ATTACHMENT STYLE AND SOCIAL SUPPORT IN INJURED ATHLETES: EXAMINING THE MODERATING EFFECTS OF GENDER.
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects that gender and attachment have on the perception of social support availability in stressed, injured athletes. 127 Injured athletes (n=71, male and n=56,female) completed measures of injury specific stressors, perceived social support and attachment. Independent t tests found significant (p<0.05) gender differences in stressors, social support and attachment. Main effects of stressors, 16% (p<0.01), gender, 19% (p<0.01), and attachment, 11% (p<0.05) explained proportion of variance for social support. Two way interaction effects showed that stressors predicted social support but differed according to gender and attachment, with gender explaining an additional 17% of variance and attachment an additional 4%; and attachment predicted social support but differed according to gender, with gender explaining an additional 11%. In conclusion being a female and having higher levels of attachment results in having a higher perception of support availability. It can also be concluded that attachment levels are higher females than males. The knowledge can be used in the sporting population. The importance of attachment has been highlighted and can promote the formation and maintenance of bonds and relationships in sport in order to impact in perception of support availability, which will develop over time. Also the sporting population can be educated on the role which gender plays in relation to attachment and perception of social support availability.
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