Recently in Projects Category

Franklin, A. (project started 2012)

Individuals of varying cultures and diverse personalities participate in sport. Healthy participation is important to athletes at all levels of play, yet injuries frequently intrude. When injuries occur, most athletes are prescribed rehabilitation protocols to aid in recovery. These protocols are often performed in medical facilities under the supervision of health care providers such as certified athletic trainers (ATCs). Even in these supervised contexts, it is common for difficulties to occur with athlete adherence to rehabilitation (Cohen, Nordin, & Abrahamson, 2010). Personality and culture are among key individual differences factors that are hypothesized to moderate rehabilitation adherence (outlined in the well-established model of psychological response to sport injury, Wiese-Bjornstal, Smith, Shaffer, & Morrey, 1998). However, little research has been conducted on the specific role of these aspects in sports medicine settings. This dissertation project will begin to fill these gaps by taking a qualitative approach to understand how athlete personality (based on Big Five theoretical framework) and culture (specifically gender and race/ethnicity) affect the work of the ATC in improving rehabilitation adherence behavior. The purpose of this study is to explain how athletic trainers' (ATCs) knowledge of athletes' personalities and cultures provides insight into creating individualized rehabilitation environments that are conducive to adherence behavior. These variables have been largely overlooked or unrecognized, yet most likely affect adherence behavior in a sport injury rehabilitation context. Using a qualitative methodology will provide means of attaining depth of knowledge on a topic where breadth currently prevails.

Steele, R. H., & Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M. (project started 2012, February)

According to Williams and Andersen (1998), specific personality traits, a history of life stressors, and limited coping resources interact to increase an athlete's response to a stressful situation and, ultimately, increase the risk for a sport injury. The purpose of the study is to better understand the interaction between a history of life stressors and personality, specifically perfectionism, and the influence that this interaction has on increasing an athlete's risk for a sport injury. Participants will include National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I and Division III male and female cross country runners. Each participant will complete an injury survey that will assess the number of days of training negatively impacted or missed because of an injury as well as the types of sport training injuries that a participant incurred during the past year. Additionally, participants will complete the Hassles and Uplifts Scale to assess for minor life events, the Athletic Life Experiences Survey to assess for major life event stress, and the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale. Consistent with previous research, individuals who experience a history of life stressors are predicted to be at an increased risk for a sport injury. However, the relationship between life stress and sport injury is hypothesized to be more pronounced for individuals high in perfectionism compared to individuals low in perfectionism. Given the rates of sport injuries, a better understanding of the relationship between the different risk factors that increase an individual's stress response and, ultimately, increase the risk for a sport injury will help guide prevention efforts.

Russell, H.C., Steele, R.H., Franklin, A., Hoppis, S. A., & Wiese-Bjornstal, D.M.(projected started 2011)
According to the integrated model of psychological response to sport injury (Wiese-Bjornstal et al., 1998), personal and situational factors impact injured athletes' cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to the injury and, ultimately, the physical and psychological outcomes. Type of injury (i.e., acute or chronic) is a personal factor that is proposed to impact athletes' responses to the injury; however, limited research has examined this factor. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to compare the experiences and responses of long-distance runners who have suffered acute injuries with those who have incurred chronic injuries. To better understand athletes' cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to the injury, we will utilize a narrative research approach that allows each athlete to share their unique story. The data collected from these interviews will be used to create a chronological timeline of experiences related to the injury and the meaning attributed to these experiences using a variation of Mishler's (1986) core-narrative approach. This study will provide a better understanding of the psychological responses to different types of injuries and, through the use of narrative research, potentially highlight responses that have not been captured through quantitative methods.

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