equal number of both genders in another study, the researchers cannot safely say whether gender affected their research. A strong aspect of the article was the use of a control study. This allows the researcher to be able to draw conclusions on whether this intervention really worked. Also, the long-term effects of the study were not examined. Since the long-term effects were not examined, the author has no way of knowing whether the effects of this study will have a long-term impact.

Stoltenburg, A.L., Kamphoff, C.S., Bremer, K.L. (2011). Transitioning Out of Sport: The

Psychosocial Effects of Collegiate Athletes’ Career-Ending Injuries. Journal of Sport Psychology, 13, 113-132. Retrieved from http:// www.athleticinsight.com/ Vol13Iss2/ Feature.htm#ABSTRACT

This article analyzed the psychosocial effects that arises after an athlete leaves the sport world

due to a career ending injury. In order to collect data, interviews were carried out with division I and division II athletes who sustained a sports injury within the last five years. The total number of participants were five males and two females. Therefore, making seven. Once the interviews were conducted, the transcripts were used to create five themes that the transcript could fall into. The five themes that arose were the outcome of the injury, social support received, athletic identity, the type of injury, and if they had pre-retirement plans. The results suggest that the athletes had both negative and positive things that resulted because of their injury. Also, there were some athletes who had positive social support and there were some who experience negative social support. The athletes also expressed that their athletic identity had also suffered due to their career ending because of an injury. When it came to pre-retirement, nearly all the participants did not think about their future without sports.  

 When it comes to this research study, there were numerous strengths. One of the strengths experienced was there was a pilot study conducted. The pilot study allowed them to restructure the interview questions to one that was easily followed. Another strength that this article had was that the researchers were able to check each other works while dealing with the interview transcript. This allowed for biases to be removed from the study. A weakness that this article had was having an unequal amount of men to women ratio. The unequal amount of men to women ratio doesn’t allow for this article to be generalizable across gender. If anything, this article seemed to focus more on the males than females.


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